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Writer's Digest presents an excerpt from my webinar, "Three Secrets of the Greats: Structure Your Story for Ultimate Reader Addiction."

Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn, one of the Top 10 Blogs for Writers, interviews me about storytelling, writing, independent editing, and the difference between literary fiction and genre, with an impromptu exercise on her own Work-in-Progress.

Editing client Stu Wakefield, author of the Kindle #1 Best Seller Body of Water, talks about our work together on Memory of Water, the second novel of his Water trilogy.
  • By Victoria Mixon

    This is a warning post. I’ve been talking about the San Francisco Writers Conference, where I recently taught “Make Your Genre Fiction Irresistible.” I had the time of my life there meeting scores of wonderful editors and writers. Wow. Thank you again, Michael Larsen and Elizabeth Pomada, for inviting me!

    This is about “Fair Use.”

    I happened to be asked at SFWC about quoting other writers without permission.

    I explained that the current thinking that “Fair Use” gives you permission to quote others without their permission is a fallacy.

    It’s not based upon what’s right or even what’s entirely legal. It’s based upon lawyers’ personal issues, which are generally invisible to writers:

    • Lawyers have no particular investment in preventing copyright lawsuits

      A lawsuit can be incredibly costly for the writer, but quite lucrative for the lawyers. This is why the lawyers who advise writers to abuse Fair Use are so incredibly careful never to say, “It’s legal.” They can only say, “My opinion is that it’s legal.” Only a lawsuit will determine the actual legality.

      And a lawyer will do exactly what you ask them to do—if you ask a lawyer, “Can you defend me in court over bending the law to violate someone else’s copyright?” the lawyer will say, “I’ll do the best I can. Fair Use is in hot debate right now, so push it to the limit. Why not?”

      There are reasons why not. Some are about staying out of court. Others are about having morals.

    • Lawyers must by nature be comfortable with being morally wrong

      At least the lawyers are who advise their clients to risk lawsuits.

      Pretty much all lawyers work at some time on cases in which they know their client is morally wrong. It’s part of the job.

    • MOST IMPORTANTLY: Lawyers have absolutely no insight into the world of networks between writers

      Networking is incredibly valuable to writers and their careers. Networks are built upon trust and respect. Trust and respect are completely trashed when one writer deliberately abuses the creativity of another.

    • Besides, it’s just the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Easy math!

      • Imagine if someone tried to use your own hard-earned words without permission, and you didn’t want them to

        It doesn’t matter why you didn’t want them to. The fact is, they’re your hard-earned words. So you get to choose.

        And it doesn’t matter whether or not a lawyer could win a copyright lawsuit in favor of the offending writer. Nobody knows the outcome of a lawsuit until it’s all over, and in the meantime lots of money has been handed over to the lawyers, while the offending writer has done something incredibly toxic to their career: irreversibly offended a writer they need.

        You would never do that person a favor again. And, believe me, there is every possibility that you would be in a position at some point in your careers in which they needed another favor from you.

        Also: writers talk. I know you already know this. The reputation of the offending writer among all the writers you know would be instantly mud. Just think for a minute about the ripple effect from their one act of hostility toward you.

        That’s permanent.

      • Alternately, someone might take the opportunity of asking permission to strike up a relationship with you

        It should go without saying that they probably wouldn’t want to quote you unless you were a writer they admired.

        By taking this opportunity to show you trust and respect, they could earn all kinds of goodwill from you—even lifelong personal friendship! It’s happened to me, when I took the opportunity to reach out to writers I deeply admire. And I have close friends in high places to show for it now.

        Certainly, some of the most famous friendships between writers in history have sprung out of the most basic act of kindness. But never out of an act of hostility. (Except the time Dylan Thomas got in a fist fight with a little boy in school and wound up friends with him. But that other boy wasn’t a writer.)

        TIP: Don’t count on schoolyard bullying to help your adult career.

    Now, I have dealt with people trying to use my work without permission more than once since I’ve become an author and blogger. In every single instance, the person claiming Fair Use was unable to claim (much less prove) that they were legally (much less morally) in the right—only that they “believed” they were—so they were forced to Cease and Desist. Yes, they absolutely were. This includes an extremely well-known lawyer in the online writing community.

