Underwriting is just what it sounds like: it’s the failure to put things on the page that need to be there. When somebody picks up a gun and fires it off, and we didn’t know there was a gun on stage, that’s underwriting.
Chapter breaks in novels are like the Becher’s Brook jump in National Velvet. That’s where the bodies pile up. Many a book has been declared dead to its reader and cast aside never to be remembered–and all because the reader reached a chapter break and didn’t care enough to keep reading. That’s the bad news.
The middle of your story is not a straight line going up, down, or on a level plane. The middle of your story is a thing with shape. It has peaks and valleys all its own. It is not a two-dimensional line, but rather, it swoops and turns and loops like a roller coaster.
There are eight million posts on how to write a great headline, how to write a fantastic call to action, and how to write a good blog post. We’ll even tell you how to write shorter sentences, snappier copy and better ebooks. But you know what none of us tell you?
“Who would read a book about your life?” That question came from a former friend, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who in 1995 aimed to convince me writing a memoir was pure folly and would likely ruin my career as a serious journalist.
Writers mostly use the active voice. It brings our words to life with its immediacy and accountability. As authors, we are taking responsibility and not distancing ourselves from our words. We tend to bore readers when we use the passive voice.
How important are character names? Does it really matter what we choose? Or how we go about deciding? Should we draw names out of hat? Or should we wait until exact names are revealed to us in a dream?
One of the most common challenges for us as writers is deciding how many point-of-view characters we should use, and yet a lot of the advice we hear can be too generic. Use the right number for your genre. Don’t use more than three.
Having just turned in my eighth novel in five years, one would hope that I had some writing advice to share with new writers. Giving advice on a process that is a little like witchcraft and a little like playing roulette is tricky, but I think I have learned some tricks and strategies along the way.
How many times have we all heard that old saying about the film business; “It’s all about who you know”? That saying is born out of the struggles we all face in our careers. I think it is a self soothing catharsis for the answers we all hear when we pitch our projects: “We are going to pass on this one,” “We just didn’t respond to the material” and “It’s a good idea, its just not for us right now.”
In the end, all that talk and positive buzz probably went nowhere. If that’s the case, you shouldn’t take it personally – that’s exactly what happens with most pilots. But here’s the good news: pilot scripts, especially in the early years of your career as a television writer, can and often do serve more than one purpose. Even if that script never gets sold or produced, it can still work as the perfect calling card that leads directly to you getting hired on the staff of another show.
After spending two years working on a movie about weddings, Fisher himself will be married this October to writer Karine Rosenthal. Faber will be his best man. And, as would only be fair, crashers are welcome.
A BAFTA screenwriting lecture by Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation).
When you hear about networking platforms or building a presence on social media, authors generally talk about Facebook, Twitter, and blogging straight away. Sometimes podcasting and Pinterest are mentioned. But Instagram?
An author friend of mine used a phrase this week I hadn’t heard before: he said I need to make sure “my also-boughts were clean.” If you just drive your friends and family to your book during launch, your book will start showing up next to whatever else they bought on Amazon recently.
An efficient media strategy can put your name and your book in front of a far bigger audience of potential readers than you can possibly reach yourself. Unfortunately, many self-published authors assume that traditional publicity is out of reach. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
You can produce, publish and promote your book on your own with absolutely no cost.