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MichaelNeff

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About MichaelNeff

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Washington DC
  • Interests
    Novel writing, film, teaching, website production, and trail hiking.

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  1. Always proud and willing to work with aspiring authors.

  2. Crafted for writers by writers. A smooth, full-bodied blend of Sumatran velvet and Nicaraguan dark. Guaranteed to get your creative juices flowing (and God knows what else). Try it out. We'll refund your $10.99 if you don't share our enthusiasm for this coffee (you must have a paypal acct. for refunds).
  3. Pre-Event Assignments - New York Pitch Conference The below seven assignments are vital to reaching an understanding of those critical core elements that go into the creation of a commercially viable genre novel or narrative non-fiction. Of course, there is more to it than this, as you will hopefully learn, but here we have a good primer that assures we're literally all on the same page right from the start. You may return here as many times as you need to edit your topic post (login and click "edit"), even following the pitch conference. Pay special attention to antagonistic force
  4. What makes for good drama is a constant. To begin, we combine Siegal's "nine act structure - two goal" screenplay (very much like the Syd Field three act except that the "reversal" from Field's structure joins "Act 5" in Siegal's version) with the Field classic three act. The Two-Goal Structure, Siegal maintains, creates more dynamic plot tension due to the insertion of PLOT REVERSAL later in the story. We concur. NOTE: "Plot Point" is defined here as a major occurrence that emphatically changes the course of the story. In the genre novel as a whole, we see three to five major plot poi
  5. HOOK OR LOG WITH CORE WOUND AND CONFLICT Your hook line (also known as logline) is your first chance to get a New York or Hollywood professional interested in your novel. It can be utilized in your query to hook the agent into requesting the project. It is especially useful for those pitch sessions at conferences, lunches, in the elevator, or anywhere else. When a prospective agent or editor asks you what your book is about, your high-concept hook line is your answer. Writing one also encourages a realization of those primary elements that will make your novel into a work of powerful ficti
  6. Aspire to be a great genre author? So what's your high concept?... If you fail to grasp the vital importance of this second question, you will fail to conceive much less write a publishable genre novel - thriller, mystery, fantasy, horror, crime, SF, you name it. Just not going to happen. Don't let any writer group or self-appointed writer guru online or writer conference panel tell you otherwise. You're competing with tens of thousands of other aspiring authors in your genre. Consider. WHAT IS GOING TO MAKE YOUR NOVEL STAND OUT from the morass of throat-gulping hopefuls who don't know any
  7. It's like acid rain. It never ceases to scar, harm the environment, and ruin vacations. We're talking about bad writer advice, of course (btw, see our first article on this subject). While perusing several collections of "Worst Writer Advice" found sprouting like toxic tulips after a simple Google search (most of it authored by insufferable rank amateurs working for the ad-driven content industry, and who wisely appear between ages 12 and 17), I found the various fallacies and idiocies about novel writing contained therein to be worth pointing out. Much of it was reminiscent of childish
  8. An ideal first stop here at WE... You will discover below a series of scholarly, researchable, frank and indispensable guides to conceiving and writing the commercial genre novel, as well as the plot-driven literary novel. But the cutting edge of the developmental peels and prods as presented makes an initial big assumption, namely, that you are honestly desirous of true publication either by a classic publisher or traditional literary press, and therefore, willing to birth the most dynamic and can't-put-it-down novel you possibly can. Further, you are also naturally desirous of great se
  9. Prepared for appropriate frustration and tapped out fingers? Using our favorite "stand on the shoulders of the classics" approach, we're going to examine the role of detailed character description when it comes to enhancing prose narrative. We've touched on this previously with our High Impact Narrative article and a caboose of Enhancement via Nabokov, but we're not done yet. Let's look at various examples and techniques. A GREAT DAMP LOAF From Annie Proulx's "The Shipping News": "A great damp loaf of a body. At six he weighed eighty pounds. At sixteen he was buried under a casem
  10. Once more, the classics speak to us. What is one of the primary reasons novels get rejected? The narrative is too passive. It ultimately falls flat, quiet and dull. Details are insufficient, metaphors lacking, lack of energy obvious, circumstances predictable (see also Narrative Enhancement via Nabokov). So what to do? At WE we believe in learning from great authors whose shoulders we stand on. Therefore, we've developed a means of addressing this issue. We wish you to seek inspiration from the prose extractions below and utilize them for purposes of defeating passivity via emulation. In
  11. A WATERSHED EVENT FOR SERIOUS WRITERS Whatever the stage of your project or writing life, know that all writers, if they desire to become commercially published, must see and enter the Epiphany Light. First of all, what is the "Epiphany Light"? The EL is a state of mind crucial to any aspiring author desirous of commercial or serious literary publication, and one which clearly divides the 99% from the 1% of those who've learned the hard way how challenging it is to have their expertise and projects taken seriously by professionals in the publishing business. But are the percentag
  12. 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 he
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