    So you’ll want to remember this whenever you hear the advice that Fair Use allows you to violate the Golden Rule.

    Remember what your parents and grandparents taught you: Never take without asking.

    It seems kind of obvious when you look at it in terms of morality, doesn’t it?

    Just ask.

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    “The freshest and
    most relevant advice
    you’ll find.”

    —Helen Gallagher,
    Seattle Post-Intelligencer

    The Art & Craft of Fiction
    The Art & Craft of Story


    A. VICTORIA MIXON, FREELANCE INDEPENDENT EDITOR

    VICTORIA’S ADVICE COLUMN

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  • By Victoria Mixon

    This week I’m answered questions on my advice column about authorial control, transitions, exposition and how to tell a really good joke.

    Please feel free to hop on over and join me!

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    “The freshest and
    most relevant advice
    you’ll find.”

    —Helen Gallagher,
    Seattle Post-Intelligencer

    The Art & Craft of Fiction
    The Art & Craft of Story


    A. VICTORIA MIXON, FREELANCE INDEPENDENT EDITOR

    VICTORIA’S ADVICE COLUMN

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  • By Victoria Mixon

    Wowza, did I have a fabulous time at the 2016 San Francisco Writers Conference!

    That was one busy weekend.

    The photos here do not do it justice, I know, but I was in too much of a whirl to make time for posterity.

    I arrived Friday (two days late, as I’d stayed home to be house manager for my son’s high school improv show) and went straight to work doing 8-minute Independent Editor Consults with a constant stream of wonderful writers all afternoon.

    I had my own little round table with a white tablecloth, my name on a sign, and a handful of candy. I ate all the chocolate quickly so that it would not interfere with my editing.

    SFWC.my classI took a break mid-afternoon to run upstairs and teach what SFWC calls a short ‘breakout’ of my Monday workshop: “The 3 Secrets for Making Genre Fiction Irresistible.”

    The room was absolutely packed—writers on the floor against the walls with their computers in their laps and even sitting behind me where I stood at the podium. Such excitement!

    I don’t remember much about this, except that I answered questions with such enthusiasm that the volunteers in charge felt bad making me stop.

    Then I was back downstairs meeting with more writers.

    So many stories! So many ideas! So many beautiful, heartfelt writers coming forward with the light of hope in their eyes!

    I also got to spend some time between consults getting to know my fellow editors, a lovely bunch whom I had met briefly at a luncheon last autumn. There were about eight of us in a room, supervised by editor Mary Knippel. The decibel level when we were all talking at once was impressive.

    I went to the Gala Event Saturday night, at which presenters were expected to mingle with attendees. We got free drinks to mingle. I abused the privilege. I met more wonderful writers!

    Saturday morning I was back at my little white table with my name on a sign. More chocolate to tidy up. I spent all day Saturday in eight-minute consults, meeting writer after writer, hearing story after story, helping design one climactic nightmare after another. It was great! The chocolate probably didn’t hurt either.

    SFWC.my class.croppedI took a break mid-afternoon to run upstairs again and appear on a panel of independent editors explaining how to find and work with the right indie editor. I got to hang out with more fellow editors. It was marvy.

    Then I was back downstairs meeting with more writers.

    So much light, so much fiction, so much hope!

    We editors got punchy late in the afternoon, when someone began playing opera on his cell phone. It was suggested that we all get up on our little white tables and dance, and we almost did.

    Also—and this is huge—Saturday I got to have lunch with my long-term editing client, Eli Potter. Eli is actually responsible for getting me involved with SFWC, as she sent me email while she was there last year, which is what inspired me to contact Mike Larsen, the literary agent who organizes SFWC every year.

    Eli and I had such a terrific time meeting in person for the first time in our three-year friendship! (And you should have seen the chocolate dessert.)

    Saturday night I was just plain tuckered, but I did go to the Presenters-Only Party at the Hospitality Suite somewhere upstairs. I had been warned by my fellow editors that it would be crowded and noisy, and it certainly was. I met some very young, charming young NY agents as well as the rep from Writer’s Digest, who had been sent by his boss, Chuck Sambuchino, with whom I happened to be in talks at that moment over my articles for the 2017 Children’s & Illustrator’s Market. I sent Chuck my salutations.

