Friday, June 23, 2017

Query Kombat Moving on to Round 4 Matchups

Round 3 of this tournament is officially over. All kontenders fought valiantly, but alas, half of you must be knocked out. Win or lose, thanks for officially making QK the toughest query tournament in all the land. Be proud of yourselves for making it this far.

A standing ovation to those of you who fought and came out victorious. A full 48 entries out of the 64 that started this tournament have been eliminated. Those left can practically smell the title of QK Grand Champion. Best of luck in round 3, kontenders. You're going to need it.

Round 4 will be hosted on Laura's blog from June 24-25. Below is not only a list of who made it into the 4th round, but who entrants be match against as well. Orange entries are on team Rebel Scum. Is boy versus boy this round!

Bounty and the Beast vs. From Gutters to Galleries
Boy Band Ninja Assassins vs. Book Boys Gone Wild
Delicious Vicious Cycles vs. Hero By Default
Alabama Witch Hunters vs. Be Grateful for Cookies

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Query Kombat Round 3 Has Started

Here we go! Round 3!

Entries are on Mike's Blog! This round lasts until June 22nd at 8 pm.

On Thursday, the hosts will call out for extra judges to come and break ties, or in case of extra close votes to try and get a more decisive margin.

The entry with the most votes for Victory moves forward to the fourth round on June 24th!

Kombatants will not have any more chances to revise for the rest of the contest.

Reminders for the Entrants:

No commenting on your own entries until the last day of the round. If there is a problem with your entry, shout out to us on Twitter as soon as you can. If you don't have Twitter, you may comment on your entry telling me the mistake.

Also, we tried our hardest to make the match-ups as fair as possible and against as similar stories as possible. But, obviously, this is impossible to do perfectly and some match-ups may seen very random. We apologize for this but it's an evil of the system.

Kombatants should comment on 4 other match-ups to help share the love around!

Reminders for the Judges:

Wait until after one of us hosts comments on each entry first and reply to that comment to cast your votes. Try making your votes objective instead of subjective (but if you really love an entry subjectively, don't even feel bad about saying it was a subjective vote - subjectivity rules!).

Make sure to post under your nicknames!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Query Kombat Round 3 Matchups

Round three is coming up in just a few days. The round starts on June 20th at 8:00 a.m. and continues until June 22nd at 8:00 p.m. EDT.

Round three will be hosted only on Mike's blog. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please leave a comment or tweet us: @ravenousrushing @michelle4laughs @lh_writes.

Round 3 Match Ups

Bounty and the Beast vs. Switcher
Mother of all Custody Battles vs. From Gutters to Galleries
Super Powers and Problems vs. Boy Band Ninja Assassins
Delicious Vicious Cycles vs. Life as a Dumpster Fire
Hero by Default vs. This Selkie Can't Swim
Book Boys Gone Wild vs. Nowhere Land
Girl of Your Nightmares vs. Alabama Witch Hunters
Perfectly Imperfect Princess vs. Be Grateful for Cookies

Good Luck Sweet 16 Kombatants!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Query Kombat Round 2

Here we go! Round 2!

Entries are on my blog and Laura's! This round lasts until June 16th at 8 pm.

On Friday the hosts will call out for extra judges to come and break ties, or in case of extra close votes to try and get a more decisive margin. 

The entry with the most votes for Victory moves forward to the third round on June 20th! Winners may send in a revised entry to the Query Kombat email by Monday, June 19 at 8:00 am. Use the same format. 

Kombatants will not have any more chances to revise for the rest of the contest.

Reminders for the Entrants:

No commenting on your own entries until the last day of the round. If there is a problem with your entry, shout out to us on twitter as soon as you can. If you don't have a Twitter, you may comment on your entry telling me the mistake.

Also, we tried our hardest to make the match-ups as fair as possible and against as similar stories as possible. But, obviously, this is impossible to do perfectly and some match-ups may seen very random. We apologize for this but it's an evil of the system.

Kombatants should comment on 4 other match-ups to help share the love around!

Reminders for the Judges:

Wait until after one of us hosts comments on each entry first and reply to that comment to cast your votes. Try making your votes objective instead of subjective (but if you really love an entry subjectively, don't even feel bad about saying it was a subjective vote - subjectivity rules!).

Make sure to post under your nicknames!

