Feedback on Your Work: Knowing What to Ignore

Dear Friday Five-O,

When getting feedback on writing, what sort of comments and from whom should you listen to? Often I'll get conflicting opinions from a variety of people I do I know what opinions to value over others?

-- Workshopped to Death

July 1, 2011 | Jane Roper

Craft Advice Friday Five-O

Friday Five-O: How do I contact an agent?

How do I contact an agent, and in what form should my submissions be?
-- Rebecca B.

Congratulations, Rebecca. You've written your novel. (You have written it, right? Because unless you're J.K. Rowling or Snookie, an agent isn't going to take you on without a finished work.) Or, maybe you've written a memoir. (Again, you need to have written the whole thing, unless your story is majorly newsworthy/juicy and/or you already have a platform or large readership)

May 27, 2011 | Jane Roper

Craft Advice Friday Five-O

Friday Five-0: How do I know I'm ready to start a novel?

When starting a novel, which should come first: ideas about the characters or about the plot? How do you know when your idea is good enough or fleshed out enough to be a bona fide book?

-- Seraphina Ross

Dearest Seraphina,

I’m sorry to say—because personally, I hate getting this sort of answer—that it’s different for every writer

April 22, 2011 | Jane Roper

Craft Advice Friday Five-O

Friday Five-0: Writing From Personal Experience (Can I make stuff up?)

Dear Friday Five-O

In memoir/personal essay/narrative nonfiction, how much can I "make up" if I don't  remember exact details, conversations, etc?

Amnesiac in Arlington

Dear Amnesiac,

Funny, it was just about exactly two years ago when I was discussing this same question with a writer friend of mine.

March 18, 2011 | Jane Roper

Craft Advice Friday Five-O

Friday Five-O: Sticking to a Writing Schedule

Dear Friday Five-O:

I have a timeless writing question: how do I make a writing schedule and stick to it? I work 9-5 and take a class two nights a week.

--Billie McCorkle

Dear Busy Billie,

You think you have a hard time sticking to a writing schedule? I’ve got twin preschoolers, a full-time freelance job, a needy husband, a blog and a bad Facebook habit. I suck at sticking to a writing schedule.

February 11, 2011 | Jane Roper

Craft Advice Friday Five-O