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How I Met My Publisher(s)

How I Met My Publisher(s)

Guys, I am SO EXCITED to FINALLY be able to share some important news with you. But now that the time has finally come, I don’t even know how to start. I’ve been sitting on this secret so long, I can’t find the words I want — which is unfortunate, since my job is words.

I’m going to pull a Ted Mosby and back this train all up to show you How I Met My Publisher(s). Here we go!

Gifs will help me.

buriedtreasurecommunity

 

February 2016

My agent Amber has been working with me on Illuminate for some time. But she’s like, “Look, I’m going to need you to stop talking to…Continue Reading

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How Plot and Narrative Strengthen Stories

How Plot and Narrative Strengthen Stories

As a young writer, I didn’t know the difference between plot and narrative — or how to make both work for the most compelling hook, arc, and story. Lucy Christopher at Bath Spa University was the first to sit down with me and really explain it.

You need both plot and narrative hints to hook a reader. It’ll take a lot of revisions to get the balance of this right, but hooks that instantly immerse you in the story have this in common: Plot and narrative are working together.

In the opening of Hugo, for instance, the action (plot) that changes everything is when our protagonist tries to steal a mechanical mouse…Continue Reading

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50 Questions to Ask Your Antagonist

50 Questions to Ask Your Antagonist

Antagonists are tricky. Too little work, and the antagonist comes across flat. A flat antagonist is easy and boring, because he or she won’t push the protagonist hard enough. Plus there’s that practice of making fleshed out characters and having interesting three-dimensional people, blah blah.

We all know the saying: Every villain is his own hero. Though I wrote these questions and prompts with famous antagonists in mind, you could actually pose them to your protagonist or other characters (just switch out the protagonist-themed questions for antagonist-themed) and it will still work.

I’ve always found it most helpful to answer questionnaires in my character’s voice, so I have written this addressing…Continue Reading

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10 Questions to Ask When You Create a Fictional Culture

10 Questions to Ask When You Create a Fictional Culture

The way I build worlds is by collecting cool stuff from the history, myth and people around me. I blend these details with my own imagination, and create my own cultures. Culture is a vital part to realistic worldbuilding.

Normally there are a few particular cultures that interest me at a given time. I read whatever I can find about them, their environment, their traditions and their myths. The interesting details filter into the new world I’m creating (example: at one time, Venetian widows could only remarry on the stroke of midnight).

In the long term, there is nothing more inspiring and challenging than visiting foreign cultures yourself (especially if you can get far beyond your comfort zone to do it). This is…Continue Reading

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How to Write Arguments with Maximum Punch

How to Write Arguments with Maximum Punch

Arguments are both exciting and difficult to write. It’s challenging to strike a balance, to make sure both sides are winning, and to avoid repetition. A well-written argument goes through plenty of revising before it can inflict Falcon-punch levels of pain.

Below are the steps I take to ensure my arguments as tight and terrible as possible.

1. Take sides.

Before you draft, ask yourself: What is this argument really about? What does Character A think it’s about? What does Character B think it’s about?

Spend some time getting into their heads. In a good argument scene, both sides are a little right and a little wrong. Make sure you identify with both characters before you draft. While you’re drafting, keep trying to identify…Continue Reading

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