QK Round 2: Beards vs. Bounty and the Beast

Title: Chai, Beards, and Harmony
Entry Nickname: Beards
Word count: 71K
Genre: Contemporary Adult Rom-Com (Own Voices)

QK Round 2: Mother of All Custody Battles vs. Three Men and an Actuary

Entry Nickname: Mother of All Custody Battles
Word count: 73K
Genre: Women’s Fiction

QK Round 2: Delicious Vicious Cycles vs. I Fell for a Convicted Felon

Entry NicknameDelicious Vicious Cycles
Word count: 74K
Genre: YA Contemporary, Own Voices

QK Round 2: The Barringer Museum vs. Switcher

Title: We, Freaks
Entry Nickname: The Barringer Museum
Word count: 78K
Genre: Adult Speculative Fiction

QK Round 2: Asteroid Snacks vs. Super Powers and Problems

Title: The Crows of Phobos
Entry Nickname: Asteroid Snacks
Word count: 84K
Genre: Adult Science Fiction

QK Round 2: Girl of Your Nightmares vs. Cheshire Hearts Alice!

Title: Lucid
Entry Nickname: Girl of Your Nightmares
Word Count: 93K
Genre: YA Psychological Suspense (ownvoices)

QK Round 2: Nowhere Land vs. Estella +Ayron

Entry Title:  Nowhere Land
Word Count:  78,000
Genre:  #ownvoices historical YA (MC is biracial w/ black father, white mother)

QK Round 2: Perfectly Imperfect Princess vs. Bust the Bubble Wrap

Title: Penelope Charming and the Poisoned Glass Slippers
Entry Nickname: Perfectly Imperfect Princess
Word Count: 53K
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Starting a Novel Using Short Stories from Katrina Carrasco

Starting to write a novel can seem daunting. How to get from 0 words to 100,000? Every time I begin a new book, it feels like I’m staring up the side of a mountain, wondering how I’m going to survive the long, long climb. I imagine that, in my metaphorical rucksack, all I have is my love for writing, a few ideas for the story, and an interesting character or two. Sometimes that doesn’t seem like much -- but it’s got to be enough to get me going.

As I’ve become more comfortable with my own novel-writing process, I’ve discovered a few ways to give myself a head-start. (Think: beginning a hike at a 2,000-meter base camp rather than at sea level.) One of my favorite ways to world-build a book is to write short stories. Whether a story spends time with a character or explores my setting, it brings me into the world of my novel and asks me to think about that world in a different way.

I stumbled upon this process through trial and error. About eight years ago, when I started the draft that would eventually become my first completed novel, I envisioned the book as a family saga. So I wrote 50k about one generation, then 50k about the next (somewhere around here a family curse got thrown in, naturally), and then 50k about the next … only to discover that the great-granddaughter (who appeared in generation No. 3) was actually the character I wanted to write the book about. So then I wrote the actual novel about her. In essence, I’d done 150k of prewriting. Ouch!, I thought at the time. What a waste! Of course, as most authors will tell you, no writing is a waste, especially with early books. Those were hours logged that served to hone my craft and help me find the real story I wanted to tell. Plus, I had a rich family history written out that I used to bring depth and complexity to my protagonist’s story.

That manuscript is shelved now, always special to me because it was my first completed book. It wasn’t until my third completed manuscript that I had a novel strong enough to capture interest from my agent and my editor. By then, I’d figured out that writing a whole other novel was not the most efficient word-building exercise, and I’d reined that in to the technique I’m sharing here: world-building through short stories.

What this looks like is completely flexible, depending upon your needs and your style. I find it most helpful to write a world-building short story (WBSS) either about a character or the setting. A WBSS can be a piece of flash-fiction or a fleshed-out, 5,000-word narrative. I like long-form pieces (yes, I’m a novelist at heart), so I’m usually comfortable with 5,000-word WBSSs. But it can also be a useful challenge to myself as a writer to build a story in 2,000 words or less. Go with what works best for you!

Stories About Characters

When writing a WBSS about a character, consider choosing one of your secondary (or even tertiary) characters. This will help you avoid the trap of flat, unremarkable supporting characters. Consider a book that has a crime boss as a secondary character, and this crime boss has henchmen (tertiary characters). You could have one of her men be a Large, Slow Henchman and not much else. But what if you wrote a story about him, and along the way discovered something about his family; what drove him to violent, underpaid work; what his favorite smell is, and his least-favorite part of his body? Now when he appears in scenes as you draft your novel, he will have tics and unique reactions to situations and a history with roots that extend far off the page.

