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Raising Questions

Want a good way to start your book? Sometimes, seeing a book’s opening unfiltered through the act of choosing it (reading the blurb, seeing the cover and the author’s name) reveals its essence more directly. The following quotes are openings from four books. Two are novels, two are nonfiction. As a fun exercise, see if …

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Is Idleness the Mother of Invention?

A Writer’s Roadmap Thursday Postcard March 17, 2022 “…Invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness. To save oneself trouble.” Agatha ChristieAn Autobiography Ain’t that the truth? Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time. She also lived an interesting life. In the first world war she worked as a nurse …

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The Myth of Talent

If what you’re writing isn’t the quality you wanted or hoped for, it’s easy to think, “I’m not good at this.” I don’t have the talent I don’t know how My stuff is boring This sucks. What’s on Netflix right now? There’s always something on Netflix! So let’s put that whole idea aside. The myth …

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The Need to Choose

Writing’s biggest challenge? Writing any book-length work is a deep dive into complete freedom. You have utter freedom because the blank page holds limitless possibility. Aside from genre requirements (thrillers need good pacing and high stakes, romances need a Happily Ever After—or a Happily For Now), you can tell the story using any character you …

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Book Cover Conspiracies

The Humanity Project was published by Plume (a Penguin imprint) in 2014. The Sky is Falling was published by Thomas Allen in 2010. Could it be a coincidence that their book covers are so similar? Do garden gnomes in the grass mean something in the world of book cover design? And then there’s this: