Trusted Craft Sources at Author Salon


FOUR CATEGORIES THAT DEFINE "COVERAGE"
by Michael Neff

The 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 pa… Read all

THE FOUR-STAGE METHOD FOR WRITING FICTION NARRATIVE    A Way to Take You From Drab or Quiet to Can't Put It Down
by Michael Neff

What'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 … Read all

THE ROLE OF ENERGETIC AND UNIQUE SETTINGS IN THE STORY

by Michael Neff

When 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 … Read all

STORYBOARD CONSIDERATIONS FOR PRODUCING EFFECTIVE SCENES
    by Michael Neff

If 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 ove… Read all

A STUDY IN THIRD PERSON POINT OF VIEW
      Lessons and Readings Necessary To The Creation of a Competitive Commercial Manuscript

   By Michael Neff

Let'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 … Read all

Nabokov Defeats the Quiet, And Graves Conquers the Brits

Using 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 l… Read all

Strong Narrative Through Synergy : Examples of Powerful Fiction Narrative

The 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 … 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

AUTHOR SALON REVIEWS CRAFT POINTS AND EPIPHANY
      Lessons and Readings Necessary To The Creation of a Competitive Commercial Manuscript
   By Michael Neff

As noted in our piece on scene storyboards, if you're working on a commercial fiction or narrative non-fiction manuscript, you will benefit if you view your project as possessing thr… Read all

THE FORCES NECESSARY TO PRODUCE EFFECTIVE SCENES

by Barbara Kyle

Electricity. Magnetism. Every writer has a visceral understanding of those words applied to drama. We call a dynamic scene "electric"; a compelling character "magnetic." But that's the response of a consumer of art. As writers we need to be producers of artistic effects. We do it by bringing human relationships to… Read all