This week! Books!
The blog is going to go on a mini-holiday break next week, but rest assured, I will still be editing! Reach out to me if you need any help with your manuscript, query letter, or if you’d like to book a consultation.
Meanwhile, the end of summer tends to be a time when writers make a last mad dash on their manuscript, so you may be at a point now where you need to do a bit of revising before you dash it off to beta readers and literary agents.
I have tips!
- How to edit a novel
- How to diagnose big picture problems in your novel
- Novel revision checklist
- Clear out the clutter around your verbs
- How to deal with revision fatigue
- How to find and work with a book editor
Now then, there were some great articles in the past week and I shall share them with you.
First up, Nancy Johnson wrote an incredible post about the experience of writing while Black during times like these.
And another must read comes from Katie Mettner, who starts with a provocative and important question: “Why do publishers refuse to consider romance novels that depict heartfelt and truthful disabled romance when written by own voices authors in deep, meaningful ways?” And if they’re not trying to publish them, how would they know they don’t sell?
Authors often complain that they don’t live in (mythical) days of yore when writers could “just be writers” and not have to muddy their boots with things like social media and an arduous road to publication. So I really love this reminder from Dan Blank: a writer can always just write.
A terrific writing advice reminder from Angie Hodapp: your protagonist must fail.
And while opinions vary among agents, count agent Jessica Faust in the camp that says a social media presence doesn’t matter at all if you’re writing fiction.
This week in bestsellers
Here are the top five NY Times bestsellers in a few key categories. (All links are affiliate links):
Adult print and e-book fiction:
- Thick as Thieves by Sandra Brown
- Squeeze Me by Carl Hiaasen
- The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
- Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- His Truth is Marching On by Jon Meacham
- Hoax by Brian Selter
- Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
- Untamed by Glennon Doyle
- Live Free or Die by Sean Hannity
Young adult hardcover:
- Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
- Hawk by James Patterson
- Avatar, the Last Airbender: The Rise of Kyoshi by F.C. Yee with Michael Dante DiMartino
Middle grade hardcover:
- Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure by Jeff Kinney
- The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate
- Wonder by R.J Palacio
- Refugee by Alan Gratz
- Little Leaders by Vashti Harrison
This week on the blog
Don’t forget that you can nominate your first page and query for a free critique on the blog:
In case you missed them, here are this week’s posts:
- Everything you need to know about perspectives
- How to get your book uploaded and self-published
- Don’t tell an agent what your novel means, tell them the story (query critique)
And keep up with the discussion in all the places!
Comment! of! the! week! goes to Lauren, who points out that there are other examples of writers doing good things with second person (and apologies if my hyperbole about Ocean Vuong last week implied otherwise. Yes, there is good second person out there!):
With the caveat that I haven’t gotten to read “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” yet, I do want to throw in that NK Jemesin and Tamsyn Muir have both done very cool things with second person narration. I’m still basking in my post-read glow from “Harrow the Ninth,” But that does not mean just anyone can get away with it.
And finally, studies are beginning to confirm what we already know: COVID-19 is taking a toll on our mental health. Now that the pandemic has become a “new normal” I’m personally finding it easy to forget just how stressful it still really is. Take care of yourself, don’t neglect your friends and loved ones, and reach out to someone if you need help.
Have a great weekend! I’ll be back on September 14.
Need help with your book? I’m available for manuscript edits, query critiques, and coaching!
For my best advice, check out my guide to writing a novel (now available in audio) and my guide to publishing a book.
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Art: Prospect Park. Photo by me. Follow me on Instagram!