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Structuring Your Novel Gets a Cover!

Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys to Writing an Outstanding Story by K.M. Weiland

I did my level best to prep for the mad rush of book launching earlier this spring and summer when I had a little extra time. But, wow, did it crazy anyway! Between copyedits, meetings about the complete redesigns that are happening to both my websites, general details about promo for Structuring Your Novel, a last-minute editing job for my critique partner, company, and I’m sure a few other things I’m forgetting, it’s been quite the month. Fun, but whooee!

We’re cruising right along with prep for Structuring Your Novel’s launch on September 1st. As you can see, we now have a brand spanking new cover (always my favorite part!), and, if you missed seeing them earlier this month, you can also check out the unofficial trailer How Story Structure Changed My Life and an excerpt from one of the book’s early chapters. Stay tuned throughout this coming month for more info, leading up to another exceedingly fun (and bigger than ever!) launch party on September 1st.

In other news, I am having such a ball with my steampunk WIP Storming. So far, it’s on track to be the fastest first draft I’ve ever written—four months. I think eleven months was my previous record, and most of my first drafts end up taking upwards of a year to a year and a half. So this one has been a bit of a whirlwind for me. It’s been great though. The fact that the entire book takes place in the month of August means it’s been the perfect story to write during the summer. The writing has fueled my enjoyment of the season, and the season has fed back into my writing. If I continue on track, I’m thinking I should be finished with this draft towards the end of this month.

Happy writing!

Featured Novel of the Month: A Man Called Outlaw

A Man Called Outlaw by K.M. Weiland

One man stood up unafraid.

One man fell alone.

One man’s courage became a legend.

Thirty years ago, a mysterious outlaw died a heroic death in an attempt to protect the Wyoming Territory from a ruthless cattle baron. Now, the adopted son of the outlaw’s enemy must choose between the power he’s been brought up to wield and the truth about what the outlaw was fighting for. He must choose between supporting the man who raised him and protecting the ranch of the woman he’s loved from childhood.

Click for more information!

Your Questions Answered: Editors

Should you hire an editor before querying?

Q. After I've finished writing and I'm pleased with what I've written, is sending it off to an agent the next step? The only reason I ask this is because I've started to hear more and more about writers sending it off to their editors. Do I have to find an editor before an agent, or do some agents have affiliations with editors? I recently read somewhere that most agents want to read work that has been polished as much as possible before they read it, and this kind of throws me off because isn't that part of the job of an editor? I feel a bit confused, because the way the agent was talking made her sound more like a publisher, and I've always been led to believe that a manuscript is sent to an agent, then an editor to be polished in full, then a publisher.―Megan Beard

A. You don't have send a manuscript to a freelance editor prior to querying agents about it. If an agent likes your book and takes you on, he will help you polish the book. If a publishing house then picks you up, their in-house editors will work with you further. However, many authors these days are hiring freelance editors prior to getting an agent just because the market is so competitive. The more polished your book, the better chance you will have of being picked up by an agent.

Contact Me

Have a writing question you’d like answered? I respond to all emails and will publish one question a month in this e-letter.

4 Signs Your Story Takes Itself Too Seriously

Why so serious?

Unless you’re writing a straight-up comedy, it’s probably not a stretch to say you’re going to want readers to take your story seriously. The vast majority of stories end up dealing with some pretty serious stuff, and we hardly want readers chortling or blowing it off as less than weighty. But here’s an interesting little conundrum: just because we want our readers to take our stories seriously, doesn’t mean we should.

Or, more specifically, it doesn’t mean we should take our stories too seriously.

A really great way to encourage readers to dismiss your story’s significance is to let the story take itself too seriously. You know your story might be headed in this direction if . . .

1. Your characters are always spouting proverbs and glaring moodily into space.

2. You keep harping on some great payoff in your story’s end only to let it fizzle.

3. Your characters spend more time talking about the great things they’re going to do, rather than doing them.

4. Your plot and characters bring nothing new to the table and don’t even offer a wink at their own unoriginality.

For all that we love and respect our own stories probably more than any reader ever will, we also need to be more ready to give it a wink and a roll of our eyes than will any reader. Even as we strive to write our best work, we also need to realize we’re very likely not writing the next War & Peace. Don’t get so caught up in how awesome your characters and plot are that you forget to actually put in the work to make readers believe the same thing.