Archive | Writers Toolbox

Kill Your Darlings

I finished my very first full-length manuscript in college, and it took me years to complete, writing five hundred words at a stretch in between classes, coursework, and hanging out with friends. It started as a short story, but I sensed more lurking beyond the point I’d originally envisioned as The End; and so I kept going…and going and going, until what I had on my hands was a YA horror epic of 160,000 words. […]

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Finding those wrong turns

One of the most common questions authors get is how to deal with writer’s block, and one of the most common answers we give is “go back and see if you made a wrong turn somewhere.” Which is absolutely great advice. Sometimes our subconscious knows when something is off, even if we don’t yet understand what’s going on. But how do you go back and figure it out? Sometimes, the answer’s already there. Last month, […]

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Crafting a Strong Beginning

Hey there PubCrawlers! Today I’m sharing a craft post about writing a strong beginning. As with any and all craft-oriented posts shared here by me or any of the other PubCrawl writers, keep in mind that this advice is meant to be general and certainly will not apply to all stories. First, an apology. I’m sharing with you a three-point list I use to help me craft my story beginnings, but I no longer remember […]

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To Be (Continued) or Not to Be…

The first full-length manuscript I sent around to agents I described as a “standalone novel with series potential.” The story was a self-contained arc, but I’d fallen in love with the characters, and I was excited about the possibility of taking them on more escapades. With that in mind, I deliberately wrote an ending that would allow me a reason to pick things up and carry on, if and when a publisher made me an […]

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The Query Conundrum

Good morning, Pubcrawlers! As many of you likely know, as an agent, I get a lot of submissions. Even when I find myself in one of those rare moments where I’m mostly caught up on queries, it doesn’t last. And that isn’t including the pile of requested manuscripts I always have on hand. So you’ll believe me when I tell you, I read a LOT of queries. And I’m noticing a trend. I’m calling it […]

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