Do You Check Everything?

A few goofs can make readers doubt.

The review gave a glowing recommendation, underscoring the meticulous research behind The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies.

The author’s note speaks of using the subject’s “letters and papers, declassified U.S. and British government files, Freedom of … Continue reading

Finishing a November Novel

Treat it as it is: a first draft.

Are you scrambling to meet your deadlines for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)? Consider again the experience of my friend Chandler Birch, who in 2013 decided to try to write a novel in a month.

The challenge gave Birch his start. “Prior to that,” he says, “I … Continue reading

Follow the Guidelines

It’s the step unpublished writers often ignore.

A few years back, a literary agency included this warning with their entry for an annual writer’s market guide: “No exceptions. Don’t ask to be the exception.”

Agents and acquisitions editors everywhere share that frustration. There’s a reason for each item in their submission guidelines. That’s what they want … Continue reading