Creating tension is something writers strive for and is the difference between a pedestrian story and one that lifts off the page and into the pit of the reader's stomach. Read More
A flashback can be an effective technique for illustrating character development or bringing in backstory or essential information that the reader needs to know. Read our tips on how to write flashback effectively and use it with impact. Read More
Writing character backstory and weaving it into your novel can be tricky. Too much backstory and you risk slowing the pace of the story and giving in to telling and not showing; too little and your characters can become unengaging and lifeless. Read our indispensable tips on how to write character backstory, how much to include and how to weave it into your story convincingly. Read More
The opening of your novel is absolutely key in engaging your reader. Including a prologue in your novel can be very risky – it is a double-edged sword; if not used properly it will be a weight around the neck of your story, used correctly on the other hand and it becomes a very effective literary technique. Read More
You have written a book, prepared your submission package and you think you have what a literary agent is looking for, but still your book isn't getting noticed - what's next? Take a look at our definitive guide to submitting a manuscript to a literary agent. Read More
For a literary agent to consider your manuscript, it needs to fulfil certain criteria on their wish list including a compelling story, a unique voice, characters or a plot that resonates and excellent writing skills. When an agent picks up the opening chapters of your manuscript, they need to feel that this is the start of a journey they want to be part of. Read More
When the inability to concentrate or move forward with your book strikes, you need to re-establish your focus, notch up your concentration levels and really plough head first over that hurdle, pen (or laptop) in hand whilst catapulting yourself back into a solid writing momentum. All sounds a bit unreachable? Read on for our 17 indispensable tips to help you get back on track with your writing and banish those off-form days – whether you call it writer’s block or not. Read More
One of the number one problems we see from writers is a plot that drags at crucial moments and doesn’t seem to move forward in any particular direction. Rescuing a plot that drags is a self-editing skill that, once mastered, will change the way you write forever. This is an incredibly in-depth topic and one we could write about at great length. However, we have started with the six most essential self-editing techniques you can use to edit your way out of a dragging and directionless plot. Read More
When literary agents are asked what it is that they are looking for in a manuscript submission, the answer is always the same and has been for as long as fiction has been in publication. In fact, it has been for as long as stories have been told. There are the tangible aspects such as writing skill - a compelling story and a resonance with the reader - but there is one special ingredient, one thing that is much less tangible, and not so easy to define. That certain something is either there or it isn't and that is voice. Read More
Too many distractions can affect motivation and move you further away from hitting your writing goals. So, if you have tried all the tricks, planned your blocks of writing the night before, scheduled in your writing and rest times, shut yourself in a quiet room with a lock on the door, and you still haven’t got anywhere, what next? Read More
The synopsis for your book will make or break it in the eyes of the literary agents and publishers you approach. Make sure it carries the right message! Our brief synopsis advice should help to ensure that you have covered the basics.
When you are happy with your manuscript and have decided it is time to see what the world thinks, literary agencies are your first call. Picking the right literary agency is important. We have put together a short list of the UK literary agents whom we feel are the most receptive to new authors.
Before you publish your book as a Kindle ebook on Amazon it is essential that it is up to the same standard as you would expect from a book published in paper format. This means paying special attention to spelling, layout, grammar and continuity. Nothing will give you a 1-star rating quicker than overlooking typos or bad grammar in your e-book. It only takes one 1-star review to cast doubts on all aspects of your book no matter how great the content is and this will dramatically reduce the volume of sales you could potentially make. For more information on the process read more.
Publishing your book as a Kindle book for sale via the Amazon website and via the Amazon Kindle shop is a straight forward process once you have your book in the correct format. But, before you take the leap, you must make sure that your book is up to the same standard that a conventional publisher would produce. This means paying particular attention to spelling, layout, grammar and continuity. Nothing will get you a 1-star rating quicker than overlooking typos or bad grammar in your ebook. It only takes one 1-star review to cast doubts on all aspects of your book no matter how great the content is and this will dramatically reduce the volume of sales you could potentially make. For more information on the process read more.
You need to be careful if a literary agent asks you for a reading fee - you should always check with The Association of Authors Agents to make sure they are credible - members of The AAA are not allowed to charge reading fees. The website is: www.agentsassoc.co.uk - here you will find a list of all agents who are members of The AAA and follow industry-standard guidelines and practices.
There are no guidelines about this and it may be that they would like an unbiased opinion of your work to help them to make a decision. Or, it may be that they think with a small amount of work your manuscript may be more suitable for consideration for their list. Do make sure it is a consultancy of your own choosing and that it is your own decision to commission the outside feedback as you will be the one paying. Once you have the feedback, you are then in a position to either submit the work back to the agent with the report.