QOTW

Got a question you’re absolutely dying to ask us? Want to know if we prefer Harry Potter or Twilight? Want to know our deepest, darkest secrets? Have a question about the publishing industry?

Then simply use the “comment” feature on this page! Β Leave your name and question, and we’ll add your question to our Question of the Week list! We can’t make any guarantees that we’ll answer it, but we’ll try our best!

If you have a pressing question, please include your email so we can email you off-chain if needed!

-The LTWF Team

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292 Responses to “QOTW”

  1. svonnah November 3, 2009 at 8:07 AM #

    Hey, is this cheating, lol? I want to know what your favorite quotes about writing are, and why, and what your favorite author is, and why.

  2. Caitlin November 4, 2009 at 10:45 PM #

    I’d like to know what each of you would be if not an author (like if writing wasn’t your day job, what would your day job be?)

  3. Lauren November 5, 2009 at 11:31 AM #

    I need help with dialogue. I’d love to read any advice you have. My genre is general mainstream romance.

  4. svonnah November 8, 2009 at 4:10 PM #

    When you query/queried, did you mention Fictionpress in your letter?

  5. Kate November 12, 2009 at 4:27 PM #

    Do you have any traditions associated with writing?

  6. Anthony November 13, 2009 at 12:53 PM #

    When starting a new project, do you tend to write the entire novel from beginning to end?

  7. Marina November 14, 2009 at 1:47 PM #

    Say that you are writing a fight scene or perhaps your character is going parachuting and you have never done either of those things yourself. How do you make what you are writing authentic and believable?

  8. Kayleigh November 16, 2009 at 5:12 PM #

    What are your strengths and weaknesses as writers?

  9. Alexandra Shostak November 16, 2009 at 7:40 PM #

    What point of view is your favorite to write in? Does one work better for certain types of projects? What about verb tense?

  10. Samantha November 17, 2009 at 1:00 AM #

    How do you know when your character has gone way off normal behaviour?

    How exactly do you know what your character would do or say? I mean, they may be your character but therein lies the whole problem if I can make her say or do anything.

  11. Deianeira November 21, 2009 at 6:50 AM #

    Would you still be a content writer if your work were never published – simply written?

  12. N.L. Mars November 21, 2009 at 10:49 AM #

    How do you combat writers block? What would you recommend for those who feel a bit stuck in their story, or unsure of what to do next?

  13. Landon November 22, 2009 at 8:24 AM #

    How do you balance your day job with your writing, and how does one affect the other?

  14. Landon November 22, 2009 at 12:22 PM #

    When an idea for a novel first stikes you, how long do you stew over it before actually writing?

  15. Gabby November 24, 2009 at 2:30 PM #

    Is it more difficult for a teenage writer to get published than it is for an older writer?

  16. Caitlin November 25, 2009 at 12:57 PM #

    When editing, what was the most painful decision you’ve had to make regarding cutting things out (like, what was your favorite scene or character or sub-plot that you subsequently found yourself removing?) and how did you deal with it?

  17. Alexandra Axelsson November 27, 2009 at 2:02 PM #

    When your writing, how do you plot out how your story will be written? Do you come up with things as you go or write down everything in a list or plot list?

  18. Christina December 1, 2009 at 6:37 AM #

    Hey, I was wondering what maybe your top 5 or so favorite books were that inspired you to write or that you wish that everyone would read at some point in their lifetime and why

  19. A. Laska December 4, 2009 at 11:40 AM #

    How, if at all, do your personal lives affect your writing?

  20. Spira December 4, 2009 at 11:57 AM #

    When writing a close to realistic fiction, how much swearing should be incorporated?

    I know it’s kind of annoying to read a story that has so much but when you think about it, a lot of teens and adults nowadays swear like a banshee screeching.

    But when wanting to write a publish work, how much should be there be and how much should be screened?

    Or should writers just use alternatives altogether?

  21. Trina December 5, 2009 at 6:45 AM #

    My characters never, ever talk to me! They don’t take me on a journey, or show me what they’re doing, or sit to tea with me, or any of the other things I’ve heard/read many authors say! They are absolutely silent and invisible! Does this mean I’m not really a writer, but am just fooling myself? Or is there some way to start “listening” or “seeing”?

    • Savannah December 14, 2009 at 5:00 PM #

      I’m intrigued by your writing experience. I’ve always believed there are two schools of writing: instinctual and logical. I’d love to do an article about someone who writes logically.

      If you were interested, would you write up something for me about your experience with writing? It can be as long or as short as you like (the longer the better!).

    • Kayleigh December 22, 2009 at 7:16 PM #

      My characters never talk to me, it’s usually me talking to them. However, I love and care for my characters a lot, but they never speak to me, or reveal a secret. Usually, I’ll be talking to them, begging them to tell me why they’re so depressed or something and the answer will come to me, but this has nothing to do with them talking to me.

      I hope you read this and feel reassured that you really are a writer.

  22. Spira December 5, 2009 at 9:53 PM #

    As published authors and soon to be published authors, do you know the font that most literary agents prefer the query letter and the story to be in?

    I’ve been doing some research but I’ve been getting some mixed answers. So, I was hoping that since you’ve most likely jumped this hurdle, if you would share what you know about the recommended font size???

    • svonnah December 11, 2009 at 8:50 AM #

      I’m answering this question out of turn because we don’t want you to delay your querying process!

      I don’t think font is really that important… I’ve mostly seen Times New Roman. I think Arial is also acceptable; but never anything girly, curly, or swirly. Comic Sans is right out. The key is that it is easy to read and it doesn’t look like you’re trying too hard to stand out. Your writing should make you stand out, not your font.

    • svonnah December 11, 2009 at 8:51 AM #

      Whoops, you said font SIZE, not just font. I can’t imagine any reason it wouldn’t be size 12.

      • Spira December 11, 2009 at 8:51 PM #

        Thank you!

  23. Marnise December 14, 2009 at 10:06 AM #

    Hi, Id like to know what a query letter is suppose to look like. Is there a certain way to go about it… Is there certain do’s and don’ts??? Any advice would be greatly appreciated

    • Savannah December 14, 2009 at 4:54 PM #

      As I said in a comment above, I don’t think you should wait when it comes to queries. Here are some resources to help you:

      http://queryshark.blogspot.com/ (an agent dissects queries)
      agentquery.com (the complete how-to)

      Good luck!

  24. Marnise December 16, 2009 at 4:42 PM #

    Thanks!!! Im off to research!!!

    Nise

  25. A. Laska December 18, 2009 at 8:40 AM #

    What is the most inspiring piece of fan mail you ever received? or, Which stands out to you the most?

  26. R. Jones December 20, 2009 at 3:52 AM #

    I’ve always been worried about the fact that my characters don’t take me on a journey like you guys’ seem to. Then I read a previous comment concerning instinctual and logical writers. I was just wondering, what does these two types mean? I’m not a serious get-my-work-published writer, at the moment, but does the fact that my characters don’t really talk to me mean that I’m the type of writer that shouldnt really think about getting any work published?

  27. McQuinn December 23, 2009 at 6:03 PM #

    Are some people simply not meant to write?

