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Posts tagged ‘novels’

Write your book blurb first to stay on track

In working on my new manuscript, one of the things I do from time to time is look at my main idea to make sure I’m on track or to see if it’s changed. In The Writer’s Guide to Writing Your Screenplay by author and screenwriter Cynthia Whitcomb, she suggests that you spend a little time figuring out if you can tell your story in an abbreviated fashion.

She’s talking about screenplays here, but the advice also holds true for novels or nonfiction books:

“Write the ad copy. Write the TV Guide blurb. Write what people will tell their friends about this great movie they saw last weekend. Word of mouth is powerful…. This simple exercise, done before you write the script, could be helpful all the way down the road. If you can tell it in a strong, abbreviated version now, it will be easier for you to get it right as you write (And then to pitch it, too).” Read more

The end is near: How does yours measure up?

What do you want your readers to feel after turning the last page of your novel or memoir? I’ve been thinking about endings because I’m revising my memoir and want to make sure it measures up. Here’s what I’m using as my guide to create a satisfying conclusion.

A good ending:

Echoes or answers questions or ideas raised in the beginning. Every story is essentially a mystery that must be solved. Readers want to know that they will find the answer to the dramatic story questions by the time they reach the last page, even if the answers aren’t neat and tidy. City of Thieves: A Novel by David Benioff is one of my favorite books for the way the ending ties back to the beginning. Read more