Shifting Gears: From Scripts to Novels

~ By Deb McIntyre After many years of writing spec scripts for TV and feature films (with just enough success to keep the carrot dangling in front of my nose),  I was getting restless. Scripts are a rigid format and I had all these ideas that just wouldn’t work as movies….but maybe could be novels? So I decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month, just for a change and a challenge.  I pulled a story from the Idea File and, starting at 12:01 AM on November 1st, I wrote like the wind. What a rush! Just spilling out...

Just the Facts, Ma’am

~ By Jeff Salter Fact-checking. In my five completed novel manuscripts, I’ve often marked places with bracketed question marks which indicate:  “Jeff, research this.”  I usually don’t stop the flow of my writing at that point, but I DO come back later. Why?  A real-life example of the importance of fact-checking: When I needed to change the oil in the riding mower we’d just gotten from my wife’s Dad, I found a label inside the engine cowling which conveniently listed pertinent maintenance info, including its oil capacity:  48 ounces. Fast-forward:  it’s time to add the new, clean oil.  Some...

Voice – The Conversation Continues!

What’s so important about voice? Agents and editors ask for voice by name. ~ By Chris Bailey and Melina Kantor When asked what they hoped to find in a successful entry, a third of the final round judges for the 2010 Get Your Stiletto in the Door contest said voice topped their wish list. Young Adult final round judge Emilia Rhodes from Simon & Schuster says “a voice that sparkles” sets a winning entry apart from the rest. Editor Megan Records, Kensington Publishing Corp., one of the final round judges in the paranormal category, says she’s first attracted to...

The Elusive (and All-Important) Voice

By Chris Bailey I remember a moment in a coffee shop when my critique partner wailed, “I can’t find my voice.” “Just focus on the writing,” I said. “Your voice will find you.” Sage advice. I totally believed I was right until a contest judge shook my confidence by noting on my score sheet, “The voice isn’t strong enough.” After a day or two of the usual post-feedback self-talk—OMG! WTF? IDTS!—I realized my personal inconvenient truth. I had only a vague idea of what voice means. Hearing voices I know I have the ability to recognize different voices. If...

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