This is a place for fiction writers and those who represent them and edit them to gather and discuss the process and the business. If you have ever even fantasized about writing a novel you are welcome too. 

Members: 240
Latest Activity: Nov 20, 2019

Moderator Diane O'Connell

Diane O’Connell is a former editor at Random House and author of six books, including the award-winning The Novel-Maker’s Handbook: The No-Nonsense Guide to Crafting a Marketable Story. As editorial director of Write to Sell Your Book she has helped dozens of authors achieve international publishing success. Diane’s passion for helping authors improve their craft and for the entire process of writing and publishing has made her one of the top editors in the field and a sought-after speaker at writing conferences and workshops throughout the US.

Discussion Forum

How long is too long for a manuscript?

Started by Kelli Stuart. Last reply by Deborah Herman Jan 20, 2018. 25 Replies

I'm so sorry! I think I sent all of you a message rather than posting this as a discussion here. My question was, as a first time novelist, I wondered if there was a word count limit that agents and…Continue

Tags: agents, manuscript, fiction, Writing


Started by jeff herman. Last reply by Willard Ceccarelli Jul 31, 2015. 11 Replies

They obviously won't do it as a favor. Continue

Agent Question

Started by Elizabeth Welles. Last reply by Elizabeth Welles Jun 2, 2014. 7 Replies

After twenty plus years, my novel is in the final stretch running towards the finish line. I'm so pleased about this. My editor, who loves the book, wrote: "The best way to get an agent and…Continue

Book Piracy

Started by Katherine Grace Bond Apr 28, 2014. 0 Replies

I think I used the wrong button to start a discussion, so if the earlier version of this landed in everyone's inbox, my apologies.How do you feel about (illegal) "content-sharing" websites? I'm back…Continue

Tags: piracy, Book

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Fiction to add comments!

Comment by Jane Lebak on July 31, 2012 at 12:43pm

Over at the MuseItUp Publishing blog, we've got an excerpt from my upcoming novel.  

It's got a new title now too. :-) I give you...The Wrong Enemy. About angels, children, and what happens when you make a mistake so big you can't make it right, and no one will ever forget it.

Book will be out in September. Enjoy!

Comment by Jane Lebak on July 25, 2012 at 3:42pm

Thank you! They're a good publisher, so good luck! They're publishing something else of mine in September. :-)

Comment by Sherry Antonetti on July 25, 2012 at 3:29pm

That's great.  Museitup is looking at my work right now. 

Comment by Jane Lebak on July 25, 2012 at 3:18pm

MuseItUp posted an excerpt from my book The Boys Upstairs for "Christmas In July."  :-)  Enjoy!

Comment by Jane Lebak on July 24, 2012 at 10:06am

Amber, another beginning writer asked me the same question, so I compiled tips for writing a first novel over at my weblog:

Comment by Joan Adamak on July 24, 2012 at 12:37am

Amber, fiction has genres also.  Check them out and then decide which genre you want to write about and there are several good books out there for fiction writers that can help you.

Comment by Peter Kraft on July 23, 2012 at 10:20pm

Check out great information-Read Aaron Sorkin on writing, and his influences like Aristotle, and conflict cross dialogue, and the beat sheet. Understand what the engine of a story is, and keep that conflict going. Understand the nature of the three act play format and how it can apply to most compelling fiction. Remember that if you aren't entertained by the first draft, it doesn't get any more entertaining by the twentieth rewrite. All writing is rewriting. Good luck-

Comment by Sherry Antonetti on July 23, 2012 at 9:55pm

Alternatively Amber, look at the story you want to tell, what is it?   Look at what you love to read. Why do you love it? What is the important story you want to tell? Why is it important?

Comment by Tom Flood on July 23, 2012 at 9:47pm

Amber, fiction is not a genre, it's a discipline. Fiction genres are Crime, Fantasy, Thriller, Romance, etc. The best way to learn is to read and write a lot. Read novels, novellas, short stories by writers whose style you like, but read them not for story, but for the nuts and bolts of their style. Look at how they create their stories, then take a start from one of those writers, say a paragraph,  and write your own story from it. It'll give you a good kick-off and you can swim the rest of the way yourself.

Comment by Jan Lazo-Davis on July 23, 2012 at 8:37pm

Check out the book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers. How to edit yourself into print.

by Rennie Browne and Dave King, second ed.


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