Why Query Letters and Synopses Are So Hard to Write (And How to Get Through it)

A Writer's Path

by Lauren Sapala

When I was in college I took a class called Fantasy Literature, which I thought would be nothing but fun and actually turned out to be a lot of hard work. On the first day of class, our professor told us that we would be reading one book a week, and a paper on that book would be due every Monday. The class collectively groaned, until he smiled and said our papers only needed to be one page long. Then we all cheered. And that’s when he got this wicked little smile on his face.

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Is it Possible to Write More than one Book at a Time?

Jemsbooks

This author is doing just that – writing two books at the same time. This isn’t my idea. I have been forced into writing more than one book at a time by my characters. They are taking over once again! Yikes!

This strange thing happened previously when I was in the middle of writing another book which has yet to be published. It is a historical fiction. While I was writing this novel another idea came to me and characters ventured forth compelling me to write down their story in a YA fantasy which is not yet published either. Hopefully next year I will attempt to publish one of them.

Now I am in the middle of Book 2 of Abby & Holly Series and who stops by to interrupt my train of thought but their buddies, Davey & Derek Donato, twin detectives from their series Books 1-5. Sigh! They…

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This Week in Indie Publishing

Author Don Massenzio

Amazon self-published authors: Our books were banned for no reason

In recent weeks, Amazon (AMZN) has taken down e-books written by at least six self-published novelists who say they did nothing wrong and depend on the platform to make their living, those six novelists told Yahoo Finance.

The six authors published many of their books through Amazon’s online self-publishing platform Kindle Direct Publishing Select, and they expressed shock and frustration over losing their livelihoods without understanding why.

Amazon, for its part, has been cracking down on KDP Select authors who supposedly game the system in order to get paid more. But the authors Yahoo Finance spoke to insist they haven’t engaged in this kind of fraud, and that Amazon banned them without sufficient explanation of wrongdoing.

Read the rest of this story HERE.


Why Authors Are Earning Less Even As Book Sales Rise

A June 2018 report out from the Authors’ Licensing…

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Why You Shouldn’t ‘Go All In’ When Starting a New Writing Project

Novelty Revisions

The excitement you feel when you’re first starting to work on a new book, blog, or series of articles is addicting. But if you’re the kind of person who starts things but abandons them within a few months of hard work, not all hope is lost.

Here’s an unpopular slice of advice: When you’re starting a new writing project, put the least amount of effort into it as possible for the first month or so.

Seriously.

I know, I know. This goes against everything every productivity guru and writing expert has told you about rising, grinding, and keeping your head down until you make something good.

Yes, you need to be consistent — especially in the beginning.

True, you need to build a backlog of content, get a significant start on the rising action of your story, give prospective readers something to grab onto.

But even though it might seem…

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Writing Quotes — Mark Twain

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Chapter 19 — The Archivist

Chapter 19

I hope I’m able to translate these runes. The beam of light revealed line upon line of runes carved into the marble walls. Here’s that seal again. So many questions and so few answers. The camera flashed when she took a photo. When she traced the seal with her finger, her arm tingled. With a shake of her head, she moved on. Her progress halted at a brick wall; the odor of sewage reached her nose.

She clicked her microphone. “Shannon, I’ve reached the end of the tunnel. Have Nickie mark it on the plans. There’s a brick wall in front of me that doesn’t match the rest of the walls. I can smell sewage too.”

Shannon’s voice crackled in the earpiece. “All right. If we are matching things correctly, the sewer tunnel on the other side leads back to the river if you turn right. Do you think we should break through that section of the wall?”

“No. I don’t want to risk sewer workers entering these tunnels.” Lennie made her way back up the tunnel. “I’m heading back to the entrance. We’ve done enough for today.”

#

Lennie approached the stone door, light playing across the runes that covered it. A seal etched in the center of the appeared to match the one they found in another sewer tunnel. With no handle, Lennie had no way to open the door. The wall to either side held images of people who held weapons, bags, and packs. She ran her fingers over the door and like the metal fragments, she could not feel any edges. The stone felt smooth as glass. With a shake of her head, she moved along the wall, and stopped when the stone in the wall changed over to the sewer tunnel. The wall and sewer met seamlessly, yet another riddle that needed an answer. Did this appear at the same time the other ruins did? Why did the walls differ, yet leave no seam? Most important of all, what lay beyond the door and how did it open? Lennie moved to the center of the room where Nickie set up the tripod and cameras. She patted her friend’s shoulder and smiled.

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Questions for Beta Readers4

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Questions for Beta Readers

What is a Beta Reader? The short answer is someone who evaluates your story. Long answer; they give you feedback on your story. They are like beta testers for software, looking for bugs and problems. A good beta reader points out holes in your plot, point of view problems, and chronology problems. They point out confusing areas and let you know if you’re describing things too much. They let you know when something just doesn’t make sense in the story. When they finish reading your book, the good ones include their comments either in the document or in a separate document. My beta reader made her notes at the end of each chapter.

Did the story keep your interest from the start? If it didn’t, why?

Were you able to determine who the main character is and where and when it takes place? If not, what needs to be changed?

Were you able to connect with the main character? Could you feel their excitement, fear, or pain?

Did you like the setting was there enough detail or too much?

Did any point in the story drag or made you lose interest? If so, where?

Did anything in the story confuse you or frustrate you? Where and in what way?

Did the timeline seem plausible and move in a linear fashion? Were there any inconsistencies?

Did you find the characters believable? Do you think any of the characters could be improved?

Were you confused by the any of the characters? Are there too many or too few? Was there enough difference in the character names?

Was the dialogue crisp and help move the story along? Did it seem natural? Did you have any trouble figuring out who was speaking?

Was there too much description or not enough? Was there anything that should have been expanded on?

Is there enough tension, conflict, and intrigue keep you reading?

Did you like the ending? Did it seem believable?

Did you notice any major problems with punctuation, grammar, or spelling errors? If so, where?

Do you believe this writing style fits the genre? If you don’t, why?

What scenes did you like the most?

Should anything be shortened or deleted?

Any parts you think should be expanded on?

What is your overall opinion of the story?

What is your overall opinion of the characters?

When dealing with beta readers you need patience. Remember, they are taking their free time to read and comment on something you wrote. Beta readers have lives of their own and the responsibilities that go with their life. Don’t pester them, asking how far along they are or when they expect to finish.

May the words ever flow!

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