Publishing Your Science Fiction Novel

Hmm, this is becoming the week TVWriter™ rediscovered Writers Digest. Here’s another helpful Writers Digest post. Looks like a place y’all need to visit more, yeah?

by Robert Lee Brewer

Writing a novel is hard to do. It takes skill, hard work, and perseverance. Once you’ve finished, it’s natural to start thinking about the next step—publication!

In this post, I’m going to share how to get your science fiction novel published. We’ll look at example query letters and synopses that were effective specifically for science fiction novelists. I’ll also share lists of literary agents and book publishers that are open to writer submissions.

The first step is finishing your manuscript. Notice that I didn’t say the first step is writing your manuscript. That’s because editors and agents expect writers to submit edited and revised manuscripts. Once your manuscript is finished, it’s time to start working on your query letter.

How to Write a Science Fiction Query Letter

All query letters, regardless of genre, share one goal: To get the editor or agent to want to know more about your project. This is not accomplished by being intentionally vague and abstract. Rather, you’ll want your query to be specific and concrete.

Here are the essential elements of writing an effective query letter:

  • Sentence that lays out what you’re pitching. This sentence should include the full title of your novel, genre (or sub-genre), and word count. A completely made-up example would be: The Boy Who Rides Horses is a 120,000-word science fiction novel.
  • Hook. The hook is a sentence or two that gets the agent or editor to want to know more about the story you’re telling. Both the hook and sentence that lays out what you’re pitching are typically included in the first paragraph, though the order can be switched.
  • Supporting story. If you’ve piqued interest after the first paragraph, the second (and possibly third) paragraph’s job is to reveal more about your story that will heighten that interest—hopefully resulting in a request for sample chapters or a full manuscript.
  • About you. Your final paragraph should be a line or three about you and your relevant writing accomplishments in relation to your novel. Don’t inflate if you don’t have much to tell. A simple, “This is my debut novel,” will suffice….

Read it all at writersdigest.com

How Jerry Seinfeld Writes Comedy

Just about everything you need to know about writing comedy is in this fine article by Jess Zafarris. All that’s left for y’all to add is talent.

Yeppers, there’s always a catch, ain’t there?

Jerry Seinfeld’s 5-Step Comedy Writing Process
by Jess Zafarris

I just moved to the greater New York City area about a month ago, and I’ve already have my first super memorable “New York Moment.” And serendipitously enough, it turned out to be a wonderful teachable moment for me as a writer.

I went to the Gotham Comedy Club to watch a friend, the extremely talented amateur standup comedian (and WD Advertising Director) Tony Carrini, perform amid a lineup of about 10 other performers. Tony performed like an absolute pro, easily getting more laughs and showing better pacing and character than the vast majority of the other comics.

But one of them understandably stole the show when he made a surprise appearance—totally unannounced and unadvertised—at the venue.

When the host announced that Jerry Seinfeld was about to take the stage, I didn’t fully register what was happening. But there he was a moment later, rattling off jokes with the ease and rhythm of, well, one of the most famous comedians of all time.

Apparently Jerry makes a habit of spontaneously showing up at the club to test out jokes for future paid gigs. He had a couple of notecards with him, I assume with notes on the new material, but left them on the stool behind him and only glanced at them once, instead pacing the stage and engaging the crowd of about 30 attendees.

But the real ace in the hole for me was the short Q&A he provided at the end of the set.The routine was easily one of the funniest I’ve ever seen—in fact, one of the funniest I’ve seen him perform, so I’m hoping to see the set in one of his larger-scale shows soon.

One clever audience member, themselves an aspiring comic, asked him how he comes up with his material.

In response, Jerry Seinfeld himself shared a five-step rundown of his comedy writing process, which is not only useful for aspiring standup comedians, but also has broader applications for writers looking to add comedic elements to their own work.

Here’s (roughly) what he said:

Read it all at writersdigest.com

Stephanie Bourbon on Surviving – and Thriving! – at a Writing Conference

When it comes to writing conferences Stephanie Bourbon’s our go-to, um, person. She knows more about the ins and outs of the conference scene that anybody else we know.

Almost as much, in fact, as she knows about writing and illustrating and editing. And that’s one Acme Hella Lot.

Stephanie’s YouTube Channel is HERE

And her website chock full of further instruction is HERE


Former Larry Brody student Stephanie Olivieri Bourbon has found great success as a writer and illustrator. Now she’s branching out into video with a series of extremely helpful ones about – surprise! – writing and illustrating.

Legendary Comics Artist Joe Kubert Speaks

And y’all better believe it when we say what he says here  about the craft and business of earning your living as a creative is worth listening to.

See what we meant?

More videos like this are at the Comic Archive Channel

More about the late Joe Kubert and his creations

How They Wrote Fight Club

How in the world could anybody who has ever heard of Fight Club resist watching a video about the creation of this classic film?

Chuck Palahniuk (author), Jim Uhls (screenwriter), David Fincher (director), plus a host of others who were involved with the project are here for our educational pleasure. Who needs clickbait when you have info like this?

See more videos like this on the Behind the Curtain YouTube Channel