  28. Angela December 26, 2009 at 6:48 PM #

    What sort of music, movies, books, musicals, etc have inspired your writing? In other words, do you have some sort of music playlist that you listen to when you’re writing?

  29. Kelly December 27, 2009 at 8:51 AM #

    What type of genre can you absolutely NOT write? E.g. if you were a fantasy writer, would you find yourself unable to write super-depressing stories?

  30. Marina December 27, 2009 at 1:11 PM #

    I’m sure all of us agree that the beginning of a story is the hardest part to write. How do you guys approach writing the beginning of the story and what do you find works best for grabbing reader’s interest?

  31. Tia December 29, 2009 at 5:10 PM #

    I have a problem. Ideas pop into my head, the story begins, and then whoosh! My brain freezes and writers block sets in. Even if I’m near the end, I often can’t bring myself to type those last couple of chapters, or even last couple of paragraphs!
    I guess my question is, do any of you have the same problem? Can you start a story, but have a hard time finishing it?

  32. Landon January 1, 2010 at 8:10 PM #

    Do you prefer Harry Potter or The Twilight Saga?

  33. Crissy Rose January 10, 2010 at 1:45 PM #

    A lot of FictionPress authors originated on the same site: Fanfiction.net. How do you feel about writing fanfiction? Do you believe that it’s a good way to exercise writing (for example, to keep yourself writing in-between major original works) or, contrarily, do you believe it can actually be detrimental to a writer because it is not entirely original?

    I’m really curious to know what you guys think about this; fanfiction is actually how I began writing, and I still dabble in it from time to time when I want to practice writing but feel too mentally exhausted to create my own characters, settings, etc., or when I want to take on a fun writing project that doesn’t come with the stress of possibly being publishable. However, it can be argued that this is a bad habit to get into rather than a harmless one. Of course, any kind of writing is better than not writing at all (right?), but would you encourage or discourage it?

  34. Pri January 14, 2010 at 12:21 AM #

    I’m currently struggling over my aspirations to be an author and I was wondering: when did you realise you were meant to be an author?

  35. Christina January 14, 2010 at 4:56 PM #

    AFter Sarah mentioned in her vlog that we shouldn’t mention fictionpress in our letters during querying, that got me thinking. When querying, what exactly should we write and not write in our letters when trying to find an agent and get the interested in our book?

    • svonnah March 16, 2010 at 10:41 AM #

      Hi Christina,

      I’m answering this question out of turn to get you the information you need quicker.

      There are a lot of resources for writers on query letters… at LTWF we did Query Week (you can find the tag for it in our tag cloud) where we explored queries and the querying process.

      You can also check out agentquery.com or queryshark.blogspot.com for more ideas and help!

  36. Victoria January 18, 2010 at 9:42 AM #

    Where do you find inspiration for your titles? Do you find it easy or difficult to think of them?

  37. Christina January 20, 2010 at 8:24 PM #

    If you could recommend a few books that you believe everyone should read at some point in their life becuase it made that great of an impression on you, inspired you, or it was just that amazing, what books would you recommend for others to read?

  38. Christina February 13, 2010 at 6:58 PM #

    If you don’t answer this for the question of the week, is there any way that you could answer in a reply or email?

    I just wanted to know what soundtracks or music that you listened to when you were writing particular scenes or books. Like is there a score or song that you listened too when you wrote your love scenes, sad scenes or fight scenes, etc

    • Sarah J. Maas February 13, 2010 at 7:05 PM #

      Hi Christina!

      We sort of answered this in a recent QotW, but I would be happy to personally email you and send you the titles of my favorite writing music! Just give me a few days–I’m pretty swamped right now, but I’ll email you as soon as I can! πŸ™‚

      • Christina February 13, 2010 at 8:56 PM #

        Thank you! πŸ™‚ I would appreciate that SO much!

        I read the one article where you all said what song represented your book, which I loved all the music that you all said by the way, but I just wanted to know if particular songs inspired particular scenes or ideas.

        I keep up with your livejournal and every once in a while you would mention soundtracks and scores that inspired a scene in your books (LotR, I Am Legend, Transformers, etc) and some of the scores i have but others like i am legend i never thought to listen to until you mentioned it.

        so this question was more inspired by you, because you always talk about the music that inspires a scene in your books….i want to say it was some track on I Am Legend that you said helped you a lot with QoG and AFL if im not mistaken…

        but basically I love the music you mention that you listen to you and I was just wondering what everyone else listens to as well and if you’ve found more scores or soundtracks that you like to listen too.

        I totally understand being swamped though, so just take your time πŸ™‚ I love music, especially when I’m writing, so I’m so excited to hear what everyone else listens too and I might even be able to recommend some to listen to as well πŸ™‚

        Thanks again!!!

      • Raina February 25, 2010 at 5:43 PM #

        I wouldn’t mind seeing that too, if you don’t mind. I love seeing a connection or understanding a little more how things come about between music and scenes.

  39. Elizabeth February 14, 2010 at 4:13 AM #

    Alright, so. It’s 4am where I live and I’m in the middle of writing the super important climax of my story and…I pretty much want to be as far away from it as possible. Because this is a BIG moment in my WIP and I don’t want to mess it up. Also, I just don’t want my first novel-writing experience to end. So my question is to you:

    Do you freak out when writing your climax? Do you try and avoid it? I’ve heard Libba Bray say that the times when she’s most running to the refrigerator or doing some other silly little task while writing, is when she’s about to tackle something important. Does this happen to you?

  40. Angela February 15, 2010 at 7:43 PM #

    Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers who live in countries other than the United States? I live in Japan, so obviously most of the publishing companies here only publish books in Japanese.

    Would it be difficult for people like me? Especially with anything that has to do with mailing?

    • Elizabeth February 24, 2010 at 12:19 AM #

      I’m curious about this too. I plan on moving to Japan in the next few years but I still want to be able to have my shot at publishing. Would the location affect my chances?

  41. Angela February 16, 2010 at 6:01 AM #

    This is for query week. What do each of you look for in an agent?

  42. Raina February 21, 2010 at 2:19 PM #

    I’ve heard it mentioned a little that what you start out with and what you finish with after revisions are really different. Is there a way you could show a sample of a piece you’ve worked on before and after you fixed it up?

    I’m sure this falls slightly under the revision answer you’ve already posted. I just really want to know if there’s a visible change between rough draft, revised manuscript sent to agent, revised manuscript with agent, and revised manuscript done with editor of publishing company. What part has the greatest impact to improving your novel? What does the rough draft start out as?

    Okay… I think I sort of made that sound comprehensive.

  43. Anthony Panarelli February 25, 2010 at 4:21 PM #

    How important/beneficial is it to receive a higher education in writing, such as an M.A. or an M.F.A, or even PhD in say Creative Writing? Is it instrumental in your development or career? How many of you plan on pursuing a degree?

  44. Jennifer February 26, 2010 at 1:56 PM #

    Back when you posted your novels on Fictionpress, how far ahead had you written when you posted a new chapter? And how, if at all, did your readers’ comments affect your story?

  45. Samantha W February 27, 2010 at 7:02 PM #

    How do you go about writing your outlines? Do you start with something small, and add to it as ideas hit you? Is there any organization to your outlines that helps you in the writing process?

