October is for novel building at ChapterBuzz

Timothy Pike, editor-in-chief
A Letter from the Editor

During the month of October, many of our new authors will be discovering the key to writing an excellent novel.

What is the key? Feedback.

That’s right: the 10K Novel-Building Challenge kicks off October 1st, and after participants spend the first week writing 10,000 words, they’ll use the next several weeks to read each other’s chapters and share their feedback.

If you’re a writer, join us! It’s truly amazing how much better your novel can be—and how much you can learn—when you huddle up with a group of writers to share your thoughts on each other’s work.

Even if you’re not a writer, you still have a valuable role to play during the Challenge. We’ll have a slew of new novels taking shape, and this is your chance to be the ultimate insider by letting the authors know what you think of their chapters and helping them improve their works-in-progress. If you’re not a member of the ChapterBuzz community, join us today.

And now, let’s take a look at the delectable morsels we have on our plate for this issue:

Author and poet Allison Marie Conway, our Art & Soul columnist, shares a juicy piece this month with her take on what writing is all about. “It’s about the glistening tangerine light glinting down the side of a pink wine bottle,” she writes, “as it sweats from coming right out of the fridge onto the back patio in the balmy air.” Find out why she thinks writing is about much more than just writing—it’s about coming undone.

Author Tiffany S. Doran dishes out more of her signature encouragement, and talks about her recent (literal) “challenge accepted” moment. So excited was she to join our 10K Novel Building Challenge in October that she signed up right away. But then she thought about how busy her life was, and was struck with doubt—that is, until she discovered that she could make the time. Her message for the busy writer is simple: just when you think you can’t, you actually can.

Next, award-winning author Shirley Holder Platt gives us some tips for writing a novel in three acts. “After you get story structure, and the idea of the three-act story,” she writes, “you’ll see it in everything you read and watch.” You can’t go wrong, Shirley insists, when you use the three-act method to keep your readers turning pages—and in her article this month, she reveals her formula.

Speaking of story structure, on the cover of this issue is author and editor Jennifer Silva Redmond, whose expertise lies in helping writers find the weak points in their story arcs. “Anyone can tell you that you have misspelled words,” Jennifer says, “but few can tell you why your book’s ‘second act’ isn’t working.” From the sailboat she lives and works on, Jennifer tells us all about how she got started in editing, why you don’t need to be a great writer if you’ve got a great story, and why she can’t say where her adventurous editing career is heading next.

It’s going to be a busy month around here! I hope you can find a few moments of peace and quiet—and a cozy nook to curl up in—to enjoy this month’s issue of Books & Buzz Magazine.

Happy reading,

Timothy Pike
Editor-in-chief, Books & Buzz Magazine

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