Author: Vet1nar1

Blake Snyder Save the Cat! Story Plot Development Storyboards

A friend of mine who writes urban fantasy novels turned me on to Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat!®  The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need and his technique of developing story plots. I was skeptical at first since I’d gone through a screenwriting phase a few years back and thought I’d pretty much read and discovered everything there was to developing plot as if writing a screenplay, but I picked up some new techniques and ideas from Mr. Snyder. I’ve added a quick summary worksheet below that you can download to get a feel for the technique. Starting in the...

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Recommended Reading on Writing a Better Story and Character

The Atlantic Monthly has a terrific article about what makes a good story and characterization. It’s a piece by author Tim O’Brien explaining how each time he sits in a writer’s workshop and manuscript critique the comments usually focus on verisimilitude when the real problem is a failure of imagination. O’Brien uses some excellent fiction writing examples and I highly recommend it to every writer, fiction and...

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50 Great Websites for Writers – Both Fiction and Non-Fiction

Strangely enough I was first introduced to this site from an internet marketing blog. I’m not certain why I haven’t found it before from either a fiction, nonfiction or fan writing website or one of the education and training websites I frequent. But this site has a huge list of resources, some of which I hadn’t found before, for writers of all kinds. It’s worth a look....

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Navigating the Changing Book Industry — what writers should know to sell their book

Doris Booth, founder and agent with the Authorlink Literary Group and, presented a workshop at the DFW Writers Conference, May 2, 2009 entitled: Navigating the Changing Book Industry — an insider’s view of what writers should know Doris Booth has been an agent for over 13 years. She actively follows the changes occurring in the publishing industry as new technology and marketing methods change the traditional business model. Below are my highlights from her presentation (with occasional editorial comment). It is by no means a transcript of the presentation. I tried to capture the most salient points she made and those that I thought of interest to other writers. I will say I went expecting little and left enormously impressed by Booth’s savvy understanding of the significant shifts taking place in the industry and the impact on authors. Today’s Publishing Trends Lower or no advances. Few writers are making a living from it (I believe she meant novel and non-fiction book writing). Contracts now include all digital rights Look for publisher/author partnerships with 50/50 deals on profits Ebook royalties are now 25% of net, resulting in payments to authers the same as 6-8% of hardcover Few titles are being published by fewer publishers in the traditional model, thus increasing competition in the traditional publishing market Booth sees opportunities in the “Net Cloud” as she calls it. She wasn’t...

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Notes from the DFW Writers Conference Agents' Panel, May 2009

On May 2, 2009, the DFW Writers Conference (sponsored by the DFW Writers’ Workshop) hosted a Question and Answer Session with a panel of literary agents. Agents  on the panel were Doris Booth, Sally Harding, Al Longden and Dr. Uwe Stender. The following are highlights from my notes during the session. It is by no means a complete transcription of the session but there were a number of interesting points brought up that indicated some of the focus of subsequent workshops. I’ve added a few of my own personal comments and observations. Harding: YA (Young Adult) is over bought. She’s looking for classic epic fantasy with a fresh take for the U.S. and U.K. markets. Stender: Selling non-fiction today requires “a big platform.” He went on to explain an author needs to be a celebrity, preferrably with his or her own show; a popular blogger; or have a degree from a major university to get his interest in a non-fiction manuscript. [editorial note: Having an established “social network” or marketing network was mentioned frequently during the various workshops. One new soon-to-be-published author explained how he got a book contract from and outline and sample chapter based on building a Twitter following of over 2,000 people in less than 9 months. Of course, his non-fiction title is aimed at a niche market which is composed of the people who are...

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