  46. Harmony B. February 28, 2010 at 11:09 PM #

    This is a really important question for me, being a co-writer and finishing a saga that is being edited at the moment.

    Question:

    How do you write a 2-person query letter?

    really important question guys!

    • svonnah March 16, 2010 at 10:42 AM #

      I’m in the process of figuring that out… I have an interview pending with Tricia Goyer who has co-written novels… I’ll be sure to ask her this question!

  47. priscillashay March 3, 2010 at 10:25 AM #

    Hi,

    I read Many’s blog post about “What is YA”, but I still have a question. Do both characters have to be in their teens? Like, Mandy’s Prada and Prejudice is first person, so I understand that. And Sarah MacClean’s “The Season” is third person limited from the female’s POV. In both novels the guy is over 18, but since the book isn’t told from their POV, it’s ok?

    My question: Can a YA be told in 3rd person from both POVs even if only one character is in their teens?

    • priscillashay April 2, 2010 at 11:51 AM #

      I spell checked this before I posted and still missed it…Mandy* (extremely sorry about that)

  48. Corona March 4, 2010 at 9:19 AM #

    I’m pretty sure that everyone here has read fanfiction in one point of their life (or is still reading it :D. But what would your reaction be if your book got published and people would write fanfic about it?

    I know that some published authors out there are in a few camps concerning fanfic. Some consider it pure ‘devils’ spawn’. Some ignore it or are ambivalent towards it.

    Would you consider it flattery? Would you be offended? Would you want to read this fanfic?

  49. cgwriter March 4, 2010 at 10:40 AM #

    Two questions, I really could just use an answer as a comment rather than making it a question of the week, but whatever works for you!

    1) I am currently an English major, with no minor. I’d like to decide pronto whether I minor in anything or not, seeing as I’m already a sophomore.

    My question is, what kind of minor (or classes) should I take if I want to be a literary agent? As in, what kinds of classes will be helpful to me? I was told I need to have a background in law and marketing; is that true?

    2) It can be kind of daunting seeing you guys so successful so young. Would you consider yourselves to be the minority? I can’t imagine myself being published, engaged, etc at only 23, yet you guys managed to pull all of that off. It’s inspiring, though!

    Thanks guys :]

  50. Samantha W March 5, 2010 at 7:51 PM #

    I’ve been seeing you guys mention critique partners a lot… But this is the first time I’ve actually heard of them. How do you find critique partners? How many should you have? Etc?

  51. Praya March 8, 2010 at 4:33 PM #

    How important is the romance element of a story to you? Would you write a story without at least a subplot of romance? What do you think makes a good romance?

    (Haha maybe this is cheating and asking more than one q at once, but answer to any will be fantastic. :D)

  52. Elizabeth March 9, 2010 at 5:54 PM #

    I just finished the first draft of my first novel and…I don’t know what to do. I think I’m still in shock over having written a book. So my question is: did you guys experience that kind of shock/disbelief after finishing your first novel and if so, how did you get over it?

    • svonnah March 16, 2010 at 10:38 AM #

      Congratulations!

  53. pineapple March 15, 2010 at 4:21 PM #

    When can we expect to see “Queen of Glass” on bookshelves?

    • svonnah March 24, 2010 at 2:32 PM #

      Late 2011 or early 2012

  54. Samantha W March 17, 2010 at 2:11 AM #

    The beginning of your book. It’s a super important part because it’s what captures your reader’s attention and keeps them hooked… But because of this, the beginning seems really daunting, and thus difficult to start.

    So here’s my question(s): How do you write an interesting beginning? Are there certain do’s and dont’s? How do you get past that initial “I’m never going to write this story all because I don’t know how to begin” part?

  55. Aurora Blackguard March 17, 2010 at 12:17 PM #

    I’m not judging but I was curious: What’s the tiff with Twilight? I get that this is a little personal and attack-ish in the direction of Meyer (who sorta let down with Breaking Dawn but kicked ass with The Host) but it’s been bugging me for a while about why after the hype, nothing about Twilight appealed.

    What’s your opinion on this?

    Ooo! And on vampire/werewolf novels that seem to decorate shelves like wallpaper! (exempting the great Ms Stiefvater whose Shiver killed the myth)

  56. June March 26, 2010 at 2:11 PM #

    Because I’m curious…and I’m not sure if this question has been asked yet.

    What are some of your favorite book covers?

  57. Aly March 26, 2010 at 6:53 PM #

    My question is this: What age is “old enough” to be thinking about getting published? I’ve been keen on having a novel or even a novella published someday for quite a while now, but how do I know at what age I’ll be ready? There are a few books I know of that have been written by young authors but I also know of many articles and such meant to convince that when you’re my age (14) your writing absolutely stinks no matter what and publishing is laughable. Opinions?

    Thanks!

    • svonnah April 2, 2010 at 12:22 PM #

      Hi Aly! I was writing novels when I was 14, but I was not ready for publishing! However, there are young teens that publish (like Steph Bowe, who is published at 16), so she must have started writing at your age.

      When I was 14 I HATED hearing how young people couldn’t write. But I didn’t yet have the editing knowledge or experience to make my good book into a great book.

      You’re ‘old enough’ to be thinking about publishing when you think your books are ready. And even if your books aren’t ready, you can still be trying to get published with articles or short stories. Have you heard of TeenInk? They take submissions exclusively from young writers.

      Please feel free to email me if you want to discuss this further.

      -Savannah

  58. Renee March 30, 2010 at 10:31 AM #

    How do you guys handle pacing in your books? How do you know when you have too much happening in one chapter? πŸ™‚

  59. Kelly April 10, 2010 at 7:55 AM #

    Will North American agents decide not to represent you if you’re not in the U.S./CA region, e.g. in Asia? Consequently, will publishers reject your submissions because of your ethnicity? Writing-wise, English is my first language and I’ve always been curious about this matter. If I wanted to write fantasy books (NOT asian culture-related stuff) will my asian surname (chan, wong, kim, fujiwara etc) turn off potential readers?

    Sorry if this is kind of long, but the role ethnicity plays in the publishing industry has always mystified me πŸ˜‰

    • Angela April 14, 2010 at 6:01 AM #

      Here’s a little suggestion, if you don’t mind.

      Check out Julie Kagawa. She’s Japanese-American, and she wrote The Iron King, I believe.

    • Nicole July 12, 2010 at 6:12 PM #

      Why would it?

  60. Samantha W April 10, 2010 at 7:43 PM #

    Ciff hangers. Is it ever ok to end your book with one?

    It seems like the answer to this would be no. That even if a book has a sequel, it needs to be able to stand on its own. But still, is there ever an exception?

    For example, if the book is about character A’s struggle to find, maybe a mystical tree. The book takes you through character A’s quest, and ends with finding the mystical tree. Character A enters a large cave, see’s the mystical tree and says “Oh no…” or something to the effect of “This isn’t really what I was expecting”.

    Would it be ok to leave it off there? To leave the reader dying to read the sequel? Is there a way to make a book stand on its own while being a cliff hanger like that?

