Culture & Literature
The Writer

The Writer July 2019

Since 1887 The Writer has provided the motivation, writing techniques, expert tips and compelling author insights that turn good writing into great writing. We’ll help you become a better writer, find markets for your work, understand the business of writing, follow industry news and trends, reach your goals, and more!

United States
Madavor Media, LLC
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12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
building a business

The best advice I have for anyone looking to publish a book can be summed up in nine words: Know what you want – and why you want it. Think not “I want an agent” but rather “I want a hands-on literary agent with proven sales for authors in my genre because receiving edits from an experienced professional can increase the odds that my book will sell.” Think not “I want a book deal” but rather “I want a book deal with a smaller press because my book will face less competition for my publisher’s resources.” A manuscript can be rewritten, revised, reshaped, or scrapped entirely; a signed publishing contract cannot. Every year we receive letters from authors who have been poorly treated – or worse, taken advantage of – by so-called professionals in…

1 min.
this month on writermag.com

The best-selling books of the year (so far) We’re halfway through 2019. Which books are topping the sales charts? Visit writermag.com to see which memoirs and novels are outperforming their competition. A halfway point for #RutBusterBook Our copy editor, Toni Fitzgerald, is taking readers on her journey to write a children’s book in 2019 – and she’s already halfway through the year! Catch up on what you’ve missed at writermag.com/blog, and be sure to tell us how your own #RutBusterBook is going. Summer will be over in a FLASH Our annual Summer Flash Contest will be here before you know it! Remember, both fiction and nonfiction entries are eligible so long as your submission is under 1,000 words. In need of inspiration for your entry? Browse our massive archive of writing prompts at writermag.com/writing-inspiration. STAY IN…

4 min.
the writer’s heartbeat

“This is an engine problem, not a heart problem.” The cardiologist stares steadily into my eyes, calm and reassuring. He isn’t rushed – yet I know there are dozens of ailing tickers, waiting for his magic touch. He has to be unruffled, as his patients are full of fear. No other body organ seems as essential as these four chambers; the threat of impairment makes blood pressure soar. “Your engine’s getting revved up by something,” the kindhearted doctor continues. “It’s sort of like you’re sweating a lot.” I am sweating. A lot. Months of palpitations have prevented me from sleeping, causing insomnia. Whenever my creative writing students use trite body ailment phrases like “my heart was pounding” or “my heart sank,” I wave my red pen in the margins of their essays,…

2 min.
ask the writer

Writers are often instructed to use only one point of view in a novel. However, I note that some authors use multiple points of view – often in the same chapter. Are multiple points of view OK if transitions are not jarring and the reader isn’t overloaded? Point of view is a sprawling topic with lots of little intricacies, and, as a result, I find it useful to tease out some understandings before starting. The term “point of view” is often used exactly how it seems you’re using it – to refer to the character through which the reader experiences the story at any given time. Point of view, though, is a much broader term, taking into account many other authorial choices that define the author’s overall strategy employed to tell…

1 min.
shore things

1. A BEACHY BLANK JOURNAL Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you’re off the hook with your writing goals. Keep hitting those daily word counts with this seaside-inspired notebook, which boasts a wood-cut conch shell on its cover. $25, Amazon.com 2. THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY TOWEL Shark scare in the waters? There’s no reason to panic: You’ve got your towel, and, as Douglas Adams wrote in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, “Any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still know where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.” $33, Amazon.com 3. LEISURELY BOOK BAG This adorable tote features both a happy sloth and our official summer motto: “Let’s hang out and read.” Stuff…

2 min.

Welcome to the Writer’s Life: How to Design Your Writing Craft, Writing Business, Writing Practice, and Reading Practice There’s no one right way to live a writing life (unless, of course, you never write a word). But how does one start being a writer? Who’s allowed to call themselves a “writer,” anyway? And beyond grammar and syntax, what does a person need to know before they begin seriously pursuing a writing career? Paulette Perhach is here to usher fledgling writers into the writing community with her recent book, Welcome to the Writer’s Life. From learning the basics (finding the time to write, understanding plot) to more advanced skills (learning copy editor marks and workshop etiquette), Perhach’s book is littered with helpful concrete tips, writing exercises, infographics, outside-the-box strategies, checklists, and advice from fellow…