ARCHIVE FOR Beyond the Margins

Good Grief: The Painful yet Productive Process of Revising after a Critique

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By Stephanie Ebbert

I feel so misunderstood.  I just read the written comments from the most recent critique of my novel and I fear some of my fellow writers didn’t like my narrator.  They didn’t get her.  Could it be that their own issues distort their understanding of my glistening prose?  I’m afraid not.  The sorry truth is that my manuscript has issues that I need to address.  Again.  Why can’t I just be finished with this thing?

August 17, 2011 | Beyond the Margins

Beyond the Margins

Writing Sports When You Aren’t Sporty

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By Nichole Bernier

There comes a time in every writer’s manuscript when a character needs to do something the writer knows nothing about. A protagonist’s career is the the obvious thing—say, writing a character as a nuclear physicist, if you don’t happen to be one, yourself. The writer who tackles that knows he’s in for some work.

August 10, 2011 | Beyond the Margins

Beyond the Margins

7 Steps Towards Better Villainy: How To Make ‘em So Bad, They Are Good

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By Javed Jahangir

So you’ve got your literary thriller. You have polished your plot lines and your main characters. If your hero were any more fleshed out, he would probably be 4 dimensional. You’ve laid down all the twists and turns of the plotline – e.g. just as the hero is ready to reveal his most sensitive secrets to the HR manager, she turns out to be a killer robot from the future (all written, of course, in present tense, first person, like all great contemporary literature)

August 3, 2011 | Beyond the Margins

Beyond the Margins

The Art of Defamiliarization

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By Leslie Greffenius

My  wonderful, brilliant, and now, sadly, departed mother-in-law, Johnna, moved to the United States from the Netherlands when she was in her early twenties. Having studied English back home, she quickly became all but bilingual, betraying her linguistic origins only occasionally – whenever, for example, she pronounced “th” as “d” or let slip a “t” sound in place of a final “d” as in“David,” the name of one of her sons.

June 29, 2011 | Beyond the Margins

Beyond the Margins

Best and Worst Agent & Editor Advice: Part One

By Randy Susan Meyers

Anonymous Writer: A recent quote from the fabulous X agent: “If they want you to produce a book a year, they should pay you enough to quit your job.”

Julianna Baggot: I divvy up agents into two camps. I call one the “don’t worry your pretty little head” agent. These agents see writers as flighty artists who need to be protected by the confusing business side of things. Wouldn’t that just baffle us, break us from our creative cocoon?

June 1, 2011 | Beyond the Margins

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