  61. Christina April 14, 2010 at 8:43 AM #

    Do you ever find it insanely sad or difficult to kill off a character? Sometimes I just can’t keep writing for a while because I just hate the idea because I love my characters so much. How do you manage when you know you have to do it?

  62. Heather April 23, 2010 at 6:04 PM #

    What is your editing/revising process like? Do you change your manuscripts drastically, or are the first drafts complete enough to only require line edits? Which do you think is more important, being a good writer, or being a good reviser? πŸ™‚

  63. Carrie April 24, 2010 at 7:24 AM #

    Hi,

    How do you tell if you have a good critique partner? I share my work with my sister, who I find a great help. Still, I’ve read that a blood relative may not be the best critic there is. And how do you find a good critique partner to begin with? I’ve heard the typical, such as message boards etc. etc., but how do you tell if the person is helpful beyond correcting grammar and spelling?

    Thanks!

    – Carrie

  64. Cassie April 25, 2010 at 9:08 PM #

    I was wondering how you all got over the paranoia that comes with posting a story on a site like FictionPress. The way I see it, it’s better to post something on a site to see what others think – in a totally unbiased opinion (since friends could potentially say it rocks to make you feel better or something). But – and maybe it’s just me – I’m almost too paranoid to post anything I feel is moderately-publishable simply due to plagiarism. Like, what if while my story is posted, someone copy/pastes whatever I have so far and finishes it off in their own way before I can? And it gets published under their name? There really wouldn’t be any way to refute their ownership, would there?
    I suppose my question is: how were you able to get over that paranoia (if you even experienced it)? And is it possible to “pitch” an idea to a publisher even if the story isn’t completely finished yet?

  65. Glaiza May 1, 2010 at 9:21 PM #

    I was just curious about note taking habits…and organising those notes. I saw the evernote link which might be useful for typed things but i was wondering about the handwritten aspect as well.

    ..often I have random handwritten phrases/ideas written down on these square pieces of paper which will either end up in an envelope or somewhere on my floor..to be rediscovered months later lol it’s easier if i can find my notebook (which is actually an art book with no lines) to keep of track of that but sometimes I’m just like i need paper(!) and then I grab anything lol.

    • Kat Zhang May 2, 2010 at 8:23 AM #

      you can take a webcamera photo of them! Or, if you have more time, scan them! Or maybe that’s more trouble than it’s worth….? lol

      • Glaiza May 3, 2010 at 5:45 AM #

        lol maybe, I’ll take the tip into consideration

    • svonnah May 21, 2010 at 10:11 AM #

      I have file folders full of original notes and handwritten drafts for Antebellum. They’re fun to flip through, but I’m with you for random inspiration… it’s all scattered through about 20 notebooks, lol!

  66. Layna May 5, 2010 at 9:12 PM #

    Is it okay to use parts of the name created by famous author’s in your own story if you’re trying to incorporate a theme with it or is that illegal?

    • svonnah May 21, 2010 at 10:12 AM #

      Could you clarify this question a little more? Maybe provide an example? I’m not sure I understand. Thanks!

  67. Kate May 8, 2010 at 8:45 PM #

    If I am writing an action/adventure fantasy novel, do you think it’s important for the first chapter to have action in it? Would a person who picked up my book specifically because they knew it had action/adventure in it become put off if there wasn’t any of that right from the start?

  68. Kelly May 11, 2010 at 6:50 AM #

    How do you guys ensure that your action-packed scenes are realistic and don’t make it seem so flat? How do you build up the tension and panicked atmosphere – because some authors are so successful they have their readers holding their breaths waiting for the next scene to unfold!

  69. Christina May 13, 2010 at 6:56 PM #

    What was one of the best compliments you’ve ever recieved from someone who read one of your books (or something you wrote)? And what is one of the meanest remarks that someone said about your book? Did either of these remarks have a huge effect on you?

  70. Samantha W May 13, 2010 at 7:06 PM #

    I have a question about marketing.

    When your book is bought, who takes care of the marketing? You? Your Agent? The publishing house? Is marketing even something you should worry about?

  71. Nicole May 14, 2010 at 12:48 AM #

    When I get ideas they do not come in complete packages. Such as, I think up a character complete with past and personality but no plot or world, or a plot but no character to match it. Do your ideas “complete”? If not, how does one piece the fragments together?

  72. Christina May 16, 2010 at 8:34 AM #

    How do you go about creating a whole new world for your books? And how do you come up with the names of the places of your world?

  73. Link May 24, 2010 at 11:52 PM #

    I would love to know if any of you have a cover artist/designer you would dream to have work on your books, and if so, why?

  74. Nicole May 25, 2010 at 1:27 AM #

    Looking back at all the books I’ve read, most have happy ends and the few that don’t are not really sad, more like bittersweet. Think Harry Potter, wasn’t that a sickeningly sweet/happy ending to a dark story? What is your opinion of happy vs sad endings? From a publishing pov what ‘sells’ better?

  75. Jules June 3, 2010 at 3:14 AM #

    To Sarah: Is it concerning to you that there is another young adult book newly on the market called “Princess of Glass”? I saw it in Barnes and Noble today and almost thought it was yours, and then said, uh-oh, that’s pretty damn similar. Do you think your publishers will have you do a title change because of it, or will it not affect it much? Any comments on titles in general, from everyone?

    Great site, guys, thanks so much for your time and effort.

  76. Bookflower June 4, 2010 at 5:35 PM #

    I was just wondering if you ever felt that any of your stories just, well, weren’t ‘right’ to be written down. I have this story in my head – it’s been in my head for about a year – and during that time I have developed it from a very simple concept into a entire plot. I feel like I know the characters almost better than those of the novel I’m currently writing (although I’ve never had a clue what their names are). This story is just constantly on my mind. I think about it before going to sleep, when cycling to college: the plot gets more developed, I work out what might happen next and see how the characters react, etc. I spend more time thinking about it than I do my current WIP (for which I sort of fel neglectful and guilty).
    But for all that, I cannot imagine writing this story down. I’m not sure why. Maybe I feel like the plot is awfully weak or I’d lose my interest in exploring it. Maybe it’s because, without names, my characters feel so elusive they would just slip away if I tried to put them in words. Maybe I’m afraid I’d pin them down wrong and misrepresent them. I don’t know. It just doesn’t seem ‘right’ to write it down.
    I was wondering if any of you had shared this experience, and whether you think this story should solely live in my head, or whether I should try writing it.
    Thanks,
    Bookflower

  77. NeverLanding June 8, 2010 at 12:48 AM #

    So what if you want a critic partner or possibly just someone interested in writing to converse with but you yourself know you’re really indecisive and wouldn’t make the best CP out there? Any suggestions?

    Its fine if you just answer by email (meglanding@yahoo(dot)com). I’d just like to know how exactly to put yourself out there.

    • svonnah June 17, 2010 at 9:10 AM #

      Great question. If you look at our CPs page at the top you can see people who have posted ads for themselves trying to get critique partners. The key is to be very upfront in what you need; some cps want to help writers but aren’t writers themselves, just voracious readers. Someone like that would be perfect for you. Just explain what you want/need and why, and see what happens!

