Discover more from The Shit No One Tells You About Writing
✨The Celebrants author Steven Rowley's top writing tips; the do's and dont's of writing characters of colour; a querying author spills all
✨And the great Show Versus Tell debate solved!✨
😊 Hello friend! And welcome to our June issue! 😊
This can be a busy time of year and we hope you are enjoying time with your loved ones. If you’re managing to squeeze in some writing time, that’s fab, but we double-checked with the Ministry of What Actually Counts as Writing and turns out that travelling, trying new things, and even lying by a pool re-reading the same line over and over again all actually count as writing! So, go you!
We have another issue chock-full of goodies so grab your fave drink and let’s dive in ✨
❤️ The Shit No One Tells You About Writing Team
A monthly newsletter chock-full of guidance and support from publishing industry insiders. Expect author interviews, guest blogs, giveaways, and more! Sign up and immediately receive an exclusive webinar from literary agent Carly Watters
SHELF LIFE with New York Times-Bestselling Author Steven Rowley
SHELF LIFE caught up with the NTY-bestselling author and recent recipient of the Thurber Prize for American Humor, Steven Rowley, to discuss career ‘pinch me’ moments, trusting your gut, and how, on some bad writing days at least, Dairy Queen is the answer.
Steven Rowley is the New York Times bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus, The Editor, and Goodreads Choice Awards Novel of the Year finalist, The Guncle. His most recent novel, The Celebrants, is a Read With Jenna Book Club pick. His fiction has been published in twenty languages. Originally from Portland, Maine, he is a graduate of Emerson College and lives in Palm Springs, California.
SHELF LIFE: From Lily and the Octopus to The Guncle and beyond, your writing career has gone from strength to strength. Do you have any regrets about your journey so far? Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
STEVEN ROWLEY: No regrets. By any reasonable metric, Lily and the Octopus was a successful debut—it was a bestseller, was translated in twenty languages, and the film rights were scooped up by Amazon Studios. It just wasn’t a runaway hit on the level of The Art of Racing in the Rain, which is something the publisher perhaps had imagined. So I was surprised when Simon & Schuster rejected The Editor, which was my second novel. I think they were afraid it wouldn’t build on Lily’s promising start and suggested I try to think of another dog book instead. But in my mind, I hadn’t written a dog book as much as a book that explored grief. But they had a point—so much of the business of publishing is marketing and building a brand—and I did try to come up with ideas that thread the needle. But ultimately I’d waited a long time to break into publishing (I was well into my forties when Lily was published) and I wanted to continue my career on my own terms. I reasoned if I’d asked anyone’s permission to write a book about a dog and an octopus literally no one would have granted it. I had trusted my gut once and to have the career I wanted I knew I had to gamble on myself again. We all know plenty of writers who have made huge sums of money writing slightly different versions of the same book again and again. I just didn’t feel that it was a model that fed into my strengths. So I walked away from one publishing house and was fortunate to find a new home. In the end it wasn’t until The Guncle that I really understood my brand and my strengths as a writer. I write (hopefully) laugh-out-loud funny books about very serious subjects like heartbreak and grief. The stories may vary, but readers come back for a very specific tone.
SL: What is something you’ve learned about yourself later in your writing career that would have surprised your younger self?
SR: That I call myself a writer, and do so with pride. I used to say it apologetically, like it was a silly thing to either aspire to or be. Particularly when it wasn’t how I made my living. But with the state of the world as it is, exploring the human condition through writing feels like one of the most sensible things to do. And young me would be absolutely gobsmacked that writers I’ve long admired are now colleagues and friends. Isabel Allende was a big fan of Lily and the Octopus and recommended the book to her readers. I mean, are you kidding? Laura Dave, one of the bestselling writers of the past decade, was flustered when she saw me at a book festival because she loved The Guncle so much. It should be the other way around as I am a big fan of hers! These are all people I love and admire and they are so kind and supportive of other writers. My career is filled with ‘pinch me’ moments; if this is a dream, please don’t wake me.
SL: What do you think you’ve done right during your career to build a strong and supportive writing network?
