Writing tips from a publisher

In my surfing of the internets, I happened across a little Christian publisher. And the editor for this publisher has a bunch of writing tips that he says you must, MUST apply to your manuscript before submitting it for publication.

So I gave them a look. You can, too!

I knew about half the tips intuitively, from writing and reading a lot. Like, I knew what beats were, I just didn’t know what they were called. And I know the Dumb Puppet Trick and the importance of creating a likeable protagonist.

I was reading all this because the story I’ve been working on just wasn’t working out. The first five chapters were great, but I was to chapter 8, and it was getting harder and harder to write. The characters didn’t like where I had taken them, and the setting wasn’t right. I couldn’t get excited about any of my upcoming scenes, and I was almost at the end.

So I sat down and wrote a synopsis of the story so far, and stared at it.

And I realized I had changed the characters too far from their original vision. Originally, the story of Jake and Revi was a fast-paced action thriller, like Bourne Identity or Mission: Impossible. I had turned it into Titan AE.

Wow, I just slammed myself so hard I think I saw stars.

Anyway, after some long talks with my co-writer, I chopped the story back to chapter 1. I re-imagined the characters and their powers, and eliminated all the secondary characters, cutting the cast from 6 secondary characters to 1. And miraculously, the story and characters are working again. The characters are talking. The plot is working. The villain’s motivations are much clearer this time.

So that’s why I haven’t been drawing much. I’ve been sketching and sketching out a story that actually works.

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4 thoughts on “Writing tips from a publisher

  1. Good for you!!! I wondered what you had been doing. So write it all and then throw it away like Stephen King says, Do you think you could? That is so scary.
    I guess that is what you did by chopping it back to the first chapter isn’t it? Well, keep writing, my little J.K. 🙂

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    1. TV Tropes depresses me because I start thinking in tropes, and seeing that every thought that crosses my mind is a trope. I try to stay away from it.

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  2. Understand and respect that but it doesn’t always have to be depressing, in my humble opinion. Because if you’re thinking in tropes anyway then when you are stuck in writing, you can refer to the formulas that already exist and either find a way out or come to understand WHY you are stuck and make the needed changes. *shrugs* To each their own.

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