Knowing the feel of your genre - Authors A.I.

Alessandra Torre
March 6, 2022

When you think about your book, have you considered how readers will connect with it? That connection, that feel… that experience should match your genre. As book editor Stephenie Magister said:

“Your book isn’t about your story.  It isn’t about your characters. It isn’t even about you. It’s about the experience it manifests for readers. Are you one of those readers? Sure! But serving a reader—even yourself—means serving a different master than the author.”

She dives into this concept deeper in the recent First Draft Friday video chat I had with her. Click below to watch our 30-minute discussion where Stephenie explored the feel and goal of common genres and answered questions from the live audience.

More info:

Try out Marlowe, our A.I., who can critique your novel:

Visit Stephenie’s article breaking down genres and payoffs: on Medium

Enjoy the show? Check out our upcoming and past First Draft Friday episodes.


Alessandra: Hi, everyone. Welcome to First Draft Friday. I am your host, Alessandra Torre with Authors AI, and I am so excited to be joined today with Stephenie. We’re going to be talking all about genres and fiction, and I love this topic. Stephenie has a little bit of a different angle on it, because I know we’ve talked about this on First Draft Friday before, so I’m excited to jump in. Do you want to introduce yourself?

Stephenie: So hey, I’m Stephenie. I’m really glad to be here with Alessandra and talk about what goes into the experience of writing. And I can tell you a little bit about myself, I even wrote a little bit spiel while she’s doing this. So what I like to tell people is once after blockbuster went out of business, I tried my hand at managing bookstores for a while, and then I also sold post-it notes for a little while, but then I went it back into grad school and I got my master’s in journalism and I was a year into the PhD program when the publisher I was working with, a romances publisher, they offered me enough money to say, see ya. So I just said, see ya. And I’ve been in publishing ever since as a writer and editor for you know, some authors who have won awards and hit bestseller lists. But what I’m really focused on now is expanding representation for underrepresented people, marginalized authors, that sort of thing.

Stephenie: Yay. Oh boy, it looks like Alessandra just disappeared. This is shadow. I know you didn’t think that you were going to be getting writing tips from a cat, but here she is.

Alessandra: I’m sorry to the audience for all of my technical difficulties. Stephenie, can you dive into what you mean by that and what genre means to you?

Stephenie: Yeah, I can tell you how I experience story reason, how I try to bring people into it. But it’s also what I think is serving me really well in helping other people tell their stories, which is, I think a lot of writers and editors and all sorts of publishing professionals, focused on details that just don’t matter. And they missed it. What really matters for readers is the experience of that story. You might think it has something to do with the plot detail or the premise, but it is a lot more to do with the execution. It has to do with why some authors, you don’t even care what the story is, what you value is the experience that they manifest for audiences, regardless of the genre, regardless of the plot, right? Like, you write in several genres, and the people who read you, it’s not just because you’re writing a suspense story or a romance story. They like the experience that you provide when they read your stuff.

Alessandra: Let’s dive into what makes an experience for a reader.

Stephenie: Sure. The best ones I like to talk about are either comedy or romance, right? Because what I’ve found with comedy is a lot of people are looking for the payoff that you get at the end. You know, they think that laughter is the whole point, but then you got to ask, well, why is it extremely funny? People can write comedy or romantic comedies and it’s suddenly not funny. And it’s because they miss the point of the humor in the story. So for example, in a comedy, what you are really doing is safely processing embarrassment, cringeworthy moments, right? If it’s a romantic comedy; the situations that cause you embarrassment are romantic in nature, or at least they’re so intensely connected to it. So if it’s with your family or something or your job or something, it’s still about the romance. And it forces the characters to experience these intense moments of embarrassment. And you use comedy as a way to make it passable, to make it safe to process for the reader to go, you know what, if it wasn’t for the humor, this would be unbearable, but I’m glad to go through it with you because it’s so funny.

And I think it’s why people like Melissa McCarthy, when she makes a great movie, it’s like – you go back to something like Bridesmaids, right? It’s a lot of embarrassment. It speaks to people on a real deep level though, because that embarrassment is helping you process something a lot deeper. Now, the other one that I thought, you know, I enjoy is more about thrillers, and the comparison that I make with that one is thriller versus horror, because I think the experience is quite similar, but the payoff is very different.

