diversity tips · how to break the rules well · writing problems

Historical accuracy in fantasy

Yesterday I talked about the Tolkien-retelling issue. Let’s go over another common problem: historical comparison. Watch your medieval facts. The Dark Ages weren’t idyllic. Sure, it’s fantasy and you can make stuff up. But why is bronze stronger than steel and horses able to gallop all day long? History buffs will rip you apart unless… Continue reading Historical accuracy in fantasy

do and don't · query problems

Is My Query Letter Ready For Submission?

Check it out: a flowchart to check your query before submitting to agents. I got to help with its creation (thanks, David!) and I love how comprehensive this is. Now instead of thumbing through the archives here for a final check, you can bring up this handy image. Reposted with permission from DavidRSlayton.com.   Retweet… Continue reading Is My Query Letter Ready For Submission?

do and don't · how to break the rules well · writing problems

Quotes under chapter headings

Starting each chapter with a quote is a frustrating trend among writers. I see multiple manuscripts every day do this. I never read the quotes. I’m reading to get a sense of the writing style and plotting capability. I don’t care about some pretty words the author dreamed up to give voice to historical backstory.… Continue reading Quotes under chapter headings

do and don't · how to get a request for pages

The one-line pitch

Editors love one-line pitches. Well-written queries usually have one among the genre and comps: TITLE is a fantasy adventure that chases a mischievous, world-ending ghul across industrial Mumbai. TITLE is steampunk fantasy where Evangeline Denmark’s CURIO meets Steven Harper’s THE DOOMSDAY VAULT. Editors appreciate one-liners because it helps them pitch their bosses. When an acquiring… Continue reading The one-line pitch

do and don't · how to get a request for pages · query problems

Queries: summarize the first 50 pages

When writing your query letter, summarize the first 50 pages of the book. This is enough to hook agents without giving too much away. (That’s what the synopsis is for.) A stellar query will help you after representation, too. After you sign, your agent pitches your book to acquiring editors. Many agents use the original… Continue reading Queries: summarize the first 50 pages