Another benefit of choosing a secondary or tertiary character is that they will likely have a totally different personal and situational POV than your main character. Take L.S. Henchman again, and consider what parts of your book world he would know and see versus those your main character (say, a middle-class professor) knows and sees. When you explore your book world through L.S. Henchman’s eyes, you’re making it richer by default by using such a different lens -- and you can draw upon that richness when drafting the novel itself.

Stories About Setting

When writing a WBSS about your setting, consider it an opportunity to do research. Look for anecdotes or information you might not otherwise have woven into your story. This is a great way to come across other (real) stories that might spark episodes or events in your book. For historical novels, looking into a town’s past might bring you to old newspaper articles about disappearances, celebrations, or conflicts that you can incorporate into your own story. For contemporary novels, reading up on the politics or residents of an area can give you a deeper understanding of your setting in the context of the larger world. (Note: Researching may not be applicable to certain genres, like fantasy or some SpecFic. In cases where there is no research possible, try using WBSSs to set and explore world rules or other things you must create, like topography, language, or social norms.)

Benefits of This Method

On top of the world-building benefits, there are other reasons to write WBSSs. Depending on how much you care to polish a certain piece -- and how well it stands on its own -- you may want to submit it to magazines or websites for publication. I strongly encourage you to submit short fiction to these outlets. Why? 1) It’s practice for pitching your work. 2) It helps you get accustomed to rejection (a fact of life in the writing world). 3) It helps you get accustomed to acceptance (celebrate your successes!). 4) Publishing short fiction will start building your reader base. 5) Publishing short fiction will build your creative resume/portfolio.

Another benefit of writing WBSSs is that they are relatively low-commitment. Say you have an idea for a book, but you’re not sure if it’s enough to charge ahead with and pour countless hours into. (Think back to the mountain I mentioned, and being intimidated by the sheer scale of starting a novel from a blank page.) If you write a WBSS, you’re only committing to a short story. Some of the pressure -- and some of the fear -- is taken away when you think in increments of 5,000 words, rather than 100,000. And if you complete the story and love it, you’ll have 5,000 words of material to draw from for your book draft.

I hope this post inspires you to try the WBSS method. Have you tried writing short stories as a world-building technique before? What other world-building methods work for you when you’re starting a new novel?


Katrina Carrasco is a queer Latinx writer, born and raised in Southern California and now living in Seattle. In her novels and short stories she explores the ideas of passing, performance, and belonging: what is gained and what is lost by conforming to societal expectations of gender, race, class and sexuality. Her short fiction has appeared in Witness Magazine, Post Road Magazine, Quaint Magazine, and other journals. Her debut novel, CIPHER, will be released in Fall 2018 by MCD/Farrar, Straus and Giroux. CIPHER follows Alma Rosales, a queer woman and ex-Pinkerton detective, as she switches between female and male disguises to investigate an opium-smuggling ring.

Goodreads Page for CIPHER:

Monday, June 12, 2017

Query Kombat Agent Round Wrap Up and Round 2 Matchups

The Agent Round of Query Kombat 2017 has come to a close with a grand total of 123 requests spread across 35 entries!

I'd like to give a HUGE thanks to all the agents who came out to help make the Agent Round a success. And thanks to the Judges who whipped our Kombatants into shape!

Below you will find Round 2 match-ups. The round starts on June 14 at 8:00 a.m. and continues until June 16 at 8:00 p.m. EDT.

Round two will be hosted on my blog and Laura's. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please leave a comment or tweet us: @ravenousrushing @michelle4laughs @lh_writes.

Remember, only sixteen of you will advance. Good luck Kombatants, and good luck Judges. Both groups have a tough road ahead.

