Ehsaneh’s Advice for New Writers

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Today’s topic is Tips For New Writers. Here are four suggestions based on things I did (or wish I’d done!) along the way from inspiration to publication. 1. Have some very generous friends read as you write. If you’re writing a novel, that is a long journey with a lot of work and a lot of rejection. You’re going to need encouragement along the way. Now is not the time…

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Recipe for an Unfinished Novel

Monday, December 14, 2015

This week on the Debutante Ball, in celebration of the winter solstice, we are writing about the dark times of writing–moments when we thought about quitting or let our doubt get in the way.  Recipe for an unfinished novel Ingredients 1 work in progress 1 workshop, preferably your first one 1 bag of peanut M&Ms 1 famous author/instructor 1 bullying workshop attendee 8 other workshop students Instructions 1. Read aloud…

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Who Reads Your Novels First?

Friday, December 11, 2015

Funny you should ask…   So this week, we’re talking about getting feedback. And I must say, that’s exactly my current question. I’m writing Book #2 (working title: The Boss) and I have no idea who will be reading my drafts, other than the editor who already bought it, of course.    Several months ago, as I was working on the Book #2 outline, I was rejoicing. It was so refreshing to…

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Criticism and the Impostor Syndrome

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

I was a lawyer for almost a decade, and every brief I wrote was edited by other lawyers. This never bothered me. Once, my boss crossed out a paragraph in which I’d explained, in multiple dependent clauses, not unlike this sentence, that the plaintiff — while perhaps well-meaning and confused — was, unfortunately, operating under several sadly incorrect assumptions. He replaced it with four words: “The plaintiff is wrong.” I…

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The Harshest Critique: Finding a Writing Group

A critique page
Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Feedback. I have to laugh when people talk about being stressed about workshops and critiques and feedback. Because I have received the mother of all feedback—no, sorry, the grandmother of all feedback—and I’ve lived to tell the tell. The stereotype of Jewish grandmothers is pretty well known. They are warm. Motherly. Perhaps they pile on the guilt a little heavily, but they mean well. They think you’re too skinny. “Eat…

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Critique Partners: The Secret to Writing Success

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

New writers often ask about the secret to being a successful author, the steps needed to get their book out in the wild. They want the shortcut, the one piece of infallible advice that if they follow religiously will guarantee an agent and a book deal. Well, dear reader, there isn’t such secret, but the nearest thing I can offer is this—GET THEE SOME CRITIQUE PARTNERS. “But Amy,” you ask….

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Writing Friends Required

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

We live in an amazing time to be a writer. It’s easier than ever to share work, offer feedback, and commiserate rejection. With the glory that is THE INTERNET (imagine angels singing and the words illuminated by a heavenly glow), we don’t even need to put on pants to do it. There are lots of places to meet fellow writers in person and online, several that Colleen wrote about yesterday. But…

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