Tag Archives | Inciting Incident

Inciting Incidents: A Breakdown

A few months ago, Kate Sullivan, a senior editor of YA and MG at Delacorte, tweeted the following question: Is there are “rule” for when people think the inciting incident or catalyst needs to happen in a novel, pg-count-wise? — Kate Sullivan (@katert0t) September 2, 2015 The whole thread is worth a read, and it definitely got me thinking about Inciting Incidents, and beginnings in general. When talking about plot and structure, a lot of […]


Summarizing Your Novel: The Query Trenches Part Two

Hey guys! Hannah here. Last month, I posted some tips on little ways to take your query out of the blah zone. JJ and Kelly also posted an awesome podcast on the query process. When giving query advice, a lot of us take for granted that you’ll know what we mean when we tell you a query must have a short synopsis of your story. We also take for granted that you’ll figure out how […]


Start With a Change, Not Just Action

Ever since I started writing, I’ve heard the following advice: start with action. It makes sense, right? Who wants to read pages and pages of nothing happening except exposition?1 Paragraphs upon paragraphs of description of the worldbuilding, the character’s backstory, the events leading up to the events in the story? So you start with action and get the reader’s blood pumping with a car chase. It works in movies, after all. But in books, starting […]


The Art of Writing Copy

One of the hardest, yet most useful things I’ve learned in my publishing career is the art of writing copy—catalog copy, jacket copy, etc. Much like writing an essay, there is a formula and/or “trick” to it that, once discovered, becomes a lot easier to wrap your mind around. In junior high and high school, many teachers famously teach the “Five Paragraph Essay” formula. I personally never liked that formula much—I find it too restrictive—but […]