    Then I appeared on a panel Saturday night 9:00-11:00 (I know!), critiquing first pages. I sat with several very nice agents and an author, moderated by Sorche Fairbanks, listening to innocent writers read aloud their first pages so that we could tell them what was wrong with them. I was absolutely humbled by the courage in that room. At the end I had a coughing fit, neatly drawing all attention to myself so that the writers could feel slightly less exposed.

    Sunday I lay on my bed in my hotel room all day pulling myself together.

    And Monday morning I got up bright and early to teach my 3-hour workshop, “The 3 Secrets for Making Genre Fiction Irresistible.”

    That was the capper on the whole affair—three fantastic hours first teaching my secrets and then walking each writer in the room through their own story in order to identify the strongest possible climactic nightmare for their protagonist. I was lucky to get through every single writer. The volunteers who had come to hear me speak kindly offered to skip their turns so that I could focus on the paid attendees. We all had a tremendous time!

    And that was it.

    It was over.

    I immediately drove my son to San Francisco Airport and flew to the Pacific Northwest for a week.

    However, the SFWC lives on in my heart. And in gratitude to SFWC organizers Mike Larsen and Elizabeth Pomada and all the incredible writers who attended and those could not attend, next week I’ll teach you all how to write a blurb—just as I did at the beginning of my workshop that amazing Monday morning.

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    “The freshest and
    most relevant advice
    you’ll find.”

    —Helen Gallagher,
    Seattle Post-Intelligencer

    The Art & Craft of Fiction
    The Art & Craft of Story


    A. VICTORIA MIXON, FREELANCE INDEPENDENT EDITOR

    VICTORIA’S ADVICE COLUMN

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  • By Victoria Mixon

    Some weeks ago I did a post that was almost nothing but the covers of fabulous vintage mysteries and a list of some of my favorite vintage authors. And that post was in response to a question asked by Sabine on an earlier post about being interviewed by the fabulous and hilarious Rachel X Russell.

    So I’m dedicating today’s post to Elisabeth Grace Foley, who spoke up in the comments to recommend the nineteenth-century authors Anna Katherine Green and Melville Davisson Post.

    I already knew about Green—although I had not read her (shame on me)—but Davisson Post’s name was a new one. So I immediately ran out and bought Uncle Abner, Master of Mysteries: A Collection of Classic Detective Stories.

    But first I had the following conversation with my husband:

    Me: Uncle Abner? Are you kidding me? The cartoon character?

    My husband: I don’t think it was a cartoon about mysteries.

    Me: So this Davisson Post had a whole other double life—how brilliant is that?

    My husband: Except Davisson Post was apparently born in 1869, and the L’il Abner cartoon ran until the 1970s.

    Me: Holy crap! Talk about longevity!

    Eventually he convinced me that Uncle Abner and L’il Abner were not the same character. And I started reading the mysteries.

    Oh, so wonderful. . .

    1. Doomdorf

      Anyone who can invent a name like Doomdorf has me on their side automatically. Now I’m in a terrible quandary because I desperately want to write a ghost story about a house called Doomdorf, but that name is already taken.

      Watch for a novel called Dorfdoom.

    2. Historical setting

      Davisson Post was born only a few years after the end of the Civil War and lived his life in the back hills of Virginia, the land he knew so well and about which he wrote so vividly.

      His characters and stories ring true to life because they’re filled to the brim with details, habits, etiquette, and assumptions that could only possibly work in a world shaped entirely around them.

      When Uncle Abner and the boy-narrator ride through snow falling like great, grey, almost-sinister objects to cling to the branches of trees until they break, and they come upon a dilapidated old mansion with a single light burning and bang the knocker. . .the reader is not surprised that their reply is a gun report and splinters of wood flying through the door around them.

      We are purely delighted—here, indeed, is a mystery worth investigating!

      And when the narrator refers casually to the “disastrous failure of Prince Charles Edward Stuart to set up his kingdom in Scotland,” resulting in an influx of Scottish settlers in these Virginia hills whose ways and by-words Uncle Abner must understand in order to bring justice to a girl being married off against her will. . .again we are not surprised.

