Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jayne Ann Krentz and Christina Dodd's writing tips

All writers are constantly looking to improve on their writing knowledge, whether they are unpublished and greener than Kermit the frog or New York Times Best selling authors. Today I have two well known authors sharing their tips for writers.

First I have Jayne Ann Krentz:


1) VOICE: Your writing voice is what sets you apart from every other writer out there. Give the same plot to ten different writers and you will get ten different stories. Why? The reason is that each writer has a unique story-telling voice and this voice is part of who you are. Discover your voice and hone it.

2) CORE STORY: Analyze your core story – every writer has one. Identify the themes and conflicts that compel you. It is the first step toward finding your place in today’s market.

3) KNOW THE MARKET: The only way to do this is by reading widely in the genre that compels you as a writer. Each genre is divided into a number of sub-genres. Find out where your core story fits. There is probably more than a single sub-genre for you.

4) PROPOSAL: The only thing that matters in a proposal package is your story. Keep all other materials brief. The cover letter should be no more than a couple of lines. It should tell the editor very clearly where your book fits into the market. The synopsis should be only one page and should read like back-cover copy, not like a traditional outline. Add the first 30 – 40 pages of your book to the package and send it out to specific editors and agents (i.e. put their names on the envelopes! Don’t just send the package to: Dear Editor. Get names!)

5) ROMANCE WRITERS OF AMERICA: I highly recommend that you join this organization, even if your novel is not a romance. It is the best genre writers’ organization on the planet. You will learn more in six months -- thanks to the journal, local chapter meetings and the annual conference -- than you will learn on your own in six years in this business. You can check out RWA online at

Next we have Christina Dodd:

Christina Dodd's Five Tips:

Write the book you want to read.

Motivate your hero/heroine with big things from the past (torture, murder, betrayal, abandonment) and give him/her a big goal, one that means the difference between life and death, honor or dishonor.

If your heroine starts the book being a timid, bookish librarian in glasses, she had better become a wild, passionate, smart adventurer by THE END.

Torture your hero early & often; it develops his character, sort of like roasting nuts brings out the flavor.

Promo is not writing. Blogging is not writing. Tweeting and Facebook are not writing. Writing is producing pages on your book with the (self-imposed) deadline. Turn off the internet!

Thank you ladies for the insightful and informative tips for us writers. Now writers, you know who you are, get to it! :)



  1. Thanks, Pixie I so needed this blog today. You're the best. Now I have to go write!

  2. I am here to be your muse ;) or a kick in the pants lol. I'm glad you enjoyed it.


  3. Great post, Pixie!!! THank you, great information.