One way to envelop your reader in a new world is to create (or appropriate) slang. Done clumsily, it can detract from your story, but Buffy and Firefly show how slang can add nuance to your story's universe.

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Publication-quality text is what agents, editors, and readers are looking for — and they can tell whether you have it in the first paragraph, or even the first sentence.

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The list of favorite books on writing can be very different from one author to another. So where do you start? I've scoured 10 "top" lists to see which titles spanned the gamut. Here's what I found.

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The publishing industry gets rocked by a blockbuster title, and for years after that, publishers and authors play “follow the leader.” It’s smart — millions of books are sold and billions of dollars are amassed annually by chasing trends in publishing.

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