The Revisor’s List

Some really great advice. Check it out!

At Wit{t}'s End

          In recent months I’ve been lucky enough to get in touch with two writers who have given me the opportunity to join a small critique group with them. I plan to make regular posts about our meetings, and so will include links to their information once I’ve actually gathered it. Promise. For now I’d like to share some of the advice I got from our first meeting.    

          What I find particularly satisfying about their input is that a lot of it is channeled straight from their editors and agents. There’s something exhilarating about it; like I can imagine the information is coming from my very own agent. It’s good fantasy fuel. Of course, the advice I’m sharing was aimed at my writing style in particular, so it may not be helpful for everyone, but take what you need and keep the rest on file.



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How to Support an Author’s New Book: 11 Ideas For You

When my friend get published, I’ll be doing this for her.

Writers In The Storm Blog

By Chuck Sambuchino

large_5595133805My Writer’s Digest coworker, Brian A. Klems, recently geared up for the release of his first book — a humorous guide for fathers called OH BOY, YOU’RE HAVING A GIRL: A DAD’S SURVIVAL GUIDE TO RAISING DAUGHTERS (Adams Media). On top of that, my coworker Robert Brewer (editor of Writer’s Market) recently got a publishing deal for a book of his poetry.

So I find myself as a cheerleader for my writing buddies — trying to do what I can to help as their 2013 release dates approach. I help in two ways: 1) I use my own experience of writing & publishing books to share advice on what they can expect and plan for; and 2) I simply do whatever little things I can that help in any way.

This last part brings up an important point: Anyone can support an author’s…

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The Last Unicorn: A book review


Book Review:

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

When I was much younger, I was introduced to a movie called The Last Unicorn. It was one of the most beautiful movies I had ever seen, enjoying the art style and the catchy tunes. Little did I know that it was based off a book by Peter S. Beagle. I had never read the book until my sophomore year of high school and I must say, the movie did it justice.

The story starts off with two huntsmen in the forest seeking game, but with no luck. The oldest of the two states that animals who live in a unicorn’s forest gain a little magic of their own. They end up speaking of unicorns, the younger hunter skeptical. The older huntsmen leaves with saying that she is the last of her kind and to stay in her forest where she will be safe. This revelation disturbs the Unicorn, and though she initially dismisses it, eventually doubt and worry drive her to leave her forest.

The reader is then taken on the journey with the unicorn, where she encounters many adventures on her quest for knowledge. Along the way she encounters a butterfly who speaks in riddles and sings tales, soon learning of the Red Bull and what might have happened to the other unicorns. Compelled by the butterfly, the unicorn then seeks out the Red Bull along with a magician and a maiden, unknowing of what’s to come. During the journey, they come across the Red Bull, a living skull, a prince and a miserable, cruel king. Oh and there’s a talking cat, who like the butterfly, speaks in riddles.

One of the things I adored most about the story were the characters. I adored the curiosity within the unicorn, what made her so brave and beautiful, her bravery was inspiring. Although minor characters, I loved Captain Cully, boldest of the bold and his band of freemen. They are outlaws, but what’s a story without some of those? Let us also not forget, Schmendrick, if not for him the adventure would not have continued the way it did (I won’t say what for fear of spoilers).

The Last Unicorn, like the Princess Bride, had just about everything. It had adventure, magic, outlaws, fighting and love. If you enjoy all these things in a book, I think this one is just for you. It’s fantasy novel and my number one favorite of all.

Peter S. Beagle, your book gets 5/5 stars because no matter what, I can always get lost in the journey of The Last Unicorn.

Divergent: A book review


Divergent by Veronica Roth

The world of Divergent is set in a dystopian Chicago, where society is divided into five sections or factions, as it is called in the book. Each faction values a particular human trait. The factions are Abnegation (the selfless), Amity (the peaceful), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave) and Erudite (the intelligent). One day each year, all sixteen-year-olds must take an aptitude test to let them know which faction they are best suited for. After, there is a ceremony in which they must choose to either stay in the faction they were raised in or transfer to another faction.

The story introduces the readers to sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior. Beatrice was born and raised in Abnegation. The way Roth describes the story through Beatrice’s eyes was one of the reasons I became so engrossed in the story. Beatrice is conflicted about and after the aptitude test, unsure where her destiny lies. I was immediately able to connect with the character and even relate in her fears of not being able to share the thoughts running through her mind.

Veronica Roth had me flipping each page faster than I could read the words. Each scene had me sitting at the edge of my seat, only wanting more. I was drawn into the world of Divergent, getting to know more about Beatrice, her friends and what could possibly lie ahead. After she chooses her faction, you see Beatrice’s personality soar, showing sides of her that would not have appeared had she stayed in Abnegation and why her old faction did not suit her. There is also the romantic connection between Beatrice and her instructor, Four who is only eighteen years old and quite intimidating. Also, handsome. I have especially enjoyed the scenes where there connection grows and I can only hope it will blossom along the way.

There was so much more to this story then watching Beatrice transfer to another faction and fighting her way to the top in an attempt to become on of the ten initiates. There’s the mystery playing about with the Erudite faction and the secret behind who Four really is. I don’t want to spoil the story for future readers; you just have to check it out!

I already re-read Divergent, including skimming over my favorite scenes. Once I was done with the book, I quickly jumped into the sequel!

All in all, it was a great read. I highly recommend it!

5/5 stars for Veronica Roth’s Divergent

Note: I just found out there’s going to be a movie. I can only hope that it stays true to the book and that it is most excellent!!


Writers In The Storm Blog

“The Tricky Part” of writing is different for every author, but hardly anyone is good at both dialogue & description. Laurie Schnebly Campbell talks about the skills required for each, and how to discover where your strengths lie.

And, did we mention that there is a prize for a lucky commenter? That contest closes Thursday evening at 6 p.m. (PDT) and we’ll announce the winner this Friday. Read on!

 by Laurie Schnebly Campbell

LaurieCampbellWe all tend to be better at one of the Double D’s — dynamic description, or delicious dialogue. But if you ask a bunch of bestselling authors which they’re better at, they can’t always tell you…because they’ve worked on both to the point where now each comes easily.

Most of us aren’t at that point yet, though. We’ve all had the experience of re-reading a page we just wrote and thinking “aaack, I SUCK at [dialogue or…

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11 Frequently Asked Questions About Book Royalties, Advances and Money

This blog post was linked to me by a friend. I was curious as to how the whole getting paid for your books thing works and found it to be extremely helpful. I decided to bookmark it for future reference, along with following this blogger. Check it out!

Writers In The Storm Blog

By Chuck Sambuchino

medium_2699296069If you’re going to wheel and deal with literary agents and editors, you’ll end up spending more time than you’d like discussing rights, contracts, advances, royalties and a whole lot of other important stuff. That said, I want to address the most common questions regarding how advances and royalties work. In other words, how does the payment process work when you sell a book?

Here are some FAQs:

1. How do writers make money?

You sign a contract with a publisher. In exchange for signing over the North American and English language print rights to your book and possibly other rights, as well, you are paid one of three ways:

  • flat fee: a set amount of money upfront that’s yours to keep. The amount does not change no matter how well the book sells. For example, if your flat fee is $10,000, the amount remains the same…

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