  78. Arianna Sterling June 8, 2010 at 2:54 PM #

    Okay, my question is this:

    What do you suggest for someone who wants to be published but isn’t sure where their novel fits in? Let me clarify that a little more: a majority of what I write is male slash, and while I know the genres in which I would place them, I can’t figure out if they’re geared more for adults or teens. When I look at them, they seem too teen-ish to fit into the adult shelves, but at the same time, some of the content is not typical of what I find when I browse the YA shelves.

    The thing is, I know who my market is–and it’s definitely teenage girls, like myself (I have very few male readers). I also know this market must exist, based on the number of pieces on FP that are like mine…they’re male slash, and aren’t quite adult or teen. What do you do with a situation like this? Hope that the ‘official’ market starts buying and selling this type of work, or aim to cut that niche yourself?

    I hope you get what I mean, and I would be perfectly happy with an email response rather than a QOTW–fallen_angel_ari@yahoo.com.

    Thanks,

    Arianna S.

    • Arianna Sterling June 8, 2010 at 2:57 PM #

      Hmm…I forgot it would end up connecting my email to the QOTW thanks to the line. Oh well–you guys know what I mean.

    • Savannah J. Foley June 23, 2010 at 9:20 AM #

      This question was answered via email.

  79. Christina June 11, 2010 at 8:16 AM #

    Here is a fun question πŸ™‚
    Who would be your ideal fictional man and why? (Forgetting for a moment your significant other) I feel like there is always at least one male character in a book for everyone that just makes you wish with everything you have that he was real and with you, and just makes you fall in love with him and smile whenever his name shows up on a page.

  80. Susan June 18, 2010 at 10:20 AM #

    Hullo!

    Have you ever/have you known of anyone who writes their stories out of order instead of from beginning to end? Basically writing the scenes as they come to you, regardless of actual placement, then go back and edit all the pieces together into a whole story?

  81. Kim June 22, 2010 at 11:25 AM #

    How do you deal with self-doubt?

  82. Chelsea June 27, 2010 at 11:01 PM #

    Here’s my question: is there some super-secret to developing a fan base or is it just that you have to write and keep writing?

    Reason I’m asking: I’m not sure if anyone else experiences this, but I’ve been on FP for some time now (a good few years) and I review a lot but never get much feedback myself. Since I’ve never really written past the 5th chapter, I was wondering if that had something to do with it…or is there something else that I’m not doing (I doubt my writing is that bad…)?

  83. Myra July 1, 2010 at 2:02 AM #

    If you could pick your favourite first line(s) from any novel, what would it be and why?

  84. Rebecca July 1, 2010 at 8:01 AM #

    Okay, this I think is a tough question.
    Who do you guys think is the ultimate fictional heroine of all time? Why? What makes them stand out from all the others? Was there ever a time you wish you could be them? (I’m sure everyone has but just wondering :])

  85. McQuinn July 6, 2010 at 2:47 PM #

    What’s your take on sexual innuendo in Young Adult fiction? How far can the references go?

  86. Mariam Maarouf July 6, 2010 at 10:29 PM #

    How much time does it take for a book submitted by an author to be reviewed?

    • Kat Zhang July 6, 2010 at 11:03 PM #

      Submitted where? Read by whom? Sorry, I’m a little confused.

    • Vanessa July 7, 2010 at 10:19 AM #

      Oh, for our book reviews/ book recommendations? It depends on how many books we have in our pile.

      Send us an email letthewordsflowblog [AT] gmail [DOT] com and we can chat about our review policy! (I tried to find your email on your blog, but couldn’t – congrats on your book though!)

  87. Kelly July 7, 2010 at 4:19 AM #

    Do you guys ever feel like you want to write, but you just CANT seem to do so? Maybe because of laziness, or life gets in the way… etc. How do you get past this not-really-writer’s-block-just-a-limbo type of phase? Lol sorry if this is confusing but sometimes I feel the need to FORCE myself to write, even though its something I enjoy… Do you guys face the same difficulties?

  88. Kelly July 7, 2010 at 4:35 AM #

    I’m afraid I’m adding yet another question to the huge pile of QOTWs here but this has been nagging me for a while. XD

    How do you guys build your networking skills and form a sort of relationship with fellow writers in YA Lit? Is it possible to do so even if you’re an introvert in reality?

    And this may not be exactly connected, but here goes…

    How do you get ARCs? Whether requesting them from publishers, from your online writer friends… ?

    • Vanessa July 7, 2010 at 11:19 AM #

      I’ll answer the ARC question now.

      You can get ARCs from going to publishing events such as BEA, or by requesting them from publishers. Sometimes, you’ll get requests from publicists/authors asking for you to review.

      You need to have a following, though. If you’re requesting ARCs from publishers, you need to show them that your reviews would reach a significant number of people. If you have a blog (which I see that you do!), start reviewing books that you’ve bought. Get a decent following, and have a number of reviews under your belt before you request review copies from publishers. Once you have some sort of platform, then you can try asking.

      There are also A LOT of ARC tours. Basically, you sign up, and an ARC is passed from one blogger to another. Once one person finishes reading it, they mail it off to the next. There are a lot of book blogs out there, and if you google ARC tours, you’ll find quite a few.

      I hope that helped answer your question regarding ARCs! If you need more information, email us at letthewordsflowblog [AT] gmail [DOT] com.

    • Kat Zhang December 18, 2010 at 3:27 PM #

      The networking question was answered here: https://letthewordsflow.wordpress.com/2010/12/10/qotw-networking/

  89. Marina July 9, 2010 at 11:27 PM #

    Has there ever been a book that you’ve read and hated, or if not hated than really disliked?

  90. Launo July 12, 2010 at 8:31 PM #

    Were you a good writer when you were 14?

  91. Miss Rae July 16, 2010 at 3:00 AM #

    I was wondering, how do you organize your manuscript as you type it up? Do you go chapter by chapter, each in it’s own word doc, etc. or do you type it up in one massive document? Why do you feel that system works best for you?

  92. Ananya July 18, 2010 at 6:48 AM #

    Hi, I was just wondering if it’s alright to get a CP even if I’m no where near done writing my novel. I’ve just started actually, and I wanted someone who doesn’t know me to read it as I go along.

    • Kat Zhang July 18, 2010 at 9:34 AM #

      That’s perfectly fine, Ananya πŸ™‚ There are quite a few people on the CPs page who haven’t finished their mss yet but want a CP. Just make sure you let it be known about how many words you have. That way, if someone is looking to exchange crits chapter for chapter or something, s/he won’t be surprised when s/he had 20 and you have 2 or 3 πŸ˜›

      • Ananya July 18, 2010 at 12:08 PM #

        Thank you!

  93. NLMars July 19, 2010 at 11:36 PM #

    I’m currently editing my first novel, and I was curious to know how you guys edit, and what processes you go through until you know that it’s publishable material. Do you have any tips and hints?

  94. Summer July 24, 2010 at 12:01 AM #

    How do you submerge yourself in the publishing world if you’ve never been published before? As in, what are the first steps you have to take (after finish your novel)?

  95. Kairee-Anne July 26, 2010 at 5:29 PM #

    Hello ^^ I have a question, Do you ever feel like you become your characters when and after you write about them?

  96. Landon July 27, 2010 at 10:37 AM #

    Do you ever get the feeling that you aren’t skilled enough/ have the capability to write a story?