SR: Building friendships with other writers is essential. They can help with your creative work, I think that much is obvious. And I’m married to another writer (Byron Lane, author of A Star is Bored and Big Gay Wedding) so I’m lucky in that I have someone in house who can be a beta reader. But author friends can also be real assets in navigating the publishing process. Novel writing can be a solitary endeavour, and you never get to see anyone else do it. So it’s helpful to ask questions like how do you work with your editor? How often do you speak with your agent? Do you pitch ideas for marketing? That sort of thing. Obviously COVID made this difficult for a time, but I always recommend to new writers that they jump at opportunities to attend book festivals and conferences. Attend author events! Reach out on social media. Network. You’ll be glad you did!
SL: Is there any piece of advice that resonated with you while writing your debut that you still stand by today?
SR: Lily and the Octopus is a book about a man who imagines he sees a small octopus stuck to his dog’s head. The metaphor was clear to me, the book is about attachment and how difficult it can be to let go. But I was worried during the querying process that it was perhaps too strange for others to emotionally connect with. But I was promised that the more weirdly specific you go with your writing somehow the more universal it can be. We are not all weird in the same way. But make no mistake, we are all weird. And this person was absolutely right! People were able to connect, many passionately. Sure, the book has its detractors. But here’s some more great advice: If you write a book everybody likes, you’ve written a book no one will love.
SL: Do you have a mantra or go-to pep talk for days when the writing feels hard?
SR: There are good days, but there are very few easy days. So I just try to remember why I love what I do, that I’ve wanted to do it since I was a kid. That I am lucky to have the opportunities I have and that I waited a long time to have them. And if all that fails I walk the dogs or go to the gym. Getting out of the chair never fails to get me unstuck. Even if where I end up is Dairy Queen.
You can purchase The Celebrants on our Bookshop.org affiliate page here. Buying books through this link supports a local indie as well as The Shit No One Tells You About Writing 📚❤️
SHELF LIFE is produced by Bronwen Keyes-Bevan, a Toronto-based writer and editor. Bronwen is newsletter editor at The Shit No One Tells You About Writing and is at work on her debut novel. She lives in Toronto with her husband and their son. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at her website.
Let’s Talk About… Showing versus Telling
In this monthly advice column, Bianca Marais shares actionable tips to elevate your writing craft and career. This month: what a mother-of-the-bride dressed like a trashy mermaid can tell you about showing versus telling.
Let’s talk about how, as emerging authors, we’re constantly being told: show, don’t tell!
But that’s an oversimplification since good storytelling requires both. What’s essential is that you’re able to recognize the difference between the two narrative styles, and that you know when to use which.
So, what’s the basic difference?
Telling is when you fall into summary or exposition in order to simply tell the reader what’s happening. Showing is when you use action, description, and dialogue to allow the reader to experience a scene for themselves.
Think of ‘telling’ as someone journalling about a wedding the day after it happened. They’re ‘telling’ their journal things like:
😐 how upset they were that they had to incur such high costs to travel to a destination wedding for people they don’t even particularly like.
😑 what they thought of the bland food and terrible decor.
😠 why they were annoyed to be seated at a table with their ex who they hadn’t seen in five years.
😡 why they felt they should have been in the wedding party instead of the random people who were chosen.
😳 how embarrassed they were for the bride whose mother was dressed like a trashy mermaid.
The journal entry isn’t meant to be an objective account of the event; it’s a highly subjective version of it, filled with the author’s insights and feelings. If they accidentally left their journal in a café and you then stumbled upon it, you’d experience the wedding through that author’s particular lens. You would, therefore, be much more likely to learn a lot about the author as a person than about what really happened at the wedding.
From this journal entry, we can infer that the author is pretty bitter and angry, and that there’s some toxicity in terms of their relationship with the wedding couple. It makes sense that, in terms of these underlying issues, they thought the wedding was terrible. But if you’d stumbled upon the bride’s journal entry about the same day, you’d have a much different view of the wedding.
Given these disparities, you’d also need to decide as the reader of the journals if you can trust either of the people’s perceptions of the event since they’re both likely to be highly subjective.
Now let’s say that some wedding gifts went missing at the reception.
If you’re the person investigating the theft, you could speak to the different wedding guests to get their accounts about what might have happened to the gifts. But keep in mind that each of the guests will fall into ‘telling’ mode as they relay this information.
And just like with the journal entry, they’re likely to be biased in terms of the information they relay. One might decide that Dave is likely to be guilty of the theft because they ‘never really liked that guy’. Another might decide that Carla was acting shifty because of whatever biases they might bring to that assessment of her behaviour.
So, in that instance, you’d want to rely on security footage rather than eyewitness accounts.
