We have some big news to share with you!

In this edition of the Write Line

  • Big news!
  • Can You Answer Yes to These Questions?
  • Upcoming Workshops and Events
  • Dear FreeX
  • Where Are You Writing?



We're honored and excited to report that Lorin will be joining Adams Literary as a literary agent. She'll be open to submissions in early December, so keep an eye on the Adams Lit website for details!

For more on what that means for Free Expressions, which will definitely keep chugging, see our Dear FreeX Q&A below!



  1. Does your protagonist demonstrate some level of agency in the novel’s opening pages?
  2. Does he or she have a goal in life even before the inciting incident steers him or her onto the narrative path?
  3. Do you demonstrate in concrete terms throughout your protagonist’s capacity to be a VICTOR, rather than a VICTIM?
  4. Does the narrative world of the story contain some sense of tension or “unease?” Is something wrong on some level, even before the story starts?
  5. Is there something compelling and different, even if just a little “off” or unexpected, within the world of your story?
  6. Is your protagonist the most important and central figure in your story, driving the narrative through his or her own pursuits and desires?
  7. Does your novel make use of fully realized scenes to keep conflict and tension palpable throughout? 
  8. Are you writing from a deep point of view that allows the reader to truly occupy the senses and emotional life of your characters? If not, does your authorial voice have a strong personality of its own?
  9. Is the novel’s voice beautiful, powerful, or singular in some way?
  10. Does the protagonist make hard choices, sacrifice well-entrenched beliefs about him/herself or others, and lose some element of certainty during the course of the story?
  11. Does story temperature escalate throughout, so that we feel the emotional the reader’s sense of tension and apprehension builds throughout?



The Breakout Novel Intensive 2017 in Hood River, Oregon has sold out! But you can still sign up for one of our other workshops. 

Story Masters: Toronto, ON

The Story Masters are coming to Canada in 2017! Join Donald Maass, James Scott Bell, and Christopher Vogler for four intensive days of story instruction. This is your chance to see all three of these industry rock-stars in one place. Come join us!  
Get all the details and sign up here: http://free-expressions.com/story-masters

Emotional Craft of Fiction: Houston, TX and Seattle, WA

Free Expressions is thrilled to offer a new three-day workshop with literary agent Donald Maass. His new book, THE EMOTIONAL CRAFT OF FICTION: HOW TO TELL THE STORY BENEATH THE SURFACE, comes out this December, and in 2017, we’ll offer just two opportunities to experience this groundbreaking material.
Get more information and register here: http://free-expressions.com/emotionalcraft

As with all Free Expressions’ workshops, these workshops will be a hands-on and intensive, so come prepared to work hard, be filled to the brim with useful information, and to connect with other writers in a supportive and challenging environment.



Now that you're an agent with Adams Literary, what does that mean for your editing clients with Free Expressions?

Great question!

My intention is to continue on with offering editorial services for the foreseeable future, though I may become even more select in the projects I take on, giving legacy clients and workshop students priority, along with clients for my one-on-one story development sessions.

I’ll still take on some new clients and just want to make it clear that my functions as an editor and my functions as an agent are completely separate.

In other words, it’s important that folks know that if they use me for editing services, that in no way guarantees or implies a gateway to me as an agent. And vice-versa, if someone submits a work to me in my capacity as an agent, and I feel their MS could still use some work, they’re under zero obligation to use Free Expressions’ editing services.

In some cases, too, I may move into more of a supervisory role and recommend that my editorial partner, Brenda Windberg, or another one of our associate editors take on the bulk of the work. As folks who work with her know, Brenda is absolutely top-notch, as are other folks with whom we work.

Editing has been my professional life’s blood for a couple of decades, and I still feel like I have so much to offer there, even as I build up to what I hope will be a successful career as a literary agent. So, for now, I’ll be happily juggling it all on my way to becoming a complete publishing mogul. :)

Have a writing industry or craft question? Send it to us and we’ll answer it next month, here in this space. Send all your questions to: freexnewsletter@gmail.com



This month’s pic shows how Birgitte Necessary fuels her writing!

Send a picture of your writing space to freexnewsletter@gmail.com and we’ll feature it here!