      Because Davisson Post speaks with such utter, detailed authority of his material, we are on the edge of our seats to learn what terrible secrets might lie hidden among these expatriates so far from home!

      And when the countryside teems with haggard women plaiting thorns to hide the wounds on their hands, and mortgages that can bought with gold coins in order to be forgiven, and insane old men who laugh demonically over having murdered abolitionists who would steal away their slaves. . .then we know we are not in our modern, automated, technological world at all.

      We are in Davisson Post country.

    3. Punch lines

      But what makes Davisson Post’s stories live on indelibly in the reader’s mind is not even all this—although we might think this would be enough.

      It is that each story ends on its punch line.

      And then stops.

      This is high art, my friends. This is the perfect design for which we each, in our many and various approaches to storytelling, are always seeking.

    4. Literary wisdom

      It is a law of the story-teller’s art that they do not tell a story. It is the listener who tells it. The story-teller does but provide them with the stimuli.
      —Melville Davisson Post, “The Doomdorf Mystery”

      If you study these lines long enough and hard enough, you’ll learn from them everything you ever need to know about creating literature.

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    “The freshest and
    most relevant advice
    you’ll find.”

    —Helen Gallagher,
    Seattle Post-Intelligencer

    The Art & Craft of Fiction
    The Art & Craft of Story


    A. VICTORIA MIXON, FREELANCE INDEPENDENT EDITOR

    VICTORIA’S ADVICE COLUMN

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  • By Victoria Mixon

    Last week while I was teaching at the San Francisco Writers Conference, I left you a bunch of gorgeous exposition by Melville Davisson Post, so that when I got back you would all still be sitting in front of your computers with the goofy smiles of enlightenment plastered across your faces. But! I’m not back yet. So today I’m going to continue with the avalanche of brilliance. Because I love you (and Davisson Post) just that much.

    • Some love truth less than they love laurels.

    • If a ghost rides my way, it stops right here or it goes under to hell.

    • I’d be glad if scientists would explain why the evening in autumn always recalls the lost Kingdom of the Little.

    • Hatred is a force pressing out the empty places of the heart & making simple people crafty.

    • Sharp & jarring & without premonition are the surprises of youth.

    • If a horse tramps peacefully, the land is certainly clear of any evil thing.

    • I had ridden out of youth’s golden country & lost one of the most splendid illusions of that enchanted land.

    • After sunset, we are under the world yet, with only yellow haze shining through the door of the sky.

    • The crooked elves toil with their backs against the golden moon.

    • Aid is to be had from the great earth when one’s heart is very deeply troubled.

    • Twilight is the acre of ghosts.

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    “The freshest and
    most relevant advice
    you’ll find.”

    —Helen Gallagher,
    Seattle Post-Intelligencer

    The Art & Craft of Fiction
    The Art & Craft of Story


    A. VICTORIA MIXON, FREELANCE INDEPENDENT EDITOR

    VICTORIA’S ADVICE COLUMN

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  • By Victoria Mixon

    I’m not here today. I am THIS VERY MINUTE teaching at the San Francisco Writers Conference my 3-hour workshop: “Make Your Genre Fiction Irresistible.” So for all of you who can’t join us there, today I’m going to throw at you some exposition: what is it? do you want it? how do you do it right? how do you do it wrong? I’m going to toss regular posts right out the window and just blow your mind with a bunch of gorgeous, classical, profound exposition by one of the great masters of the English language, the magnificent Melville Davisson Post.

    • The bracing influence of a holy cause has been tremendously overrated.

    • Hatred is big when one is young.

    • The terrible justice of good faith & fair dealing is but dimly understood.

    • Dismount & sit on the earth whenever you have grave matters to consider.

    • Slowly arrange the proper sequence of a distant memory.

    • A taunt sinks in as oil sinks into cloth.

    • How cruelly it hurts, the first jamming against the granite door-posts of the world.

    • The loneliness of the vast, empty earth—forgotten in the rush of sunshine—is the constant loom of the mystery.

    • Who can say what might climb up over the rim of the world?

    • Against the strange shapes of darkness, an axe is but a little weapon.

    • I wish you a happy voyage to the cloud island.

