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Essentials for the Modern Fiction & Memoir Market

by Christopher Klim



“I swear if I had read this book twenty years ago I would be on a book tour right now … Write to Publish is a cornucopia of tips, tricks of the trade, and insights gathered by the author over his past twenty years as a writer and educator. … a must read for every yet to be published writer.” Book Crazy Radio



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“… other books tend to not be as thorough in covering all of the aspects of writing and publishing.”The Midwest Book Review



An Experienced Author Guides You

from Idea to Publication


       Christopher Klim is the award-winning author of four highly praised novels, one young adult novel. He is the senior editor of Best New Writing and the chair of the Eric Hoffer Award for Books and Prose . His popular seminars on writing and publishing are attended by hundreds along the east coast. In his lectures on fiction and memoir techniques, he reveals effective ways for reaching editors, agents, and ultimately readers.


“Write to Publish is not a fad or a book-in-two-weeks program. It’s two decades of winning lessons. It reveals the tools used by writers of enduring stories. Write to Publish holds the crucial information that agents and editors have no time to tell you.” – Christopher Klim, speaking on CBS New Radio

(see and hear Christopher Klim on tour)


“His passion is contagious … This is one of the best handbooks I’ve come across, fun to read and full of useful information.” Writers World

(what other Critics and Readers are saying)


       In Write to Publish, Christopher Klim outlines story craft and provides vivid examples and lessons for the emerging writer in a competitive book market.

Hopewell Publications






Emerging Author Mentor Program


       On the road to publication, many authors are mentored by successful authors and skilled teachers of the writing craft. Take your work to the next level and inquire about Mr. Klim’s highly-rated author mentor program.


“The guidelines and working structure are so clear even the most jaded fiction writers would benefit.” The Compulsive Reader, reviewing Write to Publish  



Excerpts from Write to Publish

“I’d like to dispel the charlatan advice often found in writers groups, workshops, and manuals on the craft. Among these are ‘find your voice’ and ‘write what you know.’ There are specific tools to any art form. Emerging writers can and must learn these techniques.”  – Christopher Klim, speaking at Princeton University


Build Story Structure


       Effective stories have a basic framework: engaging openings, at least one empathetic character with a compelling desire, intriguing settings, sustained drama, and a satisfying conclusion. These are the basic precepts of character, setting, and plot. They apply to modern memoir just the same, and I will make the case that they work for in-depth journalism, where the main thrust resembles a biography. It is best to consider each aspect of the framework, before committing a single word. This information, along with research and revision, is the craft of storytelling. Writers spend most of their time doing the latter. Developing the patience and determination of a working writer accelerates the learning curve and promotes good stories.

       Write to Publish outlines the craft and process of creating stories …



Craft Engaging Openings


       Agents and editors won’t tell you that the battle for a reader’s attention is won or lost on the first page. Story openings have been likened to a contract with the reader. The framework proposed from the outset builds reader expectations for the ensuing pages. So why not be honest, as much as a storyteller can, and set the stage for your tale from the start. It will go a long way to clarity and the possibility of getting noticed.

       Write to Publish includes a checklist of items to look for in a story opening. …


Write to Publish is a more-than-you-bargained for look at the publishing world, honed to meat-of-the-matter perfection by Klim.” —The Boox Review


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Write Winning Query Letters


       For most writers, the query letter is their initial missive to the industry. Craft the most concise, direct, and clean letter possible. Give the agent or editor a reason to look at the prose. This is accomplished by understanding your work and professional history and then delivering that information in a compelling manner. Follow a handy outline and view examples of query letters that led to successful relationships and publication …



Create Vibrant Characters


       A good story begins with a character. It is why readers sign up to follow a story. We are human and want to view a little of ourselves in the drama. The main character of a story must garner reader empathy, or the reader will never follow that character through the story, no matter how terrific the plot, no matter how compelling the events thrust upon that character. The reader must first care.

       Once you have an idea for a story, try sketching the major characters for clarity. As in real life, a particular person needs to function by their rules. Have you ever done some-thing that, although not particularly bad, doesn’t feel right for you? You were acting out of character, operating against your innate sense of who you are in this world. We each carve a unique path in life. The right course for one person may not satisfy another.

