A part of our mission here at Castle Gate Press is to nurture authors. We know what it’s like to work hard polishing a novel only to receive rejection after rejection in response to query letters.
Sometimes all it takes is a nudge in the right direction to get on the right track. Other times, a full-blown revision is needed. Either way, to make it in the publishing industry you must have a willingness to learn as well as perseverance.
We have discovered a number of excellent resources. We would like to share them with you, and pray God will use them to bless your writing.
First of all, check out the category on Castle Gate Press’s own blog for plenty of articles about writing craft.
Click on the titles below for more information. Podcasts listed on separate page. Marketing books listed at the bottom.
Written by agent and author Noah Lukeman, this book reveals the necessary elements of good writing and points out errors to be avoided. It is an invaluable reference that allows authors to improve their technique as they learn to eliminate even the most subtle mistakes that are cause for rejection. Great for the beginning author.
Randy Ingermanson’s article does an excellent job of introducing the concept of motivation-reaction units (MRUs), a technique which makes the story flow and keeps it showing instead of telling. It also discusses the use of scenes and sequels and their importance in a novel. While you’re there, check out the rest of his website and blog; it’s a treasure trove of writing advice.
(Note that this is an affiliate link. We believe strongly in Susie’s work, and hope you’ll take advantage of it.) An award-winning, best-selling Christian author of 50 novels offers the Online Story Crafters course, complete with the opportunity to ask questions of a coach. This is for beginning and intermediate novel writers in any genre. She also offers online resources, weekly video classes, and occasional face-to-face retreats for all levels. Where else can you get ongoing help from someone so successful?
Jeff Gerke, former owner of Marcher Lord Press (now Enclave Publishing) shares from his experience as both author and publisher in this hands-on guide to creating a well-rounded novel. Filled with helpful examples and friendly instruction, Plot Versus Character takes the guesswork out of creating great fiction by giving you the tools you need to inject life into your characters and momentum into your plots.
In this IPPY and NIEA-Award winning guide from K.M. Weiland, author of the bestselling Outlining Your Novel, you will learn the universal underpinnings that guarantee powerful plot and character arcs. It will show you how to perfectly time your story’s major events and will provide you with an unerring standard against which to evaluate your novel’s pacing and progression.
Write This Way, written by Castle Gate Press’s own Suzanne Hartmann, will lead new authors through the forest of grammatical rules and stylistic guidelines, and give them specific instructions on how to polish a novel. “This book is laid out so well, writers will have the information at their fingertips.” Linda Glaz, author and agent with the Hartline Literary Agency
A Guide to Writing Your Novel (for beginners)
Lee Roddy, a multi-published author of youth fiction, offers a comprehensive manual published by the Institute for Excellence in Writing. Instruction is based on thirty years of proven, practical methods of developing an idea into a complete story. The book covers creating characters, plotting, and tips for writing in a variety of genres. A good place to start. Beginning level. (Your can read a sample here: IEW Sample)
See our podcast recommendations for plenty of great advice in audio form! Relevant marketing advice changes rapidly, so Phyllis thinks this is a great way to keep up with it.
This comprehensive marketing guide for fiction writers comes from LaShaunda C. Hoffman, a seasoned marketing professional with her own award-winning book-promotion e-zine, SORMag. She will guide you through creating a promotion plan for your book.