Trusted Craft Sources at Author Salon


A STUDY IN THIRD PERSON POINT OF VIEW       Lessons and Readings Necessary To The Creation of a Competitive Commercial Manuscript   By Michael NeffLet's get right to the point on this issue. Yes, we know that CATCHER IN THE RYE and HUCKLEBERRY FINN could never have been the famous novels they were without the engaging first person voice of their protagonists. An… Read all

Novel Pitch Examples

Novel Pitch Examples Used by Algonkian Workshops and Events We recommend the following ALGONKIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE examples as models for a novel pitch session. Keep the pitch to 150-200 words (orally or in query letter format).  Note that your pitch is a diagnostic tool that helps you determine the strong and weak points of your novel. You can't have a strong pitch without a s… Read all

FOUR CATEGORIES THAT DEFINE "COVERAGE"by Michael NeffThe below "coverage categories" are not always typical of what every agency uses, however, they are comprehensive and now in use by the AUTHOR SALON NOVEL WRITING PROGRAM. They provide a checklist for dissection and discussion of the novel among professionals on staff, and a checklist to enable a superior self-audit on the part of the write… Read all

THE ROLE OF ENERGETIC AND UNIQUE SETTINGS IN THE STORY by Michael NeffWhen considering your novel, whether taking place in a contemporary urban world or on a distant magical planet in Andromeda, you must first sketch the best overall setting and sub-settings for your story. Consider: the more unique and intriguing (or quirky) your setting, the more easily you're able to create energetic scenes, na… Read all

THE FOUR-STAGE METHOD FOR WRITING FICTION NARRATIVE    A Way to Take You From Drab or Quiet to Can't Put It Downby Michael NeffWhat's one of the best ways to ensure a publishing contract? Master the art of writing fiction narrative, of course. But what does that mean, and are you sure you know the difference between relatively quiet fiction narrative and verve-packed narrative? Are … Read all

Author Salon recommends the Jeff Kleinman query letter model presented below (just slightly modified). Note that this model does not including a long story pitch, but rather a line or two designed to hook the reader. Important are comparables (at least two) to your novel. See Caitlin's Guide To Comparables before you go hunting for them.______________________________________________________Dear Mr… Read all

STORYBOARD CONSIDERATIONS FOR PRODUCING EFFECTIVE SCENES    by Michael NeffIf you're working on a commercial fiction or narrative non-fiction manuscript, you will benefit if you view your project as possessing three layers of increasing complexity:Layer I: Overall story premise and plot. These involve top level decisions regarding major characters, the overall setting, plot line… Read all

Nabokov Defeats the Quiet, And Graves Conquers the BritsUsing Nabokov (Lolita) and Graves (Claudius The God) we examine a quiet setting and circumstance made lively, and a lively circumstance and setting made cinematic and engaging, respectively.First, the quiet made lively. Nabokov’s narrative pushes forward due to his gift for discerning meaning and detail in everyday life and then reporti… Read all

Strong Narrative Through Synergy : Examples of Powerful Fiction NarrativeThe art of great fiction writing (and why shouldn't we be great?) demands the writer must produce powerful, energetic narrative, and not just occasionally, but throughout the novel. Each narrative block is the result of a synergistic effect, i.e., multiple elements working together to create a totality of vivid and absorbing … Read all

Author Salon has developed the Six Act Two-Goal novel structure for writers of book-length fiction and nonfiction. We expect further refinements to the outline, but the point here is to understand and utilize a tightly plotted act structure, similar to that used by screenplay writers, to effectively brainstorm and outline a very competitive and suspenseful plot for the genre novel, i.e… Read all