  97. Mariam Maarouf July 29, 2010 at 6:31 PM #

    Do you review authors upon requests?

    • Kat Zhang July 29, 2010 at 8:36 PM #

      Our review policy is on the right-hand column. Thanks πŸ˜€

      • Mariam Maarouf July 29, 2010 at 9:10 PM #

        Oh my God. I meant ‘interview’ – how can someone review an author? Haha.. Sorry, sorry, sorry. But thanks πŸ™‚

  98. Elizabeth August 7, 2010 at 2:52 AM #

    Here’s a silly question I thought would be fun:

    When writing, do you get so into that you start making the same face that your character is? Like if you write that they’re scowling, do you catch yourself doing it too?

  99. tymcon August 8, 2010 at 6:16 AM #

    What was your favourite magic system in a book?

  100. priscillashay August 9, 2010 at 7:37 PM #

    I know a question about book covers has already been asked, but I have another one.

    How do you guys feel about the covers NOT matching the story? I’m reading a (romance) novel where the heroine is..rotund..and majority of the plot centers around it, her acceptance of herself, and the hero’s ability to look beyond or admire her body. However, the cover has a skinny/slim/ in no way rotund model.

  101. Brown Eyed Mystic August 13, 2010 at 12:45 AM #

    What do you do when you have a burning desire to write–and get published–but do not have any direction?

    I have recently quit working as a software engineer for the love of writing. Since past few months, I’ve been working from home as a freelance writer, and also writing short-stories now and then. But I am not able to understand where to go from here. I never seem to “like” any idea I get for a book–I feel it is too “small” or unworthy to be expanded in to a whole book.I feel unsure about genres too. As a result, though passionate, I am a little direction-less. Should I stop here or should I still write it out?

    Help.

  102. Armith-Greenleaf August 18, 2010 at 1:32 AM #

    (Even though I’ve been following the blog since nearly the beginning, I just realized this is where Qs should be dropped. *facepalm*) I have a few questions for you ladies, so I’ll make a little list. πŸ™‚

    1- I have an idea for a fairy tale retelling, but before I start it, I’d like to know if there are some tips you can offer on what to do and what not to do (if there is a not-to) when writing this kind of story.
    2- When did you realize you were ready to embark on the querying adventure and all the process that follows?
    3- Can an author who lives outside America query for an American agent and eventually publish in America?

    Thank you!

    • Kat Zhang August 18, 2010 at 5:43 AM #

      Number 3 is definitely true πŸ™‚

      • Armith-Greenleaf August 18, 2010 at 8:29 PM #

        Really?! :O

        • Kat Zhang August 18, 2010 at 10:47 PM #

          Yup, happens all the time πŸ™‚ With emails and such, I don’t think it’s a big deal. I know lots of people who have US agents who don’t live in the US, and I’ve heard plenty of agents say they don’t care if their clients are overseas.

          I mean, if anyone has heard differently, please speak up, but in my experience, you’ll be fine πŸ™‚

          • Armith-Greenleaf August 19, 2010 at 6:33 PM #

            This just makes me love the internet even more lol. I’m guessing the bigger problem would be to send a query (and what could follow) through snail mail. :/

        • Vanessa August 19, 2010 at 10:06 AM #

          When I was a literary agency intern, I was reading queries and partials from people all over the world! So like Kat said, there is definitely nothing stopping you from getting a US agent!

          • Armith-Greenleaf August 19, 2010 at 6:31 PM #

            Thanks! This really is good news for me. Matter fact, thanks for working on this blog (all of you), because most/all of the things you talk about related to the publishing world I didn’t know about. ❀

            • Vanessa August 25, 2010 at 10:47 AM #

              We’re glad we can help! πŸ˜€

    • Sarah J. Maas August 18, 2010 at 12:40 PM #

      As for #1…I wrote an article for LTWF a while back about fairy-tale retellings: https://letthewordsflow.wordpress.com/2009/11/18/fairy-tale-retellings-original-or-just-plain-lazy/

      Hope that helps!

      • Armith-Greenleaf August 18, 2010 at 8:30 PM #

        Thank you! I’ll definitely read that. πŸ˜€

  103. Rebecca September 1, 2010 at 4:40 AM #

    Hi! I have a couple of questions that are kind of linked together. Do you guys ever get that bubbly feeling like you need to gush to someone whenever you get an awesome idea or you’ll just implode from all your thoughts? Well, I do. I’m actually thinking about these questions for myself because I’ve been hit by a great idea but I’m not sure when/if I should talk about it yet with anyone. I’m scared of killing my creative mojo by talking about it when I haven’t even fully plotted it out or written the first chapter. Here goes:

    1. Do you believe if you talk about your newest idea with someone before it’s actually solid that it will somehow take away from your creative fire/zeal? After all, nothing kills a creative idea faster than talking about it too early which could fizzle the excitement out (At least in my experience.)

    2. When you guys get an explosive idea, who do you tell about it? (I’m talking close people like family, significant others, and close friends.)

    3. Also, at what point do you confide to them about it? As soon as you get the idea so you can use them as a sound board? Not until you know a good portion of the plot line? Not until you’ve got some chapters down? Never?

    Also, the Mockingjay chat was the best! I missed it but I read it today and it was a great experience. Could you guys set up another one of those discussions some time in the future?

    :]

  104. Cassie September 3, 2010 at 3:29 PM #

    Technically, this will be two unrelated questions. And they aren’t serious ones, either; they’re just for fun!

    1. What was your penname on FictionPress/FanFiction, LiveJournal… (wherever you started out) and why did you choose that particular name? Did it have a special meaning to you? Did it inspire you? Or was just something you made up on the spot after looking around your room and mashing together the first two things you saw?

    2. Just curious, but I’ve noticed there are no male contributors on LTWF. Is there a particular reason for that, or was it just some chance thing that happened?

  105. Ramani September 6, 2010 at 12:33 AM #

    People keep talking about all this chemistry between two characters before for readers to believe they are actually in love. My question is… what do you consider chemistry?

  106. Arianna Sterling September 6, 2010 at 10:16 AM #

    Hi, I’ve asked a question in the past, and I have another. With this one, like the last, I’m perfectly willing to take a response through email at fallen_angel_ari@yahoo.com The question is this:

    While I know thanks to email and everything it matters less and less where agents live, but uhm…my life plans involve moving to Norway. Do you have to live in the states, at the very least? If you do, it’ll make me very sad, because I’ve recently reached the conclusion that I’d love to work in the publishing industry.

    Thanks,

    Arianna S.

  107. Cassie September 10, 2010 at 10:36 PM #

    I’m back! And I have a question relevant to writing this time =P

    I was just wondering what everyone’s take is on “song-fics” – where something is written to lyrics of a song, or the lyrics are tied in somehow. I’ve found myself gravitating towards certain songs when I’m writing and I’ve even actually been inspired by a line (or a few) from a song. Sometimes I’ll have a character say a lyric directly from a song in regular dialogue or I’ll even title a story after a song. I suppose my question is, what are your feelings when you’re reading and recognize something from a song? Be it dialogue, a metaphor, or even an allusion. Does it bother you or do you feel special for catching it? And can you get in trouble for using lyrics (even if the song inspired your work) without permission?

