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Writing With Quiet Hands

Book Description

Commit to Your Writing Craft!

To write with quiet hands is to embrace the journey all writers must take: from seeking inspiration and shaping raw material to cultivating a personal support network, navigating the various pathways to publication, and committing to a lifelong practice. In Writing with Quiet Hands, author and literary agent Paula Munier helps you hone your words into well-crafted stories and balance this satisfying work with the realities and challenges of the publishing world.

You'll learn how to tame your muse, manage your time wisely, and treat your practice with the seriousness it deserves. You'll develop a distinct voice, write with style and substance, employ the tenets of strong structure, and engage your readers by injecting narrative thrust into your stories. You'll explore the finer aspects of craft, refine your work, and boldly bridge the gap between published and unpublished. From drafting and revising to querying agents, you'll discover the secrets to writing artfully, and publishing bravely.

Fulfilling and rewarding writing careers are forged from the successful marriage of craft and business know-how. Are you ready to embark on your journey, armed with both grace and grit? Are you ready to write with quiet hands?

"Writing with Quiet Hands is loaded tips and tools, firsthand experience, and down-to-earth advice from a writer, editor, and agent who's seen it from all sides. Paula Munier gives it to you straight as she dissects the inspiration, perspiration, and dogged determination it takes to set and meet your writing goals. This book will keep you sane." --Hallie Ephron, New York Times best-selling author of Night Night, Sleep Tight

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Dedication
  4. Foreword
  5. Introduction
    1. The Consolation Of Story
    2. Putting Words on Paper
    3. They’re Going to Pay Me for This?
    4. Once A Writer …
  6. Part One: Inspiration Meets Craft
    1. Chapter One: A Commitment to Craft
      1. Why Craft Matters
      2. Those Who Commit, Craft
      3. Voluntary Apprenticeship
    2. Chapter Two: The Taming of the Muse
      1. Feeding the Beast
      2. Storming Your Brain
      3. Inspiration on Demand
    3. Chapter Three: Writing as Practice
      1. Showing Up
      2. Taking Your Seat
      3. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Days
    4. Chapter Four: A Voice of Your Own
      1. Creative Imitation
      2. Walking Your Talk
      3. Honesty Rules
    5. Chapter Five: Style and Substance
      1. Now That’s Saying Something
      2. Toning It Up—and Down
      3. Clarity: The Ultimate in Style
  7. Part Two: Pen Meets Paper
    1. Chapter Six: The Construction of Story
      1. Dreaming the Architecture
      2. Framing the Building
      3. Gilding the Genre
    2. Chapter Seven: The Resurrection of Character
      1. Shape-Shifting for Writers
      2. Taking Your Best Shots
      3. Speaking Parts
    3. Chapter Eight: The Engine of Narrative Thrust
      1. Go, Story, Go!
      2. What Now?
      3. Scaring Readers Silly
    4. Chapter Nine: The Grounding of Setting
      1. "Where" Is Everything
      2. Place Settings
      3. Here and Now, There and Then
    5. Chapter Ten: Fun with First Drafts
      1. The Kitchen Sink
      2. Make Your Own Rules: The Plotter
      3. No Rules, No Worries: The Pantser
      4. The Happy Medium: The Plantsers
      5. The Finish Line
    6. Chapter Eleven: The Second-Draft Deep Dive
      1. Theme Weaver
      2. Creating an Image System
      3. Milking the Drama
      4. Coming up for Air
    7. Chapter Twelve: Revision as Ritual
      1. Harnessing Your Inner Critic
      2. When in Doubt, Delete
      3. Principled Polishing
  8. Part Three: Writer Meets World
    1. Chapter Thirteen: Devices and Desire
      1. Keeping the Drama on the Page
      2. Block(ed) Head
      3. The Mindful Art of Distraction
    2. Chapter Fourteen: Good Writers and Good Friends
      1. Sabotage
      2. Support
      3. And the Wisdom to Know the Difference
    3. Chapter Fifteen: Agents and Other Oddities
      1. Consorting with the Frenemy
      2. Pitch, Process, Persist
      3. The “Business” of Publishing
      4. The Business of Promotion
    4. Chapter Sixteen: Wherever You Write, There You Are
      1. (Remember) Why You Write
      2. The Long Haul
      3. You on a Book Cover
  9. Acknowledgments
  10. About the Author