All posts for the month January, 2011

How to Write a Query Letter

The purpose of a query letter is to entice the reader, usually an agent but sometimes a publisher, to ask for the full manuscript, which is complete and ready to send at moment’s notice. With your words alone, the idea is to reach right out, grab the reader by the shirt collar, and pull him […]

How to Find your Niche

Ellen Stewart, more commonly known as Mama of La MaMa, died last week at 91. She was the unofficial godmother to the out-of-work, out-of-luck but irrepressible playwright, not to mention his musician/novelist/poet friends. Anyone could find shelter on her floor, and many, many were on the receiving end of the few crumpled bucks she so […]

How to Write a Synopsis

A synopsis is a brief summary of your story.  It’s usually meant for an agent, editor, or publisher, and the idea is to capture your reader’s attention while laying out the main thrust of the story. A synopsis should be a page or two, no more, and sketch out the storyline—central elements only—and introduce the […]

What a Writer Can Learn from Martha

If I’m at the gym, working out, I appreciate a distraction. I am especially pleased when Martha shows up on the screen. I have a personal interest in Martha, as she was once a client of the law firm where I practiced. She was not Martha then. She was Andy Stewart’s wife. Andy wanted to […]

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