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    “The freshest and
    most relevant advice
    you’ll find.”

    —Helen Gallagher,
    Seattle Post-Intelligencer

    The Art & Craft of Fiction
    The Art & Craft of Story


    A. VICTORIA MIXON, FREELANCE INDEPENDENT EDITOR

    VICTORIA’S ADVICE COLUMN

    No Comments
  • By Victoria Mixon

    1 SFWC JPEG

    Even as you read this, I am getting ready to hit the road driving to San Francisco to teach at the 2016 San Francisco Writers Conference.

    Whoopee!

    SFWC is sold out, but my class will be one of the ones still open to the public, for 99 smackers.

    Monday is the main event: a 3-hour workshop in which I’ll walk you through the process of identifying your protagonist’s conflicting internal needs and grow a gripping, irresistible plot from that character. We’ll pay special attention to the internal needs that fuel your genre.

    Ever wonder what it means: “plot grows out of character”?

    Now you can find out!

    So if you’re in the SF Bay Area and know how to find the Mark Hopkins Hotel (gigantically tall hotel on the steep hill above the Theater District—classy PLUS good exercise!) this is my schedule:

    FRIDAY 3:45 – 5:00 pm
    45-Minute ‘Breakout’ Version of my Workshop
    “Make Your Genre Fiction Irresistible”

    MONDAY 9:00 am – noon
    3-hour Workshop
    “Make Your Genre Fiction Irresistible”

    Bring your manuscript and/or ideas and be prepared to walk out with a story to knock your reader’s socks off.

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    “The freshest and
    most relevant advice
    you’ll find.”

    —Helen Gallagher,
    Seattle Post-Intelligencer

    The Art & Craft of Fiction
    The Art & Craft of Story


    A. VICTORIA MIXON, FREELANCE INDEPENDENT EDITOR

    VICTORIA’S ADVICE COLUMN

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  • By Victoria Mixon

    Hey everyone! I want to talk today about my new series on the Art & Craft of Writing: Step by Step Guides to Becoming Your Own Dev Editor. You can find out about how to sign up for this series through the email list inside my new free ebook, Secret Advice for Writers.

    acw-secret-cover-3dIn the past year my business has undergone a radical change: now the majority of the queries I receive are mass queries from self-publishing writers seeking only Copy Editing—not Developmental or Line Editing.

    I’ve mentioned before and I’ll mention again that Copy Editing is so minor to my work that I throw it in free with Line Editing. But it turns out that about a year ago someone self-published a book on how to sell yourself as an independent editor, so that my industry is suddenly inundated with ‘editors’ who may or may not know anything about this real work, but they can certainly buy a book on grammar and punctuation and sell themselves to writers as though they do.

    Some of these people even sell themselves as Developmental Editors, hoping to rely upon their experience in beta groups, advice from writing books, and the blogs of working Dev Editors. (I know because they email to tell me.)

    It sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it? Charge writers for your blind guesses instead of giving them away free? Who’s going to know that you’re simply taking advantage of someone else’s generosity toward those same writers? If you know where to look for the right advice, and the writers who query you don’t, you can skim off your piece of the pie at the writer’s expense, and they’ll never be able to tell.

    That what burns me up: at the writer’s expense.

    I call these guys Faux Editors.

    And they have become legion.

    They are all over the Internet now, taking writers’ hard-earned money for passing on their—often shockingly wrong—interpretations of real advice, making blind guesses, and in many cases actually introducing errors into manuscripts. Believe me, I hear the horror stories. I see the mangled manuscripts. Writers contact me in distress, having hired not one but two, three, sometimes even more Faux Editors, throwing good money after bad in the desperate hope that someone, somewhere, will turn out randomly to be a real editor.

    It is appalling, but there’s been nothing much I could do about it for those who can’t afford me or my (all top-flight) editor friends. . .

    Until now.

    This year, I’m changing the focus of my editing business. Instead of promoting my free advice on my blog and advice column to those writers who can’t afford me—simply hoping that they don’t fall prey to the Faux Editors—I’m going to begin teaching writers how I do the Dev Editing work I do, so that the Faux Editors can’t profit off their innocence.

