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Writers' News

Removing the Mystery From Mystery Writing: 13 Tricks Used by Acclaimed Novelists

vulture.com – Tuesday October 15, 2019

What makes reading a good mystery so satisfying? A writer’s hard work. A complex story à la Gone Girl doesn’t just pop out of a writer’s brain fully formed on a random Tuesday. Giving readers what they crave is about structure and pacing and, ultimately, originality. In 2019, it’s also about writing characters with more depth than your archetypal male dick motivated by some dead girl who maybe, if she’s lucky, gets to have a name.

To learn more about the elements of great mystery architecture, Vulture asked eight masters of the form to anatomize their thinking, from the most conceptual level down to the technical details. None of their tips or habits are compulsory, and some even contradict one another, but together they represent craft perfected to the level of art. (Spoiler: Literal crafts are sometimes involved.)

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Experts reveal their top tips for how to write a book

goodhousekeeping.com – Tuesday October 15, 2019

If you want to know how to write a book, we've got the answer. While it's a daunting task, it's not impossible and here, experts share their top tips to help you get published.

November marks National Novel Writing Month, a global initiative which aims to inspire and encourage writers across the world.

The goal is to write 50,000 words in a month – which sounds daunting but in fact is just over 1000 a day. So if you’ve always wanted to know how to write a book, now is the perfect time.

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10 Tips for Writing (Both About Yourself and in General)

juneauempire.com – Sunday October 13, 2019

One of my favorite (and simultaneously most hated) qualities of children is their tendency to be unintentionally blunt.

Over the past year, my daughter, son and their little parliament of friends have called me out on hiding my baldness with a Yankees cap, wearing the same clothes every day and “having claws” (read: grossly unclipped toenails). I don’t even want to tell you the comments I hear at the pool. Suffice to say I need to cut back on the midnight Nutella spoons.

Earlier this week, the apples of my eye point-blankedly asked me why I didn’t have a job. I told them that wasn’t true, that I was a writer, to which they both responded: “no, a real job.” So I printed a copy of my curriculum vitae. I still don’t think they were impressed — even after they checked my references.

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A House Author Gets His Due

publishersweekly.com – Saturday October 12, 2019

There are various bruising anecdotes about William Kent Krueger’s career arc as a novelist that will ring true to many a struggling writer: the early rejections by literary agents (there were 36); the paucity of crowds on those first bookstore appearances (where, he recounted, it wasn’t unusual for the audience to consist of “the bookseller and the bookseller’s cat”); the dreaded label as a midlist author. Though not necessarily a household name, Krueger is very much a success in the eyes of his longtime publisher, Atria. He’s just released his 20th novel with the Simon & Schuster imprint, This Tender Land (which debuted at #6 on PW’s hardcover frontlist fiction bestseller list), and, according to the publisher, more than two million copies of his books are in print. His story is an example of what publishers claim they want to do but find it increasingly hard to accomplish: grow an author.

In today’s industry, there are myriad reasons most authors don’t stay with a single publisher. Authors often claim they lack the support of their publishers. The publishers frequently cite a lack of patience from their authors. Regardless of where the blame lies, it can be a vicious cycle, especially for authors who believe that a contract with a major publisher is a guaranteed pathway to some level of literary—and financial—success.

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New Literary Agent Listings: Jamie Chambliss and Sonali Chanchani

firstwriter.com – Thursday October 10, 2019

Jamie Chambliss and Sonali Chanchani are literary agents at Folio Literary Management, handling both fiction and nonfiction. See their individual listings for specific areas of interests.

[See the full listing]

UVM Students Launch Literary Magazine 'Crossroads'

sevendaysvt.com – Wednesday October 9, 2019

University of Vermont students launched the literary magazine Crossroads, but its roots can be traced off-campus to Burlington's Light Club Lamp Shop. There, every Monday evening, poets and other writers meet to share their work open-mic style. That's where the Crossroads founders cemented their love of poetry, met future contributors and collaborators, and, most importantly, found a community they thought could be served by a new publication devoted to verse.

Alexander Ellis and Jack Wheaton started Crossroads in 2017 after one of those readings. Production involved a fair amount of furtive feeding of card stock into printers at the UVM library and late-night stapling sessions. That first issue, Ellis said with a laugh, was "really crappy." But to them, it was exciting just to see their words in print.

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There Is No Such Thing as 'Too Similar' When Publishers All Want the Same Book

jezebel.com – Wednesday October 9, 2019

A few years ago, when I was shopping my now-shelved first novel, an industry insider told me to put the word “girls” in the title. “Girl” novels were big at the moment: Gone GirlGirl on the TrainThe Girls. But a few months later, I was told I had to change the title. There were too many novels about girls.

That is pretty much the way the publishing industry works. Once a title becomes wildly popular, rival imprints rush to get their hands on books that are slight variants on the same conceit until they have too many books on the same topic—say, a woman with a substance abuse problem who witnesses a crime—and once that topic is oversaturated, they move on to something else. In a recent Buzzfeed article, historical fiction novelist Kim Michele Richardson said that details in bestselling author of MeBeforeYou Jojo Moyes’s new novel are too close for comfort to those included in her own work. However, in an industry that frequently gets stuck on the same idea, the similarities in their work look more like byproducts of how well both women know which details are required of their genre, and the fact that many books are becoming difficult to distinguish from one another.

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New Publisher Listing

firstwriter.com – Wednesday October 9, 2019

Publishes: Fiction;
Markets: Children's

Always on the lookout for authors and artists with creative ideas to enhance and broaden their list of children's books. See website for submission guidelines.

[See the full listing]

New Agent Listings: Amy Fitzgerald; Josephine Hayes; and Rory Scarfe

firstwriter.com – Wednesday October 9, 2019

Amy Fitzgerald, Josephine Hayes, and Rory Scarfe are agents at the Blair Partnership, handling between them fiction and nonfiction for adults, children, and young adults, and screenwriters. Submit to them by email.

[See the full listing]

New Agent Listing: Chelsea Eberly

firstwriter.com – Tuesday October 8, 2019

Chelsea Eberly is a new agent at the Greenhouse Literary Agency. She handles fiction and nonfiction for adults, children, and young adults, and is open to material that has the potential to stand out in the US marketplace.

[See the full listing]

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