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Ask an Editor! (with Swoon Reads)

I need to see this too--


  1. My Notes:

    Listened to this on 3/27/2017.

    Changing names. Love your story. Start BIG! OUTLINE! STRUCTURE! Outlining is organizing. Make your plot strong: beginning, middle, and end. Be on a schedule. Don't lose your momentum. Do the BIG PICTURE then line edit. Beginnings and endings always need work. First impression is what will make them pull your book off the shelf, and the ending is what will make them buy your next book. You don't know where your story starts until you know your ending. Get your character on the page as soon as humanly possible. Never put back story in the first chapter--never, ever. Make your goals achievable. Break it down. Characters are acting and the readers don't know why. I need to know the characters enough to know what they are doing.


    How much detail? Create a rising trajectory. It's up to the writer. But the important thing is to envision a well-structured novel. It has to feel like a roller coaster ride (like ups and downs, twist and turns, etc.). Link them together smoothly so that your readers don't get lost. Track. Don't let the action stop.

    Character drives plots. Character has drives and motivations this makes her act. Main character accepts responsibility, grow, and change. The plot is the agency for your character to grow. Do character mapping.

    Identify sagging lines: Lifeless = emotional detachment. Look for spots where you're telling me not showing. Emotional mapping = look at character's emotional state, and make her come out of theme at a different place.

    On picking your editor or agent--being a full-time author is a long term relationship. Your editor is your fan.

    World building--Make it consistent. World building applies to fantasy novels. The place like New York applies to non-fantasy but needs to be treated as a character. Where is your character and how does it affect her. The reader has to be able to sketch the building. If tourist = give the reader a sense of being overwhelmed.

    Read a lot!

    Dialogues - go to a park and write down how people talk. Get the rhythm of people's speech but elevate it. Fix dialogues. Make it better. Fiction needs to be more interesting than real life. It has to be better than realistic.


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