Turkey and relatives (separate items) behind me now. Time to WRITE AT ABSOLUTE TOP SPEED. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, please consider attending my upcoming workshop, “Top Ten Mistakes Fiction Writers Make: And How to Fix Them.” This is the ninth year for our Writers-by-the-Sea workshop series in Yachats, (yah-hots) Oregon. The workshop is right on the ocean, and deals with the ten most likely problems you’re facing as a writer. You’ll have a lot of fun, and get your writing engines tuned up for the new year.  Details and a printable registration form are at http://www.writerswelcome.com/.
     So much for self-promotion. I’m thinking “platform” today. Agents and publishers are counting on you to help sell your book. Everything you need to know about the subject is in Get Known Before the Book Deal, by Christina Katz. Details at http://www.christinakatz.com/
     Though I know platforms are important, I’ll admit my bias is toward polishing and perfecting a saleable manuscript, without which, the coolest platform on the planet results in zippo sales.
     With that in mind, I suggest you, quick like a bunny, draft a two-page synopsis of your book. This is self-diagnostic test. If you can’t tell your story in two pages, odds are you don’t know what your book is really about. Take a few minutes. Tell your story. Can’t do it? Get back to basics: What does your main character want more than anything else in the world? What is she willing to do to get it? What stands in the way?
     Answers to these three questions show you the driving force (or lack of it) behind your story.


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