Darkness Follows

Virginia Smith

For Writers

An Author's Spin

“Where do you get ideas for your books?” That question is one of the most common asked of authors. The answer by most authors sounds vague enough to be a dodge, but it’s the truth: ideas come from everywhere. “When I saw an article about the 1917 Halifax Harbor disaster,” says best-selling author Lori Copeland, “I knew it was a story that needed to be told. But I wasn’t interested in writing a historical retelling of the actual event. I wanted to put my own spin on it.”

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Linda Windsor

Genre Happenings

Taking the Sting Out of the Synopsis

The word synopsis used to make me cringe. But I have learned to write a lean, mean synopsis that is long enough to answer the questions an editor wants addressed and resolved. Mine usually run should run about three to four double-spaced pages for a 90,000-word novel. And it’s so easy, I’ve reduced it to a formula! That’s right.

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DiAnn Mills

DiAnn Direct

Point Of View

Whose head am I in? Which character sees and internalizes every aspect of the scene? Have you ever been asked those questions? Critique partners, agents, editors, and readers demand to know the scene’s point-of-view (POV) character right from the first sentence. We writers scratch our heads and study the proposed scene’s conflict and stakes. How do we choose POV?

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Jill Nutter/Jillian Kent

The Well Writer

Jillian's guest this month: Serena Miller

Two years ago I was the happiest person on earth. I had just signed my first contract with a wonderful publisher. I had five months to write the book. I was not a complete novice. I had spent ten years learning the craft and business of writing. I had published multiple magazine articles and had hard copies of three completed, unpublished inspirational novels residing beneath my bed. In addition, my children were grown, self-supporting, and maintenance-free. My husband was supportive. 

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Don Brown

Author By Night

Mastering Two Careers

“How do you write novels and do everything else you do?” That’s the one question I am asked most often these days. People want to know how it’s possible to maintain a full-time law practice that demands fifty to sixty hours per week, and at the same time maintain a full-time writing schedule and all the business that goes with that, along with coaching my son’s basketball team, serving on the board...

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