Think of ‘showing’ as being that security footage. When you ‘show’ a scene, the reader can access only what that camera can record. They can see facial expressions, gestures, movement, what people are wearing, hear what people are saying, etc. And so it’s up to the person viewing the footage to decide if they agree that Carla really was acting shifty around the gift table or if Dave was likely to be the culprit based on something Dave did in the video.
In the same way that you would trust what you’re seeing in the video footage more than you’d believe the eyewitness accounts, readers generally trust themselves more than the narrator. They want to reach their own conclusions; this is how they become actively involved in a story, rather than being a passive recipient of it.
But here’s what’s missing from the video footage/pure ‘telling’:
If you’ve listened to the podcast, you know how important interiority is, and you don’t get that from pure showing. Exposition allows for emotionality so that we can understand what a character is experiencing as they move through a scene. Perhaps what they’re thinking and feeling contradicts their dialogue and body language. Perhaps we’d expect them to be afraid in a certain situation, but what they feel instead is exhilaration. These insights make the scenes more interesting and nuanced, and they allow the reader to connect with the character on a much deeper level.
Telling is the most efficient way to:
summarize background information.
include necessary information about a character’s history or backstory.
make transitions between scenes.
make time jumps.
set the stage for a major dramatized event.
give the reader the necessary context about the world.
But you also don’t want to constantly run interference, standing between your characters and your reader so that the reader can only access the story through you as the narrator. Sometimes you want to let the reader experience things for themselves and decide how they feel about them to draw their own conclusions rather than being told how they should feel and think.
Always show your inciting incident, key event, climax, anything big and emotional that affects your character’s personal arc, etc. You want to put us right there in the action so that your readers can experience those moments for themselves. Dramatize them, making them as vivid as you possibly can while using every narrative tool at your command such as action beats interspersed with dialogue, descriptions mixed up with thoughts and feelings, etc.
There are very successful authors who mostly show. Hemingway, for example, is known for his intense dramatization; some of his short stories are more than 90% dialogue. Then, there are other authors like Eudora Welty who are known for their lyrical exposition.
Your style as an author could similarly lean one way or another, and that’s fine, but try as much as possible to balance it out using more showing than telling. At the very least, always be in full command of which style you’re using.
As always, you’ve got this!
Bianca Marais is the author of the bestselling The Witches of Moonshyne Manor, as well as the beloved Hum If You Don’t Know the Words and If You Want to Make God Laugh, and the Audible Original, The Prynne Viper. She taught at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies where she was awarded an Excellence in Teaching Award for Creative Writing in 2021. She is the co-host of the popular podcast, The Shit No One Tells You About Writing, which is aimed at helping emerging writers become published.
✨ Level up your craft this summer ✨
Summer break is a great time to catch up on some craft webinars and Bianca Marais has a wide range of online courses. Whether you’d like to know how to avoid the 10 biggest mistakes that good writers make that stop them from getting published or you’d like to take your writing to the next level, Bianca has got you covered. Check them out here!
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A Missive From the Querying Trenches
In this dispatch straight from the front lines, querying writer Carly Wahl spills on the painful path to becoming a traditionally published author.
I’ve been at this writing thing for over a decade.
The brilliant ideas. The muse screaming and distracting me from the rest of my life. The too-soon querying. The rejection. The book deals—of my friends. Whom I’m genuinely delighted for. (Jealousy, for some reason, is just not something I tend to feel.) But I do think it would be within reason for my “Hurrahs!” to start sounding a little thin.
This is a humbling hobby to say the very least, and one I’ve tried to shake on multiple occasions.
I’ve stated it calmly to my family and my writing group on so many occasions that it’s frankly embarrassing. And every time I commit to quitting, it goes about as well as when I claim I’m quitting Diet Coke. That is to say, I still bleed aspartame, and I still spend every free second I can find writing books.
As I type these words, the other two open documents on my computer are my latest manuscript and a first draft of my new query. Two innocent looking tabs that fill me with so much insecurity and dread that I’m 99% sure I have an ulcer. And yes, I’m also 98% sure that it’s from the stress and not the soda. And 89% sure that this is my best submission package yet.
Why? Well, for a few reasons. But before I dump a bunch of tough-love optimism all over you, scooch aside so I can sit next to you in the gutter of unpublished despair and tell you a little story.