    Yes, I know the Faux Editors will just use my advice to advance their own agendas. If I make public my professional body of knowledge about this wonderful art and craft, I won’t be able to stop them.

    But it’s better to raise the quality of writing everywhere than to continue standing by and watching slack-jawed the damage being wreaked.

    acw-secret-cover-3dI want to give you the tools to protect yourself from the Faux Editors. You guys have stood by me through years of this work, and I really appreciate it!

    So please feel free to join us. Sign up for my email list inside Secret Advice to Writers, and you’ll receive an invitation to become a part of my private list, the Mixoneers, for the Step-by-Step Guides to Becoming Your Own Dev Editor.

    If you’re already a Mixoneer and reading this because we’re all reading it together. . .thanks for being in the avant-garde!

    And if you don’t want to sign up for anything—that’s great too! I’ll be publishing the Step-by-Step Guides later this year, on sale to everyone.

    I love fiction so much.

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    “The freshest and
    most relevant advice
    you’ll find.”

    —Helen Gallagher,
    Seattle Post-Intelligencer

    The Art & Craft of Fiction
    The Art & Craft of Story


    A. VICTORIA MIXON, FREELANCE INDEPENDENT EDITOR

    VICTORIA’S ADVICE COLUMN

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  • By Victoria Mixon

    Sandra Boynton logoAaaaahhh!!! Can you hear me shrieking?

    I’m on my way to Cow Planet!

    I’ve been asked to contribute to the Writer’s Digest 2017 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market.

    My #1 first choice of author to interview was, of course, the brilliant, hilarious, and unforgettable childhood classic: Sandra Boynton. So I was totally blown away when she agreed!

    This is me doing the Rhinoceros Tap.

    Now I need to know: what would you ask Boynton if you had the chance?

    Send me your question, and I’ll ask her!

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    “The freshest and
    most relevant advice
    you’ll find.”

    —Helen Gallagher,
    Seattle Post-Intelligencer

    The Art & Craft of Fiction
    The Art & Craft of Story


    A. VICTORIA MIXON, FREELANCE INDEPENDENT EDITOR

    VICTORIA’S ADVICE COLUMN

    No Comments
  • By Victoria Mixon

    3 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR GENRE FICTION IRRESISTIBLE:
    Doing What the Best Authors Do to Make Your Novel Sell
    Victoria Mixon, Author & Editor
    SFWC 2016

    Do you ever wonder why readers become addicted to an author, buy the all of the author’s books, become passionate fans—and whether you can be an author like that? These three secrets make or break every novel. They’re easy to learn, but most new writers don’t know them or how to use them. Bring your manuscript and/or ideas and be prepared to walk out with a story to knock your socks off. Handouts and free ebook of Secret Advice for Writers.

    You will learn:

    #1: Impossible Choice—Make Your Character Addictive In 3 Clear Strokes
    Understand Your Genre Reader
    Plug into Their Deepest Needs
    Use Their Own Addictions

    #2: Train Wreck—“Grow Plot Out Of Character” In 3 Simple Steps
    Plot toward Your Genre Climax
    Pull Out of the Station on Parallel Tracks
    Merge the Tracks

    #3: Survival—Why Readers Read Genre Fiction
    To Learn Something They Don’t Already Know about Survival
    To Be Reassured that Life Is Worth Surviving

    How the Reader Chooses Their Favorite Genre:
    Thriller/Mystery/Suspense (top-selling genre)
    Romance (top-selling genre)
    Other Genres:
    Fantasy (including Paranormal & Dystopian)
    Science-Fiction
    Historical
    Commercial Fiction
    Children’s Fiction
    Literary Fiction
    Mixed Genres & Subgenres

    Victoria Mixon has been a writer and editor for over thirty years, editing bestsellers and award winners. She is listed in the Who’s Who of America, and her blog, Victoria Mixon, Author & Editor, is a Top 10 Blog for Writers and Writer’s Digest 101 Best Writing Blogs. She has taught fiction through Writer’s Digest and the Mendocino Writer’s Club. Her books include Art & Craft of Writing Fiction, Art & Craft of Writing Stories, and the free ebook Secret Advice for Writers. Fee: $79 for attendees, $99 non-attendees.

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    “The freshest and
    most relevant advice
    you’ll find.”