  108. Heather September 25, 2010 at 10:06 AM #

    I’m not ready to start querying agents yet, but from innocently researching them, it seems there are many more agents in America than England. As I’m English, should I stick to querying English agents, or should I be querying whoever seems like the best agent for me, regardless of location? Would our relationship be more difficult to build or my novel be harder to sell if my potential agent and I lived on different continents?

  109. Angela September 30, 2010 at 5:20 PM #

    After following a lot of writers on twitter, I realized that we all have something called “writer`s munches”. For example, mine is chocolate. I can`t write a single word without a bite of my chocolate-y goodness.

    What food or drink do you like to snack on when you write? I think this is also a good time to exchange recipes, lol.

  110. June October 2, 2010 at 1:02 PM #

    Thanks so much for asking my last question πŸ™‚ I have another one…and this time, it is related to writing πŸ˜›

    When I first started writing, I was a fanfiction writer. Everything came so easily to me, from characters to setting to prose, plot, climaxes, endings, etc. Just recently, I decided that I wanted to break away and write original fiction. I thought that I could take everything I learned from writing fanfiction and make my original fiction even better. But I’ve been having the hardest time doing this. Everything I write is so boring and so bland compared to what I was writing before, and I get so unmotivated that even when I finish the manuscript, I don’t feel strongly enough about it to want to edit it.
    So…I guess, my question is: how do you transition from writing fanfiction to original fiction?

  111. Gabby October 9, 2010 at 11:59 PM #

    When I look back at what I’ve written, it always seems really rushed. I’ve tried slowing it down by adding more description, but I tend to be rather bad at describing. Any tips?

    Also, I heard once that when naming your characters, it is best to have some that are or sound modern, because it helps readers connect to the story. Is this true? All my current characters have names that I made up.

  112. Kate November 5, 2010 at 11:14 PM #

    It may sound strange but I would love to see pictures of your guys’ bookshelves/studies. I am going to redesign my workspace into the ultimate writing zone and would love some ideas. Plus I think it’s interesting to see how other authors have decorated their bookshelves/desks!

  113. Marina December 2, 2010 at 12:21 AM #

    Is there a right or a wrong way to describing characters?

  114. authorguy December 10, 2010 at 4:26 PM #

    You’ve answered how you think we should connect with writers. How do we connect with readers? I have some great stories out there (and I really think you all in particular would enjoy Steampunk Santa) but not many people know they exist.

  115. rainfreak December 22, 2010 at 7:24 PM #

    How do you insert research (when you use it), especially heavy one, like inputting an historic personality, in the story’s first draft? Do you do all the research and put it all in at first, or do you do a light research for the draft and then a heavier when you edit for the final manuscript?

  116. Miss Rae December 27, 2010 at 6:19 PM #

    What advice do you have for a writer trying to write a fairy tale adaptation? Do you have any good resources for such projects?

  117. H. Holdsworth December 27, 2010 at 6:20 PM #

    How do you keep your plot from being…contrived?

  118. Erin Shannon December 30, 2010 at 11:05 PM #

    Can a YA novel involve characters over the age of 18? Where do you go in terms of writing a novel that inherently feels YA, but wouldn’t work without characters aged around 22?

  119. Marina January 10, 2011 at 4:33 PM #

    After finishing Eats, Shoots and Leaves, I’ve come to realize how unstable (un-concrete?) the rules of punctuation are; and it got me wondering: is it true that different publishing houses prefer different rules of punctuation and is it something to think about when you are writing?

  120. Adriana Marachlian January 10, 2011 at 8:25 PM #

    Do you know of any writing contests that are legitimate and protected from plagiarism? Did you ever participate in such contests?

  121. oldestgenxer January 11, 2011 at 11:48 PM #

    Okay, I have two questions that might be related. The book I’m currently writing is about my experiences in the food service industry delivering pizza. It’s essentially non-fiction, except for my tendency to bullshit. But what is this genre called? Memoir? Or if it’s humorous, should I bend it that way? Oh, poignant, too. Don’t forget poignant. I have that coming out of my ass.
    And I hope to have the chance to pitch this idea in the near future. Is it best to talk about the book like it’s separate from me–like a book report–or pitch it as, “these are my experiences, and I was there, so I wrote about it”?
    I’m already on medication, but other help is appreciated.

  122. H. Holdsworth January 19, 2011 at 1:34 AM #

    Hey everyone, it’s me again. You all did GREAT with my last question about plot…so here’s another one for ya:

    What are the best ways you can utilize redemptive qualities to give your villains/anti-heroes believable depth? Or, conversely, what are the best ways to give your heroes/”Prince Charmings” minor, but not inconsequential, flaws?

  123. Aly January 22, 2011 at 1:42 PM #

    I’m in the midst of a bit of a writing crisis right now. See, I came up this plot and had it all fleshed out and everything – but then I started to write.
    And it morphed into some odd thing that has nothing to do with my original ideas. I’m even thinking of writing out the character who was supposed to be my MC! I’m only a few pages in but I’m panicking because now my plot won’t work in the slightest but I like what I wrote so far. So how do you cope when your story goes in some bizarre new direction?

    • authorguy January 26, 2011 at 9:32 AM #

      Aly, this is a problem I’ve had all my writing life, and I’ve often talked about it over on my blog. In fact, because of your question here I just wrote an answer of my own.

      Marc Vun Kannon
      http://authorguy.wordpress.com

  124. Heather January 31, 2011 at 1:36 AM #

    In the vein of your most recent QOTW post I’m curious: in the movie of your life, what are your villains’ theme songs?

  125. Cassie February 6, 2011 at 4:36 PM #

    I was just curious as to what happens if you illustrate your story. I don’t mean like a picture book. Like characters – do you sketch them out, with intricate outfits to get to know them better? I do that a lot, it helps with consistency (keeping the character’s eye/hair color the same). But I also sketch countries too, if I’m creating my own world. My question is, what happens to your illustrations if you get a book deal? I know that some writers on FP post their drawings on Deviantart to give readers a better feel, but are there some books out there with the author’s original sketches included? In The Clan of the Cave Bear (which I’m re-reading currently), there are one or two maps included to help the reader better picture the setting. But how about characters? Is it possible to somehow squeeze your drawings onto the back few pages? Like that set of blank pages at the end of every book, for instance? πŸ˜‰

  126. Day February 10, 2011 at 11:00 AM #

    Currently, I’ve noticed that even excellent stories on FictionPress can be hidden behind bad or poorly worded summaries. It’s hard to write a good summary of a story with such a short word limit. What advice do you have on writing good FictionPress summaries?

  127. Christina February 25, 2011 at 11:32 AM #

    Who is your favorite fictional villain and why? πŸ™‚

  128. Marina February 28, 2011 at 2:32 PM #

    How do you find a voice for you novel? Is it consistent or does it change from one project to the next?

  129. Marina February 28, 2011 at 6:14 PM #

    What do you think are some of the best, or your favorites, of the fairytale retellings?

  130. Chantal March 15, 2011 at 7:21 PM #

    I’d like to hear what each LTWF girl would choose as top 5 best books they’ve read in the past year, minus the one’s that have already been mentioned in reviews.