About a year ago I reached out to an author I profoundly admire. I had been getting full requests but couldn’t get to a yes, and I just kinda thought, Screw it, and hit up her DMs in search of some advice (and also maybe to fan-girl a bit). Toe digging into the floor, I twisted it about whilst sheepishly asking if she would read a few of my pages. And, much to my surprise, she said yes.
For two weeks I waited with bated breath for her to write me back. I knew just what she was going to say. You are INCREDIBLE. Here is my agent’s cell number. I’ve called my editor and she wants to have lunch with you an hour from now. Kind regards, Brilliant Author.
However, what she actually wrote back was, Are you sitting down? Maybe go grab a glass of wine. This will not be easy to hear…
I read the rest of her email once. And then twice. I took a deep breath, stood from my office chair, and tore my book-outline Post-it notes from the wall. Two years of work guided by all the craft books and beta readers and podcasts. A storm of fuchsia, teal, and canary yellow rained down around my feet. If a hard copy of my manuscript had been handy, I might have set it ablaze.
Gulping deep breaths, mixing with my frustrated tears, I stared at the ceiling for long enough that my family came looking for me to enquire about the whereabouts of dinner.
But I couldn’t go downstairs and roast a chicken. My head was too full. It was decided. I was done. I couldn’t do it anymore.
“Baby, can you ask daddy to just make you a grilled cheese?”
Trying to get traditionally published is too painful. Too hard. Too stupid. Too pointless. Even if I got a book deal (ha!), I’d get what, $10K? Maybe 15K? For ten years of work? That’s like $100 a month. We clearly aren’t in this for the money. So why are we in this? Masochism? Idiocy? Addiction? Love?
My thoughts swam in a soup of insecurity and anger at myself for wasting so much of my time on an impossible pursuit. I ate leftover Easter candy for dinner that night, and I didn’t write the author back right away. I was embarrassed that she thought so lowly of my work. Of me.
A few days later, I read the devastating email again. You are brilliantly funny. You are talented. I didn’t see those words in my first read-through.
This process can be excruciatingly hard, so I’ve written this piece in hopes that I can make even one struggling writer feel slightly less alone.
So. Here comes the tough-love pep talk. You ready? Okay, let’s do this.
It is my belief that there are six horsemen of the apocalyptically shitty pursuit of becoming a traditionally published author.
✨ Timing and luck ✨
I dunno. You can’t write to the market to try and trick your way into timing, so just write what’s in your heart and really try and cling to the knowledge that eventually the timing will be right. And luck? Big shrug. I mean, I suppose you could go and frisk a field of clover in search of the four-leaf variety, and being a good human could put Karma on your side, but realistically—these two elements are kinda out of your hands. Regardless, know that I’m pulling for you and I believe with all my might that your stars will align.
✨ Talent ✨
You’re here, aren’t you? Reading this? I doubt very much that you would be engaging with writing-podcast newsletters if you didn’t have some belief that you’re good at this. And if you have gaps in your craft, welcome to the club. And good news, the Internet is flush with workshops. CeCe Lyra’s webinar on writing interiority elevated my work so significantly I don’t understand how I ever produced pages without her shared knowledge.
✨ Connecting ✨
This has been huge for me. Connecting with other writers will save you on this journey. Good writing doesn’t happen in a vacuum. (If you feel the need to pull out examples of times that it has, have at it. But I am pretty damn sure that the dude or dudette you’re thinking of most likely shared pages with some lover or another while nervously pacing the end of the bed and chain smoking.) If you don’t have a writing group, get one! Now. Seriously, I’ll wait. Bianca Marais offers beta-reader matchups, and through her I’ve met the folks whom I now consider some of my best friends. When I was slogging this road alone, I’d assumed other writers were a bunch of Hemingways; drunk and blustery and with zero interest in connecting with me. I was wrong. We are communicators, we want to interact, inspire, and support. So take a chance and reach out. Worst case, someone ghosts you. It’s a bit rude and a bit disappointing, but you’ve survived worse. Best case, they may offer to read pages. Which brings us to horseman number five.