    —Helen Gallagher,
    Seattle Post-Intelligencer

    The Art & Craft of Fiction
    The Art & Craft of Story


    A. VICTORIA MIXON, FREELANCE INDEPENDENT EDITOR

    VICTORIA’S ADVICE COLUMN

    No Comments



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Authors


MILLLICENT G. DILLON, represented by Harold Ober Associates, is the world's expert on authors Jane and Paul Bowles. She has won five O. Henry Awards and been nominated for the PEN/Faulkner. I worked with Dillon on her memoir, The Absolute Elsewhere, in which she describes in luminous prose her private meeting with Albert Einstein to discuss the ethics of the atomic bomb. Read more. . .


BHAICHAND PATEL, retired after an illustrious career with the United Nations, is now a journalist based out of New Dehli and Bombay, an expert on Bollywood, and author of three non-fiction books published by Penguin. I edited Patel’s best-selling debut novel, Mothers, Lovers, and Other Strangers, published by Pan Macmillan. Read more. . .


SCOTT WILBANKS, represented by Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency, is the author of the debut novel, The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster, published by Sourcebooks in August, 2015. I'm working with Wilbanks on his sophomore novel, Easy Pickens, the story of the world’s only medically-diagnosed case of chronic naiveté. Read more. . .


LUCIA ORTH is the author of the debut novel, Baby Jesus Pawn Shop, which received critical acclaim from Publisher’s Weekly, NPR, Booklist, Library Journal and Small Press Reviews. I have edited a number of essays and articles for Orth. Read more. . .


SCOTT WARRENDER is a professional musician and Annie Award-nominated lyricist specializing in musical theater. I work with Warrender regularly on his short stories and debut novel, Putaway. Read more. . .


M. TERRY GREEN enjoys a successful self-publishing career with her three sci-fi/fantasy series based on her dual careers in anthropology and technology. I worked with Green to develop a new speculative fiction series. Read more. . .


DARREN D. BEYER is an ex-NASA experiment engineer who worked on every Space Shuttle orbiter but Challenger. In Casimir Bridge, the first novel of his debut sci-fi series, Beyer uses every bit of his scientific expertise to create a galaxy in which "space bridges" allow interstellar travel based upon the latest in real theoretical physics. Read more. . .


ANIA VESENNY, represented by Beverly Slopen Literary Agency, is a recipient of the Evelyn Sullivan Gilbertson Award for Emerging Artist in Literature and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. I edited Vesenny's debut novel, Swearing in Russian at the Northern Lights, and her second novel, Sandara. Read more. . .


STUART WAKEFIELD is the #1 Kindle Best Selling author of Body of Water, the first novel in his Orcadian Trilogy. Body of Water was 1 of 10 books long-listed for the Polari First Book Prize. I edited Wakefield's second novel, Memory of Water, and look forward to editing the final novel of his Orcadian Trilogy, Spirit of Water. Read more. . .


GERALDINE EVANS is a best-selling British author. Her historical novel, Reluctant Queen, is a Category No 1 Best Seller on Amazon UK. I edited Death Dues, #11 in Evans' fifteen popular Rafferty and Llewellyn cozy police procedurals, which received a glowing review from the Midwest Book Review. Read more. . .


JUDY LEE DUNN is an award-winning marketing blogger. I am working with Dunn to develop and line edit her memoir of reconciling liberal activism with her emotional difficulty accepting the lesbianism of her beloved daughter, Tonight Show comedienne Kellye Rowland. Read more. . .


LISA MERCADO-FERNANDEZ writes literary novels of love, loss, and friendship set in the small coastal towns of New England. I edited Mercado-Fernandez' debut novel, The Shoebox, and her up-coming The Eighth Summer. Read more. . .


JEFF RUSSELL is the author of the debut novel, The Rules of Love and Law, based upon Jeff's abiding passions for legal history and justice. Read more. . .


LEN JOY is the author of the debut novel, American Past Time. I worked with Len to develop his novel from its core: a short story about the self-destructive ambitions of a Minor League baseball star, which agents had told him to throw away. Read more. . .


In addition, I work with scores of aspiring writers in their apprenticeship to this wonderful literary art and craft.

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