Writing the Killer Query Letter

Writing a great query letter is an art, but once you've created your synopsis, you've got the bones. Here's the rest of the story: Your synopsis forms the basis for your query letter. Almost all queries today are email cover letters; your manuscript or pages are sent as a Word attachment – but these are requirements you should establish first as some houses still prefer your pages in … [Read more...]

Loglines and Elevator Moments

If you read my "Synopsis" post, you'll see that you've already got a start on crafting a logline. But we're going to take it a step further. A logline is a one-sentence summary of your story. Think about a movie poster, with its brief but compelling summary, or the cover grab of your favorite best-seller. Those are loglines. And why do you need one? In part because you may experience an … [Read more...]

Writing the Synopsis

Each time I attend a writing conference I'm reminded that one of the trickiest things to do correctly is write a synopsis. And yet the synopsis forms the basis of a query, so the more powerful you can make your synopsis, the better your query. I'll post on queries soon, but I'd like to give you a worksheet on synopses here. This worksheet will hopefully guide you through the steps you need in … [Read more...]

A Plot Paradigm Compilation

I have always had trouble with plotting, so I’m a big fan of collecting working solutions to planning the plot. Today I’m posting the latest in my personal collection of plot diagrams, something I’ve put together based on the best plot diagrams I’ve found and used. Here is my plot paradigm with some explanation… (You can download this image as a pdf file.) The black line at the top is, … [Read more...]