✨ Openness to Learning ✨
aka No Ego Amigo. aka Don’t be an Askhole. I was once in a writing group where one of the members clearly skipped the schoolday when the teacher taught everyone the critique sandwich method. You know—a positive, a negative, a positive—so as to not trample on someone’s dreams. It didn’t take me nor the other members long to opt to just ignore everything she said—which is a shame, because she was quite clever and probably had some good feedback. But her delivery was barfarama. Dream-Smasher McGruffin, you can ignore. But if you land the eyes and brains of someone you admire, show them the respect they deserve and listen and learn. Yes, of course writing is subjective, and if something just doesn’t resonate with you—ignore, delete, next note. But to ignore all advice because your slightly tattered ego can’t handle it? Do so at your own peril. It felt pretty shitty when I was throwing away fistfuls of crumpled Post-it notes, but it also became abundantly clear that I could commit to becoming a better writer or I could stay on the outside of publishing forever.
I chose the former, and I hope you do too.
✨ Don’t Give Up!✨
Cry. Yell. Bitch. Regroup. Rewrite. Get feedback. Think. Kill your darlings. Bring some back. Learn. Listen. Repeat.
You’ve got this. I’ve got this. And when we don’t, this community’s got us. I am rooting for you with every fibre of my being.
Carly Wahl is struggling. As a writer, sure, but also in many other aspects of life. Please send Diet Coke and maybe garlic bread. Or at least give her a follow on IG: @carlywahlauthor
Being an author on the internet is part of the job of publishing a book, but how exactly can you use your time on socials wisely? Where should you be investing your time for where you’re at in your career? How do you build a literary community that will show up for you when it’s time to launch that book, podcast, show, webinar series, and more?
Understanding your identity as an author can help create a following for your work and know where to focus your energies when promoting yourself and your writing.
What’s the difference between Author Brand vs. Author Platform?
Social media & author website best practices
What publishers will do for you vs. What you have to do on your own
Tips from successful authors
Where to focus your energy for where you are in your career
How to get fans and convert them into book buyers
How to create online content that people want to engage with and share
What modern readers want from the authors they read
Should you start a newsletter or podcast
Carly Watters is a SVP and senior literary agent at P.S. Literary Agency. She has a MA in Publishing Studies and has been in the book business since 2009. She is known for her long-term vision for her authors and being an excellent collaborator with a nose for commercial success. She has close ties to publishers in the major markets, is a member of the AALA and PACLA, and works directly with film agents to option film and TV rights to leading networks and production companies. Her clients’ books have been translated into 40 languages, optioned for TV and film, adapted into podcasts, and have been on every bestseller list from coast to coast, including the New York Times, USA Today, the LA Times, the Washington Post, the Toronto Star, and the Globe and Mail. The popular writing podcast The Shit No One Tells You About Writing, for which Carly is the co-host, has over 2 million downloads.
Please send any questions to email@example.com
July 11, 2023 | 8:00pm EDT | $69 | Sign up here.
Storytelling requires many things—and connecting with character is at the top of the list! A big part of achieving that connection is understanding the central relationships in your protagonist’s life and leveraging them to move your story forward. No matter the genre, being able to effectively breathe life into the relationships featured in your book will draw your readers in from the very start and compel them to read on.
Literary Agent Cecilia (“CeCe”) Lyra represents adult fiction and nonfiction. As both a storyteller and a storyseller, CeCe believes that stories are empathy-generating machines capable of healing, connecting, and enacting lasting change. Her favorite stories are the ones she can’t put down!
The 2-hour webinar will cover various aspects of weaving relationships in stories, including:
foundation of writing relationships in stories
the essential relationships that go into every story (protagonist, antagonist, love interest, best friend, etc.)
how the protagonist's likeability is tied to relationships
how writing relationships can develop the protagonist’s arc
how to frame conflict and stakes in relationships to keep the reader turning the pages
chemistry between characters (not just the love interest!)
how relationship-driven elements can move the plot along
most common mistakes in writing relationships (and how to get it right)
common challenges in writing relationships (and how to turn them into successes)
tips and tricks to know if your relationships are working
the role of writing relationships in various genres
the role of writing relationships in the query letter
Writers of all categories and genres are invited to attend. If you cannot attend live but wish to watch the webinar, please sign up as the recording will be emailed to you 24 hours later. Recordings will be available to the viewer for 60 days.
July 20, 2023 | 8:00pm EDT | $69 | Sign up here
On Writing Characters of Colour: Mai Nguyen on why, how, and how NOT, to write characters of colour
The Toronto-based author shares everything she learned about writing characters’ culture and ethnicity while writing her debut, SUNSHINE NAILS (launching on July 4, 2023)
My novel, Sunshine Nails, is set in modern-day Toronto, one of the most diverse cities in the world. So naturally it features a diverse cast of characters, both main and supporting. I wanted to make sure this diversity was explicit in my writing—but for a while, I struggled with how to do it in a way that felt natural and respectful. I learned a few things along the way and I wanted to share those methods with you.