Agent Round Stats:

Highest number of requests for an entry: Michelle's blog 14
Number of Wild Cards played: 17 
Most requested host: Mike

Round 2 Match-ups

Laura's Blog

From Gutters to Galleries vs. Stands By Until He Doesn't
The Nose Knows vs. Life as a Dumpster Fire
Alternative Facts vs. Hero By Default
Book Boys Gone Wild vs. he Half-Orphan's Handbook
This Selkie Can't Swim vs. We Kinda Destroyed Paris
Boy Band Ninja Assassins vs. Kaza
Be Grateful for Cookies vs. Dogs and Chickens and Dragons, Oh My!
Alabama With Hunters vs. Super Space Nerd

Michelle's Blog

Bounty and the Beast vs. Beards

Three Men and an Actuary vs. Mother of All Custody Battles
I Fell for a Convicted Felon vs. Delicious Vicious Cycles
Switcher vs. The Barringer Museum
Super Powers and Problems vs. Asteroid Snacks
Cheshire Hearts Alice vs. Girl of Your Nightmares
Estella + Ayron vs. Nowhere Land
Bust the Bubble Wrap vs. Perfectly Imperfect Princess

Good Luck Kombatants!

Getting the Call with Alex Reda

What's a Call ™ story without some hospital drama?


It happened. I've graduated from reading the "Getting the Call" series to writing a guest post. And let me tell you, it wasn't the easiest journey. But I would've never gotten here without the constant support and advice I found in the writing community.

The manuscript that landed me my fabulous agent was actually written as a result of turning down an offer last year. That decision almost made me quit writing, but I knew that particular working relationship would derail my career, perhaps even halt it altogether. That period was tough. Long nights staring at empty pages and wondering if I'd just made the biggest mistake of my life.

Spoiler alert: I didn't.

After I shook the desperation off me, I decided I needed something fun to get back into my usual rhythm. I needed to write something I loved. And what do I love? Badass women reaching their goals. That's how my YA contemporary novel, LOVE, LIES, AND THE OTHER TEAM DIES got written in the dead of night. I gave up sleeping and lost myself in the world of competitions, video games, and teenage ambitions.

But the novel was far from perfect, so I entered Pitch Wars 2016. The universe smiled down on me and Marty Mayberry selected me as her mentee. We're now CPs and friends. #PitchWarsGoals

My inbox filled with "great novel, but not right for me", so I took another chance and entered #PitMad. In a past life, I must've bargained some cookies for good luck because an agent I planned on querying the very next day liked one of my tweets. And she was part of the first ever agency that requested additional material from me, so many years ago. Could this be it? The goal I'd been writing towards all these years, so poetically reached? I didn't want to get my hopes up (though I was unsuccessful; damn day-dreaming).

Then I got the e-mail of my dreams and I couldn't hit the reply button fast enough. Why, yes, I'd love to chat. Of course next week works for me. Yes, I'm over-the-moon excited. And, yes, I'm doing my happy dance as we speak (type?), but you don't really need to know that, so I'm just going to celebrate in private with my CPs.

Nothing could get me downexcept getting super sick and landing in the ER 3 days later, only to find out I'll have to stay in the hospital for at least a week. As you can imagine, the timing wasn't ideal. And it became even less so when the nurses let me know I'd be going in for a procedure the morning when of my Call ™ day. Anesthesia included, of course.

Still, I didn't freak out. I woke up, groggy and unfocused, a few hours before my phone call, I went over my list of questions, I gushed over the agent's #MSWL. You know, completely normal things. My laptop screen got away from me a few times, but I persevered. Then a nurse came in and told me I'd been scheduled for another round of tests, smack dab in the time frame of my Call ™.

Cue freak out.

My heart dropped. My face lost color so fast the nurse thought I was about to faint. I probably wasn't as coherent as I remember, since it's all a bit fuzzy, but I did everything in my power to convince the staff to bump the tests for the next day. I almost got down on my knees. Luckily, the situation was resolved before I did that. I was so loopy, I probably wouldn't have managed to get up afterwards.

With all that mess behind me, I waited with the phone in my hand, the pink cannula digging into the crook of my elbow, stinging my arm into numbness. When the phone rang, I was ready for it. I realized I liked the agent in the first ten seconds of our conversation. She was so professional and poised and funny and charming and awesome. The Internet connection might've been scratchy, but we understood each other just fine. She loved my novel, I loved her enthusiasm. Before I knew it, we were joking around and talking about my career. A writing career. Mine! She answered all of my questions before I even had a chance to ask them, and put me at such ease, I forgot all about the awful week I'd had and the soul-crippling fear that I'd somehow mess up the phone call. I almost heard angels singing when she offered rep.

