Archive | Writers Toolbox

Choosing the Right Narrative Tense/POV

The minute I finished Draft Zero of my upcoming novel, White Rabbit, I was seized with doubt. I had written the entire novel—all 92,000 words—in first-person past tense…but had that been a mistake? The issues I grappled with as I considered this question led me to an even broader one: How do you determine the proper combination of tense and POV for a story, anyway? I wrote my debut novel, Last Seen Leaving, in first-person […]

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Experimenting With Short Stories

Last month, Julie wrote an excellent blog post about “Choosing the Best Length for Your Story”, and I thought I’d offer another possibility for some writers: experimenting with short stories before writing a novel. My friend N.K. Jemisin (author of fabulous fantasy books you should read like the Inheritance trilogy and the Broken Earth series) often writes a short story as a “test run” for a novel she’s thinking about writing. For example, her story “Stone Hunger” allowed […]

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Writing the Hook: Summing Your Book Up Quick and Why It’s Important

As an agent with a large social circle of writerly friends, I often find myself in that awkward position of helping pals polish up their query letters. I don’t mind. Chances are, if you work in publishing, you’ve been here. It’s the sort of thing I’ve been doing since college, when I was the English major stuck reviewing essays for friends. I’ve come to accept this as simply the next stage in my English major […]

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More Hands in the Kitchen: Karuna Riazi on Baking Her Debut With a Book Packager

I‘m playing proud parent on the blog today as we welcome Karuna Riazi, who made her debut last month with the awesome The Gauntlet, a middle grade Jumanji with a South Asian flair. The book is the first non-Sona-and-Dhonielle project from CAKE Literary – the book packaging company I co-founded with my BFF and work wife Dhonielle Clayton. Everything we do has a decidedly diverse bent, with a strong focus on #ownvoices.  One of the questions Karuna gets […]

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Tracking Your Progress While Outlining and Revising

Hi all! Julie here. Recently I blogged about How to Finish Your Book, focusing on tips on how to get to The End when writing a first draft. In the comments, I was asked a great question about tracking progress during the outlining and revising stages of the writing process. The reason I think this is such a great question is because tracking outlining and revising is definitely trickier than tracking drafting. When getting a […]

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