But first, why does it matter? Just like it’s important to have diverse representation on the screen, it’s equally as important on the page. Even though it’s not a visual medium, readers still want to see themselves and their communities reflected in the books they read.
Another reason? When you don’t explicitly state your character’s race, the reader is going to assume that character is white. This is the unfortunate side effect of our white-dominant society. Unless otherwise stated in the text, we tend to fall back to whiteness as the default.
So here is how I made the race of my characters clear:
✨ Use physical descriptions ✨
Describing your character’s hair, skin tone, and physical features can help indicate their race. However, it can run the risk of being vague and open to interpretation. Katniss Everdeen was described as having “straight black hair, olive skin [and] grey eyes,” and we all know how Hollywood interpreted that.
Personally, I would supplement physical descriptions with one of the other techniques below to ensure your character’s race is undisputedly clear. And please, whatever you do, do not use food descriptions to describe your character’s skin tone!
✨ Put it in the name ✨
A character’s name can say everything about who they are. In my book, there’s a scene of an ESL class in which my character, Thuy, meets another student named Youngju Sohn, which is a common Korean name. This might have been enough of an identifier, but like physical descriptions, it may not tell the whole story. So for good measure I paired it with this line:
“Youngju moved to Canada from Korea about a year ago and already her English was the envy of the class.”
✨ Mention culture or social issues ✨
If your character is celebrating a certain holiday, preparing a family recipe, or reflecting on an issue affecting their community, this will not only help identify them, it will also make them much more fleshed out. In my first chapter, Debbie Tran thinks back on something that happened to her in the past:
“While soaking in the tub, she thought about all the times she felt wronged in her life. There were too many to count. Bloodthirsty communists forcing her out of Vietnam was one. Being thrown onto a perilously overcrowded boat on the South China Sea was another.”
From this passage, the reader can deduce that Debbie is a boat refugee from Vietnam.
✨ Just say it ✨
This is my go-to technique. There’s nothing wrong with outright stating your character’s race. It’s quick, to the point, and leaves nothing to interpretation. I utilized this a lot throughout Sunshine Nails—and it’s important to point out that if you’re going to do this for your BIPOC characters, do it for your white characters as well:
“She was a Black woman in her forties with shiny braids that swept her shoulders.”
“Leaning against a slender table was a tall, white woman named Savannah Shaw.”
“The crowd was made up of mostly Asian women holding pink and green posters up to the sky.”
It takes time to learn this craft, but I think it’s so worth it. If you want to learn even more techniques, Writing With Color was in invaluable resource for me.
Now go and bring your characters to life!
Mai Nguyen is the Vietnamese-Canadian author of Sunshine Nails. Her writing has appeared in Wired, Washington Post, Marie Claire, Maclean’s, Toronto Star, and more. She has been nominated for a National Magazine Award twice and holds a Bachelor of Journalism from Toronto Metropolitan University. Born in Winnipeg and raised in Halifax, Mai currently lives in Toronto.
✨Come meet Carly Watters in person!✨
Carly will be in Los Angeles for a live event at North Fig Bookstore on Wednesday, July 19 at 7:00pm PDT!
If you’re in town, come by and say hi!
✨ Please excuse the interruption but… ✨
Would you like to advertise in this newsletter? Drop us a line at theshitaboutwriting.newsletter at gmail dot com!
🎙️On The Podcast This Week🎙️
Check out this week’s podcast episode below!
Setting Up Your Social Media Platform
In today’s episode, Sara DiVello joins Bianca, Carly, and CeCe to critique Books with Hooks submissions while also talking about Broadway Butterfly. During the episode, they discuss why Sara wanted to write certain themes into her novel and the importance of sensitivity readers; avoiding info dumping; common social media mistakes that authors make; where to start if you’re intimidated by social media; taking your social media to the next level; keeping query letters succinct; and the importance of specificity.
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Well, that’s it for this month, friends! Thank you so much for reading and supporting us. Please do consider spending three minutes filling in this survey so that we can keep improving. Until next month, happy scribbling ✨
❤️ The Shit No One Tells You About Writing Team