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January, 2008

Free Writing Resources!

Neubauer's Nuggets
No problem is too big or too small for our Joan
By  Joan R. Neubauer

Each month, award-winning author Joan R. Neubauer will answer questions from you, her readers. She will answer questions about writing, promotion, publishing, and any other aspect of the publishing industry you can think of. Send your questions to her emailbox at SUBJECT Neubauer Nuggets and maybe yours will be the question she answers next month.

All-purpose Agents

Q: Dear Joan,

Because I have varied categories up my sleeve, should I try to find an agent for each of them? Or find one agent that has some vision and "gets it?"

Randy Ballard,
Vance, Connecticut

A: Dear Randy,

As an author I know exactly where you're coming from. You have so many ideas running around in your head, and they all want to get out, and then you want to sell them to the appropriate markets. To answer your question, either solution is viable, however, I personally like a one-stop-shop approach.

Research authors who write in a variety of genres and then find out who represents them. Approach those agents with a query letter telling them of your desire to publish in more than one genre. Wait to see if anyone expresses an interest in seeing your work. You can then take it from there and follow their direction.

If that doesn't work, connect with an agent who handles your best genre. If she sells your manuscript, submit another in a genre not too far afield from the first. If she sells that, send her another, just a little outside the box.

But beware of a danger here. The industry--agents,editors and publishers--like to pigeonhole authors. So if you publish a mystery, everyone pegs you as a mystery writer. No matter how successful you may be with your mysteries, they won't want to publish you in any other genre, and for a very good reason.

The publisher spends a good bit of time and resources developing an author in a particular genre and the author develops a following, a fan base that waits excitedly for the next book. Publishers don't want to jeopardize that investment.

To counter that phenomenon, you may choose to write under a different pseudonym for each genre. I know of several authors who have done that successfully. That should take care of your desire to write in a variety of genres and at the same time protect your publisher's investment in you.

Good luck and keep writing!

Child Challenge

Q: Dear Joan,

Dear Joan,

I recently quit my job to stay at home with my two young children. To supplement my husband's income I have started freelancing for some local publications. I've had a small amount of success with my nonfiction pieces, but I still dream of writing a novel.

While I'm working on one assignment, my mind wanders to novel plots. I must get two or three ideas a week. The problem is that I can't stop what I'm doing to start writing on the latest novel idea, but must concentrate on meeting deadlines. Yet, I don't want to lose the idea. What do I do?

Ann Logan
Santa Barbara, CA

A: Dear Ann,

It sounds as if you have the soul of a novelist fighting for recognition in the body of a nonfiction writer. That's quite all right. Here's how to deal with it.

Keep a small notebook near your work space. When you get an idea for a plot, jot it down. As other ideas for development come, write them down. Newplot--new page. In this way, you get to satisfy those nagging little tyrants and record them for future use. Then set yourself a long-term goal, say 12 to 18 months. Pick one of your wonderful ideas to develop and write the book in that time frame.

How? Set aside a specific time during the day, maybe during your children's naptime or at night right after they've gone to bed, to write your fiction. Be sure to write at least a page a day. At the end of the year you will have written at least 365 pages of your beloved fiction. In the meantime, you've taken care of the kids, and met all your deadlines for your shorter pieces.

Good luck and keep writing!
JoanIN Icon 

Joan R. Neubauer is an author and works as a publisher at Joan invites you to visit her website at or to drop her an email at You can sign up for WordWright's monthly email newsletter at the site as well.

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Hottest Books This Month!

Whose Books Are Turning Into Movies?
Bald Ego
Mouse Over To Pause

Writer’s Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails we’ve known;
Each writer’s block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
It’s how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Don’t plant your poem on the page
As though you’re hanging drapes;
It’s shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their “themes.”

Double Vision
A writer’s life is paradox,
It’s more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know you’ll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poem’s through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

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Our Disclaimer Is Based Upon McIntyre's First Law: "Under the right circumstances, anything I tell you may be wrong."