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Far More Edge - Origin Story and Primer Links

Novel Writing on Edge is dedicated to the art of novel writing, and while we're at it, to assisting you in becoming published by a major commercial imprint or traditional literary press.

Platitudes, entitled amateurism, popular delusions, and erroneous information are all conspicuously absent from this website.  As the official blog of Algonkian Writer Conferences, and sister website to Algonkian Author Connect, it's mission is to provide you, the aspiring novel or narrative non-fiction author, with the realistic skills and knowledge it takes to succeed in the difficult book market of the 21st century.
 

We tell it straight up.  It's not always easy or comforting, but neither is the great task of writing a novel. Many if not most of our readers are "second stage," i.e., they've passed through the fire and entered the epiphany light to realize their initial preconceptions about the novel writing process were in error. In this context, we exist to place the horse back in front of the cart (forgive the cliché). From the beginning, we refocus attention on one crucial question, and one that often and unbelievably goes unexplored:

Are you writing a commercially viable novel in the first place? In other words, is the story reasonably high-concept, as well as in the process of being developed and written in the precise way publishing professionals demand?

We are here to help you provide a realistic answer. When it comes to the task of providing professional guidance on matters of methodical novel development and competitive prose narrative, Novel Writing on Edge utilizes an effective "model and context" strategy which relies on portraying models of technique, structure, or craft sampled from the best authors (both classic and recent, genre and literary). The writer is thereby able to pick and choose from these models for the purpose of creating or enhancing their narrative, characters, scenes, sets, and other major story elements in the context of their own novel-in-progress.   

We all stand on the shoulders of great writers gone before. You will find here an array of articles and essays on novel writing and development that gel to form an effective start-to-finish guide. Below are samples from this guide--a great way to begin your journey here.

Scimus via.

Edge Editor 

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NOVEL WRITING TRIP WIRES AND CHECKLISTS 
DEVELOPMENT REALITY - MAJOR POINTS
ADVANCED TECHNIQUE, SCENES, AND PROSE _______________

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Worthy WE Wisdom

What Makes a Good Memoir?

By Paula Margulies As a publicist, I'm sent books of all genres by authors interested in my services, but lately I seem to be on the receiving end of a lot of memoirs. I've also spoken to a higher-than-usual number of memoir writers, who either telephone or approach me with questions at writer's conferences. The bulk of these conversations have to do with why their memoirs aren’t selling and what the authors can do to make them better. My first suggestion for all memoir writers is to take a look at their market and identify the different types of people who would want to read their book. This is tricky, for while many memoir writers have done a good job of detailing certain aspects of their personal history, a number of them have not thought about who might be interested in reading what they've written. A lot of memoirs I've seen recently are nothing more than personal recountings of an individual’s experiences – some of which are, indeed, memorable. But I

"Top Ten Worst Pieces of Writing Advice" (and it gets worse)

OUTSIDE OF NARCISSISM, IMPATIENCE AND BAD ADVICE ARE A WRITER'S WORST ENEMIES . If you ever attend writer events, you will never cease to hear utterances of bad writing advice, the popular kind that circulate like  ruinous viral memes through the nervous systems of America's aborning novel writers. And each time you are exposed, you either chuckle or swear, depending on your mood and the circumstance. You might make a daring attempt to kill the meme in its tracks before it can infect someone else, or you might just stare at the writer with a dumbfounded look and ask, "Where the hell did you hear that?" Yes, the primal question: WHERE THE HELL DID YOU HEAR THAT? Inevitably, many will point to their writer's group . Ahhhh, of course , you think. Why just recently at an Algonkian event , one of my faculty (a former senior editor at Random House) and I were faced with an individual who adamantly asserted to us both that using only one point of view to write a n

Top Seven Reasons Aspiring Authors Fail to Publish

At a conservative estimate, upwards of 250,000 writers in the U.S. are currently struggling to write or find an agent for their first commercial novel or memoir. If you understand this business, you also know why an enormous percentage are unable to make it happen. Below are my top seven reasons why otherwise passionate writers will join the 99.9% never to become commercially published (btw, to read other valid perspectives on this, click on the " novel rejection reasons " label on the right). 1. NEOPHYTE SKILL SET AND A FAILURE TO COMPREHEND THE PROBLEM   In the case of the writer's prose narrative, it just does not display the kind of energy, cinema, creativity, and polish necessary to convince a gatekeeper professional to go deeper. The first line falls with a thud, and the graph dips from there into a pond of blah. This circumstance is perhaps the number one cause of quick rejection. Usually, the writer in question is sufficiently new to the game, not aware,