    ❀

  131. NeverLanding March 17, 2011 at 1:59 PM #

    Whenever I read a book, and I tend to read it through in one sitting, my writing seems to mimic that of the authors for a day or so. Does anyone else seem to get taken over by the voice of a story after reading it?

  132. NeverLanding March 17, 2011 at 2:09 PM #

    I enjoy writing when its simple, but in the stories I’m writing lately which include a lot of detail, by the time I get through enough research to start writing the story I’ve over thought the plot and characters so much I no longer have an interest anymore. Is there a way to stop this?

  133. Angela March 18, 2011 at 8:15 AM #

    How do you write convincing villains?

  134. Christina March 19, 2011 at 7:44 PM #

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Hunger Games, and as everyone probably know, they are making a movie now. Jennifer Lawrence was cast as Katniss and now they are searching for Peeta and all the other characters. I wanted to know 1) what are you’re guys thought on the movie and 2) when you read the books, who in your mind do u see as the characters (either looks or acting wise)?

    • Kat Zhang April 21, 2011 at 10:56 AM #

      Since they’ve already announced so many of the characters, including the main one, we’re going to defer on answering this one. But we’re very excited for the movie!

  135. Cheyenne March 21, 2011 at 2:21 PM #

    Can the protagonist and antagonist *really* be the same person, (ie the MC is her own worst enemy) or does a story absolutely need a separate antagonist to work?

    I’ve researched for days on this topic and there are two distinct camps. Some say, for example, Hamlet is his own worst enemy and therefore his own antagonist. Some say Clarice from Silence of the Lambs is her own antagonist. Others insist that there HAS to be an antagonist who gets in the way. If so, does this person need to be throughout the entire story, and overcome at the end (a la Sauron, Voldemort), or can it be a character who gets in the MC’s way at the start but just puts the events in motion?

    It seems like the more I look for good examples, the more confused I get as to really WHO the antagonist is (I know s/he is supposed to want the opposite of what the protag wants).

    I do think that every protag needs a character arc, and this could be confused for being ‘their own worst enemy’ because every MC needs traits to overcome, growth to happen, etc., and that this doesn’t necessarily make him or her the story’s antagonist.

    I feel like I’m going crazy trying to find a concrete answer on this topic! Any suggestions for what agents/publishers would say to a story that simply follows an MC battling to overcome his/her own issues, rather than having one big baddie who gets in his/her way? πŸ™‚

  136. Rebecca March 22, 2011 at 4:57 PM #

    When applying for internship spots at literary agencies, how much formality/informality would you use in your cover letter? I’m trying to find a balance between the two-professional without sounding like a robot. Is it wrong to try add a little oomph/voice to your cover letter or is it better to stick with the cold hard facts? Also, does it depend on which positions I’m applying for? (editor, marketing, scout) Can you guys give any advice on how to come up with a good cover letter that stands out from the slush pile of other applicants?

  137. Marina March 23, 2011 at 4:56 PM #

    How do you guys create a worthy romantic interest for your hero/heroine?

  138. Heather March 27, 2011 at 2:58 PM #

    I really struggle with writing fight scenes. How do you stop the violence from seeming contrived without going over the top?

  139. Stephanie Relf March 31, 2011 at 11:10 AM #

    What’s your opinion on first person V third person?

  140. Dawn March 31, 2011 at 11:18 AM #

    How should one go about building secondary/supporting characters? Is it too distracting if they have their own story lines? Can an MC’s best friend be caught in a love triangle even if that isn’t the focus of the novel?

  141. Cassie April 8, 2011 at 5:23 PM #

    Okay so you officially got me addicted to Cover Lust! But it got me wondering who chooses the cover of a book – the writer or the company? (Or someone else entirely…like someone who’s job it is to create book covers)? That would be such a kickass job!

    • Kat Zhang July 7, 2011 at 9:30 AM #

      For traditionally published books, generally the publisher will hire a designer to design the cover. Marketing will have a say, and the author may or may not have a say.

  142. Nicole April 21, 2011 at 6:24 PM #

    How do you write deep emotional characters and events using the show and not tell method.?

  143. Nicole B. May 4, 2011 at 12:24 AM #

    I’m interested in learning how you developed the “hook” for you novel/WIP/etc?

  144. Heather May 7, 2011 at 11:55 AM #

    How do you decide whether to write in first or third person?

  145. Alex May 16, 2011 at 5:21 PM #

    I know most if not all of you got your start with Fictionpress, but have since left. Would you advise the same to other writers just starting out, or just skip that and use the feedback of our peers on the road to getting published?

  146. Marina June 9, 2011 at 12:53 AM #

    If you could fill one writer’s, living or dead, shoes for one day, who would you choose? And why?

  147. Allie July 6, 2011 at 9:36 AM #

    Do you ever find yourself crying over the death of one of your characters? Or angry over a betrayal in the story? Even though you are the one who has devised the tragedy. Because sometimes when I am writing, I find myself slightly angry at one of my characters. Or kind of sorry when a character tells a sad part of their back story. I was just wondering of there is anyone else who goes through the same thing in their story.

  148. Susan July 11, 2011 at 9:03 PM #

    I know some of you, at least, have talked about how you started writing via fanfiction. There’s a really interesting article in the newest edition of Time about fanfiction and how there’s so many differing viewpoints of it: http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,2081784,00.html

    How would you feel about people writing fanfiction with your characters? Especially if you yourself wrote fanfiction once upon a time? Do you think it overall helps or hurts fandoms for novels/reading/writing in general?

  149. Erica July 13, 2011 at 4:53 PM #

    I’m really having a hard time getting back into writing. I wrote a lot in my teens and early twenties then stopped. Now I’m in my late twenties and I want to start writing, but I’m having a hard time motivating myself. What are some things I can do to get back in the ‘game’? Is getting a CP a good idea, even though I really don’t have much of anything written yet?

  150. Ramani July 14, 2011 at 6:01 PM #

    How do you keep personal bias from your stories? Like, I’ve noticed that my relationship with my mother often reflects on my character’s mother.

  151. Leah Scrimshaw August 5, 2011 at 2:06 PM #

    I’m really want to write for young children, including writing picture books. However, I know nothing about the publishing of them. Does it work similarly to standard fiction, through agents submitting to editors? Do the agents/editors find illustrators? Are you just supposed to submit the plain text to them? I was wondering if any of you knew enough about it to help.

  152. Rae August 15, 2011 at 7:49 AM #

    When you have to do a lot of research for a novel, do you do it beforehand or after you finish the first draft?

  153. Meg August 21, 2011 at 2:59 PM #

    How do you create your playlists? Do you add a playlist in whole, divide it by chapter, or make separate ones for each characters personality? I’ve been making a mess of my playlists lately and I’d like to know how you all keep yours together.

  154. Patty October 6, 2011 at 12:58 AM #

    How do you decide on the right name for your characters?

  155. Arianna Sterling October 8, 2011 at 4:16 PM #

    What are your views on self-publishing? I’ve already decided to self-publish a non-fiction book, but lately I’m thinking I might want to take the same route with my fiction as well. What do you guys think about that route?

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