Half an hour later, we hung up with so many wonderful promises, I wanted to hug someone. I called my Mom (who had absolutely no idea I write) and told her I'm going to have an awesome literary agent.

I wanted to say yes right then and there. I've always been a fan of gut-feelings and mine were telling me this agent was the right fit for me.

Which she absolutely is! I'm beyond excited to be working with Natascha Morris, from Bookends LLC. Right from the get-go, she's been a dream and everything I could've hoped for in an agent. She's counseled me on branding and name changes (I used to write as Amelia Creed, hello, blast from the past), on future projects, and everything in between. I'm one lucky girl.

Lucky to have such a stellar agent in my corner. Lucky to have the support of my friends and CPs. Lucky to be part of such an amazing community. And lucky to have never given up on my dream.


Alex Reda lives near the literary birthplace of modern vampires (and no, she doesn’t carry a head of garlic around every dayonly on weekends). Though she enjoys reading about the pointy-toothed bastards in other authors’ novels, she likes her own characters on the human side, always in creepy settings, always with a hint of romance. One of her goals is to create someone’s future OTP. When she’s not glued to her keyboard, she dashes between lecture halls, daydreaming about her plot bunnies and gorging on dark chocolate.

Twitter: @Alex_Reda

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Query Kombat Agent Round 2017

Here we go! The agent round! Before you dive in, please - agents and entrants - read this post!

Agents, entrants are spread out over all three blogs. You can also find them at Laura's blog and Mike’s blog

Agents will request by saying, “I want to see more of this!” and leaving their submission instructions. (Kombatants: Don’t forget to put QUERY KOMBAT Request in your subject line when sending material!)

As you remember, agent requests will stay hidden until an entry is knocked out of the tournament.

The number of pages you’ll send depends on how far you go in Query Kombat!

It's because we're super evil. Here's how the system works:

Host Saves or Round 2 knockout = 30 page request
Round 3 knockout = 50 page request
Round 4 knockout = 100 page request
Round 5 knockout = 150 page request
Round 6 knockout = 200 page request
GRAND CHAMPION = Full request

For instance, getting knocked out in the third round means an entrant will send 50 pages to any agent who requested their work. The grand champion winner from the final round will see their requests bumped up to a full. Host Saves will be allowed to see their requests immediately as they are not continuing to the 2nd round.

Each agent gets 2 wild cards! (In the case of a wild card, said wild card is displayed immediately, giving Kombatants a reason to watch the blogs!)

If an agent sees an entry where the minimum of 30 pages isn’t enough, they can play a wild card and name their amount of pages and get their request immediately!If they fall in love and absolutely want a full, the wild card will let them do that.
However, only two wild cards can stand per entry. That means only the first two wild cards count. After that, agents will have to wait until the entry is knocked out.

So that’s it! Commenting on entries is only allowed for agents.
Kombatants can mix and mingle on twitter but can’t comment, with the exception of this post where they can leave questions.

Best of luck and May the Requests Be With You! BATTLE ON!

QK Agent Round 1: The Nose Knows, Adult Cont Fantasy Ownvoices

Title: The End of the World as We Know it
Entry Nickname: The Nose Knows
Word Count: 69k
Genre: Adult contemporary fantasy. Ownvoice--Latino (two of the multiple POVs)

QK Agent Round 2: Stands By Until He Doesn't, Literary Thriller

Title: The Henchman
Entry Nickname:  Stands By Until He Doesn't
Word count: 97,700
Genre:  Literary Thriller

QK Agent Round 3: She's Fast, He's Furious, Contemporary Sports Romance

Title: Circuit of Attraction
Entry Nickname: She’s Fast, He’s Furious
Word count: 87K
Genre: Adult Contemporary Sports Romance

QK Agent Round 4: Hero by Default, YA Urban Fantasy

Title: The Mortal Coil
Entry Nickname: Hero by Default
Word count: 80K
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy

QK Agent Round 5: Book Boys Gone Wild, YA Contemporary Fantasy

Title: Paper Seeds
Entry Nickname: Book Boys Gone Wild!
Word count: 109k
Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy

QK Agent Round 6: Boy Band Ninja Assassins, YA Adventure Comedy

Entry Nickname: Boy Band Ninja Assassins
Word Count: 80K
Genre: YA Adventure Comedy