       Will your characters be useful to your stories? Write to Publish shows you how to outline effective characters for your story …


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“Storytelling is the oldest art form, dating back to the Stone Age, before written language. This has changed little over time, and the necessity for a relevant story is as vital to humans as food and water. A story forms a metaphor for life experience, delivered in an infinite variety of styles, contexts, and mediums. It is how we make sense of the highs and lows and everything in between. A good story holds a mirror to our lives. A great story changes our lives.” – Christopher Klim, speaking on WOR-Radio


Energize Scenes & Plots


       Some writers bog down their characters with problems, yet the story holds little drama. Problems are annoyances and hindrances beset upon the character. They are complications or situations to be solved, but they present no urgency, doing little to increase the tension in the story. Does a flat tire or chipped tooth create a gripping scene? Not typically, but they might inspire drama in the right circumstance. Problems provide methods for conflict, but conflict is a different animal. Conflict is essential for compelling scenes …



Research Settings


       Research is the real work of setting, journalism, and any writing that requires factual verification. An unwritten code exists among writers to get the information correct in the story. Be a hero of the reference section. Libraries, book-stores, and a writer’s own bookshelf burgeon with reference material. Americans take for granted the wealth of free information at their fingertips. Discover where and how to look at the world around you for story ideas …


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Contact the Publishing Industry


       Every business has standard methods of communication. A writer develops four basic tools for contacting the publishing industry, and throughout the writer’s career, this varies little. These are the query letter, synopsis, manuscript, and most overlooked, the writer of the work. Write to Publish shows you these important tools and how to use them …



Boost Creativity


        Nothing accelerates the writing process better than regular practice. This is true of any art form. A writer devotes his best hours to writing every day. He makes it his daily ritual, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. Consider the variety of meditation methods in Write to Publish. Some are so obvious that you may be overlooking them right now. Train yourself to explore the unending interior landscape of your mind …


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The process of creating a story is in large part an attempt to prove the validity of your inspiration and ensuing thought. It is the idea in motion, the dramatic turn of events. Reach for universal connections to character and reflections of humanity. The story serves as a proof of your basic idea.” – Christopher Klim, speaking at the Philadelphia Library


Complete Revisions


       All fine writing is the result of rewriting. I don’t know who coined that phrase, but it is certainly a fact. The first draft is the art of writing. It should be accomplished as uninhibited as possible, held apart from the unforgiving conscience of the self-editor. The style of draft work varies between authors, from a bare bones outline to pregnant prose. Revising the draft involves the craft of writing. Prose is expanded and contracted, and elucidation is achieved. Writers spend most of their time rewriting. They make up for their perceived deficiencies in talent and level the playing field.

       Write to Publish outlines a four step revision process that drives your work toward completion. The easy to follow steps are used by the novice and expert alike …



Search for Drama


       What is drama? To paraphrase Alfred Hitchcock, drama is life without the boring bits. He understood drama. Did you ever see a boring Hitchcock movie? He sketched storyboards – sequential depictions of characters in action. He left nothing to chance, maintaining an eye on the dramatic core of each scene. Some accuse Hitchcock of being calculating and manipulative. Yes indeed, and we thank him for it …


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“It comes down to the stories inside of you. What stories do you need to tell? You’ll find authors returning to same themes, over and over again.” – Christopher Klim on NBC-TV, Pittsburgh


Reveal Story Theme


       Theme represents the author’s interpretation of life, as dramatized by the story. It is demonstrated through character, setting, objects, actions, tone, commonly held beliefs, or any device that symbolizes the overall message of the story. The title often suggests the theme. After character, theme is the next important item that a reader takes away from the story, but it is not a lecture aimed at readers. It is what the characters experience and learn, and it is closely tied to character change or a character’s inability to change. Readers may not be able to articulate the theme, yet fully enjoy the story …



Reach Agents & Editors


       Look for people who represent work similar to yours. People who sell and publish children’s books know mostly people in that genre. The same is true for every category. If an agent sells murder mysteries, she knows the people who buy them. The guides to the literary markets and agencies list the titles bought and sold by various entities in the business. Create a target list for your work, but don’t stop there. A variety of opportunities, such as networking and reverse searches can be very effective, and that’s just the start …


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“I am confident that by following his very detailed advice from point A to Z, there is no way that you could prevent your work from finding its way into the printed world society.”


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