Writing Advice from Randy Ingermanson

Randy Ingermanson is an award-winning novelist and writing teacher. I've reviewed his Writing Fiction for Dummies, and posted several of his excellent articles here on the blog.

Ingermanson and coauthor John Olson won the coveted Christy Award for their novel, Oxygen. It's being re-released now, and the authors have added some amazing resources. Not only that, but for a few more days, the novel with 21,000 words of writing advice is only 99 cents.

Here's what Ingermanson says:

Over the years, I've mentored a large number of writers who wanted to write fiction.

Not one of them ever wanted to write mediocre fiction.

Every single one of them wanted to write powerful fiction. Compelling fiction. Fiction that grabs you by the hair and pulls you through each scene.

The good news is that I know a powerful technique that can catapult your fiction forward.

The bad news is that it takes some hard work to master.

The great news is that I'm willing to teach it to you for only 99 cents.


I learned this technique years ago from the legendary fiction teacher Dwight Swain. He called his method "Motivation-Reaction Units." There's a whole chapter in his book on these so-called "MRUs".

I spent months learning how those pesky MRUs work.

I tore into my own writing, ripping apart every paragraph, finding the MRUs, throwing away the fluff,
and then putting it all back together.

It was a hellish few months, but when it was over, my fiction-writing craft had improved dramatically.

I was no longer a wannabe novelist. I was a gonnabe novelist.

MRUs, in my opinion, are the best-kept secret in fiction-writing lore. Hardly anyone teaches them. Even published authors often don't understand them well.

Not long ago, I realized that I didn't have any teaching products that analyzed an entire scene from a
real published novel, paragraph by paragraph, showing exactly how the MRUs work.

That's about to change.


I'm about to release an e-book, the new and improved edition of my award-winning novel, OXYGEN, which I coauthored years ago with my best buddy, John Olson.

Since John and I are the publishers, we get to decide what goes into the book.

We decided to add an appendix, just for aspiring authors, in which I rip apart every single MRU in the
first scene of our novel (which John wrote).

Then John took revenge by writing an appendix using his own methods of analysis on the second scene of the book (which I wrote).

Then we wrote an appendix telling exactly how we sold OXYGEN to a royalty-paying publisher in less than seven weeks -- without an agent.

Finally, we added an appendix showing the proposal we used to make the sale. (Our editor has used this proposal for years to teach workshops at writing conferences.)

The four appendices run to over 21,000 words. All meat. No gristle.

Those appendices don't change the price of the e-book one penny. But they change the value massively.

If I were to sell the appendices as a separate course, I'd charge at least $15.


The introductory price of the novel PLUS the appendices is only 99 cents, from now until Saturday, October 8, 2011, at midnight.

OXYGEN is a space adventure with a strong dose of romance, suspense, and humor. An explosion on the first mission to Mars leaves four astronauts with only enough oxygen for one to live. All evidence points to one of the four being a saboteur. One's unconscious. One's unstable. And the other two are falling in love.

We expect you'll like OXYGEN.

But even if you HATE the story, we think you'll find the appendices a heck of a great deal.

Oh, there's one more thing you may like. In the section for aspiring authors, we included an "Eternal Coupon". It's good for a discount of 50% on featured products on my web site.

We call it an "Eternal Coupon" because it never expires. It will always be good for some writing
product or another on my site, as long as I'm in business.

You can use it again and again because we'll change the featured product regularly.

We suspect you can do the math here. The total prices of all the writing products on my web site add up to several hundred dollars.

Spending 99 cents to get OXYGEN plus the appendices PLUS the "Eternal Coupon" is a crazy good deal.


You can find out more about OXYGEN and read some sample chapters here: http://bit.ly/oqinNR

You can get OXYGEN for Kindle here on Amazon: http://amzn.to/nWPg0m

You can get OXYGEN for Nook here on Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/osoBY8

OXYGEN is also available as an e-book at similar prices on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.de.

We're sorry, but this edition of OXYGEN is NOT available on the Canadian site, Amazon.ca. We just didn't have that option.

John and I hope that this edition of Oxygen will help advance your writing to that pesky next level, but most importantly, we want you to have fun.
Me again. I bought a copy of Oxygen years ago, and though I don't read a lot of sci-fi, I loved the book. And I've just read through the appendices of this new version, and can tell you it's worth much more than the 99 cent price tag. I really like the detailed explanation of MRUs. If you master this technique, your fiction will be far stronger.

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