Market Research

A Pen In Each Hand

By Beaver

While it’s true that first you must write, and if you’re a fiction writer, you shouldn’t be contacting agents before you have a finished manuscript in hand, a little advance research will give you a head start when it does come time to venture into the slush.

Start a new folder in your favorites. If you’re an avid reader of the genre you write in–and you should be–make note of who publishes the books you read. When you have some spare time, check out the publishers’ websites, see who else they publish, and if they look like they might be a good fit for you, add the URL to your folder. [Tip: If you’re reading a paperback, look inside the front cover to find out who published the original hardcover version.]

Google your favorite authors; see if they have websites, and if possible, find out who their agents are. Once you have an agent’s name, find out if s/he has a website, and again, if it looks promising, add the URL to your folder. Poke around the sites. Follow any interesting leads. A few minutes here and there, and by the time you’ve put the final polish on your novel, you’ll have focused list of prospects to start contacting, and the task of marketing will seem much less daunting.

Hears You’re Chance Two Right Really, Really Bad

A Pen In Each Hand

By Baker & Beaver

Below is a POS story opening. Think you can spot all the errors? Great. But that’s not the exercise. The exercise is to finish this POS story (in not more than 500 words), making as many spelling and grammatical errors as possible while doing so. If you prefer, you can write your own POS story. Post it at Chasms & Crags when you’re done.

Between you and me and the lamppost, I think there’s something wrong with Jennifer. Her Mother went to the store to buy peaches and orange’s. Then Jennifer ate won of them, stripped off all her clothes and started running naked thru the sprinkler which was in the neighbors’s yard.

I poured over some possibilities earlier. I think she could be on the lamb. She could be reliving her escapades of the early 90’s. I guess that we won’t know till she tells us. I myself think that the cheese has slid off her cracker. It happens to alot of people, but until she comes back from her trip to the Rocky mountain’s…

The Afterlife

A Pen In Each Hand

By Patsy

Write about the afterlife. Make the assumption, like the ancient Egyptians did, that when you die, you are resurrected into a perfect and youthful version of your body. So here you are, looking like you always wanted to, and you need a place in which to spend eternity. Create your perfect paradise, or if you are feeling diabolical, write a description of what you think the other place is like. After all Dante did. Let your imagination rule. When you are done. Post it at Maximum Tremendous for feedback.

Fan Fiction

A Pen In Each Hand

By Boots

Simple Start: Write out in words what’s going on in your favorite movie scene. For example, when Rick puts Ilsa on the plane to the states from “Casablanca”. Use all the writing tricks you know to show us the scene. Include all the dialog.

Medium Start: Write a 1000 word episode story for a television show. (You can choose to do script writing here, if you so desire.) You don’t have to do an entire episode, stop at 1000 words, but it does have to be unique (not done on that show before) while remaining true to the show’s theme and characters. For example, you could write a scene from your soap opera that concludes a current story line. Or you could write an episode for “That ’80s Show”.

Hard Start: Write a 2000 word fan fiction story based on a television show, movie, or novel. Create your own characters and put them into your favorite worlds, or put your favorite characters in other worlds or situations. Use everything you know about the original to create something of your own. For example, you could put a descendant of Frodo’s on the throne of Middle Earth.