QK Agent Round 7: We Kinda Destroyed Paris, YA Contemporary Fantasy OwnVoices

Entry Nickname: We kinda destroyed Paris
Word count: 72K
Genre: YA contemporary fantasy
It's OWN VOICES as Skye's gay (I identify as queer due to being physically attracted to men but bi-romantic)

QK Agent Round 8: Dogs and Chickens and Dragons, Oh My!, MG Contemporary Fantasy

Title: Flecka Wivern and Her Two Pet Dragons
Entry Nickname: Dogs and Chickens and Dragons, Oh My!
Word Count: 43,000
Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary Fantasy

QK Agent Round 9: Perfectly Imperfect Princess, MG Fantasy

Title: Penelope Charming and the Poisoned Glass Slippers
Entry Nickname: Perfectly Imperfect Princess
Word Count: 53K
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

QK Agent Round 10: Alabama Witch Hunters, MG Horror

Title: Bubba T. Jones: Southern Fried Witch Hunter
Entry Nickname: Alabama Witch Hunters
Word Count: 45,000
Genre: MG Horror 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Guest Post from Sandi Ward on Creating an Unconventional Narrator

Using an Unconventional Narrator to Tell A One-Of-A-Kind Story

Choosing a point of view (POV) for your novel may come naturally to you, rather than being a conscious choice. I imagine most authors simply start thinking of a story either from inside a character’s head (“I started to shake as the vampire opened his eyes…”), or they see it from outside (“The vampire’s eyes clicked open, and Jeremy shuddered”). A story organically grows from this key decision, which must be one of the very first choices a writer makes as a story idea unfolds.

Writing in first person

I always write from a first person point of view, because I like to get very close with my protagonist. I need to know everything about the character—her thoughts, feelings, background, friends and family—in order to have her tell a compelling story. First person allows me to totally inhabit a character. It’s an intimate form of story-telling, one where you are getting a specific viewpoint.


Once you’ve decided on first person, it’s important to think about voice. Rather than being omniscient, a first-person narrative demands an opinionated point of view and a unique way of thinking. Your character’s background and experiences means that she will make judgments and choices that reflect her own POV, not that of the author. Her family, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, education and other factors influence who she is.

Unexpected voices: 3 examples

Sometimes, an author takes a leap and sees the world from inside the head of a character you might not expect to tell such a tale, with fantastic results. For example, the classic The Boy in the Striped Pajamas tells a story of the Holocaust—from the point of view of a young boy in a Nazi family. The reader only slowly learns the truth of what’s happening in the story, and the reader has a better understanding of the big picture than the young boy ever does. It’s a truly unique read.

Another example is The Curious Incident of Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. This story is told from the POV of an autistic teenager who wants to solve a mystery: who murdered his neighbor’s dog? As a reader, we marvel at the main character’s observations and quirks (including numbering the chapters with only prime numbers), chuckle empathetically at his misunderstandings (although we are able to see what he missed), and ultimately feel his pain at the changes going on in his life.

As a last example, in my debut novel, The Astonishing Thing, I present a story about a troubled family from the point of view of the family cat. Our pets are witnesses to our private moments; they hear our confessions and are the keepers of our secrets. My protagonist, Boo, doesn’t understand everything going on in her family. Like a smart little girl, she isn’t completely familiar with concepts like mental illness and divorce. But she wants her family to be happy and safe, and provides a unique way of looking at the world.

The unreliable narrator

Sometimes an author goes a step further and tells a story using an unreliable narrator; examples include the hit novels The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Especially in a murder mystery, you can create fantastic twists and turns if narrators lie, omit information, or can’t remember events due to alcoholic blackouts. It can make for a thrilling reader experience.

Advantages and disadvantages

One disadvantage of using first person is that you can never leave that character’s head. The main character can only guess at what others are thinking—but sometimes that can lead to interesting misunderstandings or assumptions, creating further drama. So you may be able to turn that disadvantage into an effective narrative device.

Using an unconventional narrator can be a great way to experiment, get creative, and pull more drama out of a traditional story. Have fun with it and happy writing!



Twitter/Instagram @sandiwardbooks
Pre-order THE ASTONISHING THING, the story of a troubled family seen through the eyes of their cat, on Amazon: