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Let's Make 2019 a Year of Great Writing

2018 Presenter Profile:
Paula Munier

By Paul Davis
Posted on 7/9/2018

As a military brat, agent Paula Munier grew up everywhere: Georgia, Germany, Oklahoma, Ohio. Her childhood was a blur of Army bases, foreign countries, and Mayflower moving vans.

But she wasn't unhappy. She had an adoring mother—and books.

“My mom turned to reading for solace and solitude, for entertainment and enlightenment—and I learned to do the same.”

She read everything: Nancy Drew, the encyclopedia, Desmond Morris’s The Naked Ape.  And she wrote hundreds of letters to the families and friends she was forever leaving. Her father wanted her to be a helicopter pilot, but a nun in a New Orleans high school said she should write.

Munier heeded her teacher's advice. She sold her first magazine article to Cosmo for $50; worked as a reporter for various newspapers; wrote a YA novel for HarperCollins; edited a business magazine; worked for Prima Publishing, later acquired by Random House; and wrote a second book—On Being Blonde—in a month.

In 2012, she joined Talcott Notch Literary Services as a senior agent and content strategist.

“Being an agent calls upon all of my experience and expertise in writing, editing and publishing,” she says. “Most important, it allows me to do what I love best, helping writers realize their dreams of being published and building their careers.”


Polish Your Prose

By Paula Munier
Posted on 10/112018

In my job as an agent, I review countless pages, partials, and full manuscripts every year. Certain prose problems crop up over and over again, problems that can keep writers from getting published. In this ongoing Polish Your Prose series, I’ll tackle these issues one by one.


If good writing were a textile art, it would be a tapestry. A tapestry of character, dialogue, action, narrative, inner monologue, theme, setting, voice—all the elements of fiction woven together artfully into polished prose. Your goal: Writing a tapestry.

Beware the chunks

When you are writing and revising, think tapestry. As opposed to quilt.

Many new writers tend to write in elements chunks: Here’s a chunk that’s mostly all description, followed by a chunk that’s all narrative or backstory or world-building, then a chunk that’s all dialogue or action, etc. This is also where the dreaded “info dumps” come in—the clunkiest chunks of all. This creates a patchwork of chunks—a quilt.

Tapestry in action

These chunks are often most evident in the opening lines, paragraphs, pages of a story. That’s where we tend to explain too much (backstory), detail too much (info dumping), tell too much (exposition)—bogging the story down with backstory just as it’s getting underway.




RI Romance Writers Retreat - Feb. 1 – 3, 2019


 Speaker Series Interviews

Jodi Daynard
Parris Afton Bonds

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