Advice on Writing

Advice on writing that Karyn has given over the years:

Dear Karyn/Elizabeth,

Whenever I hear writers talk about point of view they seem to have strong, and very different, opinions about how it should be used in telling a story. Can you clarify point of view and explain how I can use it to improve my work?

Read Karyn’s response: Point of view

Dear Karyn/Elizabeth,

I’m excited by all the ways to use point of view. But how do I establish it in the first place?

Read Karyn’s response: Point of view, part II

Dear Karyn/Elizabeth,

Is there a foolproof way to chose a point of view character?

Read Karyn’s response: Point of view, one more time

Dear Karyn/Elizabeth,

I m not a conference newbie, but I want to brush up on my conference skills before attending to the national RWA conference this summer. Do you have any advice for getting the most out of the experience?

Strategies for a productive conference experience

Dear Karyn/Elizabeth,

I am getting ready to submit my first query and synopsis to a few agents. In your opinion, what are the biggest NO-NO’s and mistakes beginners make in approaching people in the business? (Besides colored paper and cocky letters.)

The ever-elusive perfect query letter

Dear Karyn/Elizabeth,

One judge in a recent contest said the story I entered broke the rules of romance. Rules? What rules?

So are there rules to writing romance?

Dear Karyn/Elizabeth,

How do you effectively interweave your research into a story, whether historical or contemporary, without overwhelming the story with details?

Thank you,

Adding that special dash of research

Dear Karyn/Elizabeth,

I have read a guideline of one synopsis page per twenty-five manuscript pages. I have heard one so lengthy it would bore a prospective agent or editor to tears. And I have also heard they are not even read by editors (but I don’t know if I necessarily believe that).

Synopsis writing, part 1

Dear Karyn/Elizabeth,

How on earth do I take my 75,000 word manuscript and turn it into a 2-3 page synopsis and not have it sound like the average eight year old’s book report?
Julie O.

Synopsis writing, part ll

Dear Karyn/Elizabeth,

I am beginning a writing career and want to ask for some advice. I am wondering about agents. I see that a number of publishing houses will not accept manuscripts unless submitted by an agent. Did you find it necessary to get an agent before being published? Do you currently have an agent? If your answer is yes to the above questions, how, then, does one find a good agent?

Thank you for your kind consideration of my note.


Dear Karyn/Elizabeth,

Could you please expand on plot comes from character. What if you have a plot in mind already but no characters? Is it wrong to try to create characters to fit in your plot? Or, should I create characters and just let them figure out the plot? Or, is this a question like which came first the chicken or the egg?

Thank you,
Carey K.

Plot or Characters
The other half of that “chicken or the egg” thing — PLOT

Dear Karyn/Elizabeth,

When you re writing introspection, is it appropriate to include “he/she thought” after a thought, or not? Is it simply implied that it is the characters thoughts?

A few thoughts on introspection

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