You know, thriller, you think, like it doesn’t matter how hopeless the situation is, you’re going to find a way through it. And the audience knows that’s a genre expectation. But in a horror, you know that no matter how hopeful the situation seems, it’s not going to work out. Even if you win, it will come at a terrible cost that makes it not worth it or at least makes you question. Was this victory worth it? That’s the point of the experience of a horror story to question like, was this worth it? What did it cost us even to win?

Alessandra: So if I’m looking at a genre and I write in, let’s say, I don’t know, women’s fiction. And I’m looking at a genre and I can look and I can find places that talk about reader expectations or I can find common tropes. Women’s fiction is a bad example. Let me say like urban fantasy, right? And maybe there are standards in urban or common tropes in urban fantasy. But how do I discover what experiences my readers will be looking for or that is common to that? How do I discover that? Do I read a lot in that genre and I kind of soak it in as a reader or is there a better way to understand if I have a specific genre, what my reader is going to want to experience, or how that experience is?

Stephenie: For sure. That’s a real good question. So part of it is some of the things that you mentioned, you know, when you are reading a book or when you’re watching a movie or, you know, I think storytelling happens in all sorts of places, even on Twitter threads; you just got to know what you’re paying attention to. One big difference is just knowing to ask questions. Instead of getting lost in like, oh, this plot point was so interesting, but that’s not what is essential to the experience you’re having of the story. So, the first thing you want to do when you’re reading a book is to ask yourself what experience are you having. Forget about the plot, because I mean, what science has shown us is that we remember maybe 10% of what we read anyway.

Alessandra: When I think about my favorite books, I don’t even know if I could describe the plot in detail.

Stephenie: That’s right.

Alessandra: As much as how I loved it and how much I enjoyed it. And I do walk away with things like the connection between the two is so great and it was so funny. And if they say, what was it about? I was like, “Hmm… Something happened. I don’t remember. They didn’t like each other.”

Stephenie: Exactly. And what you’ll probably find is that what you end up describing for the other person as a kind of pitch. Like let’s say you went to see one of your favorite movies, your favorite new movies, and you’re trying to get somebody to go see it. Well, what you’ll tell them is not just the plot. Suddenly you’re telling them the specific pieces that evoke the experience they’ll have when going to see this story, or when you’re telling them about a book, right. You’re telling them the reason you’re going to laugh and hopefully, you know, what a lot of people find is that they’re a great storyteller and they just don’t know how to convert it into writing. Oh, this is what happens when you put your camera on your phone.

Alessandra: And for that point, Bridesmaid, I don’t even know what Bridesmaid is about, but if someone goes, “Oh, is Bridesmaid’s good?” I would say it was so funny. Like, that’s the thing I remember. And I do remember it being painful scenes at times, like…

Stephenie: Yeah. To say no matter how uncomfortable you feel watching this movie, you will laugh your heart out. And at the end, you’ll think about yourself and romance and friendship in a totally new way. And it’s almost like – a great example is the tv show The Office. And I mean, particularly the American version, I cannot watch Michael Scott. But the reason why I’ve believed the show… no, OK, this is personal, but I don’t think the show was the same after him, even though I found it so hard to watch.

Alessandra: Yeah.

Stephenie: Once he was gone and it was partly because he was the embarrassment, he was like the essential element that allowed the show to talk about much more straightforward, deep things that were relevant to real people. And without him, no one else can make you cringe quite the same way as he did. The show was just, the experience of it was so different that you could not take away the same thing and they had to reinvent it because the experience of it was no longer the same, you pay off would no longer be the same.

Alessandra: We have a great question from Elaine. Hey Elaine, it’s great to see you here. She said, “So should our blurbs focus on the experience rather than the plot? This might be a huge lifesaver.”

Stephenie: This is a great question, right? Because you’re a blurb, right? I mean, it needs to, yes, evoke the experience. The pieces of the plot sort of depend on what best evokes that experience for your target readers. So like if you were writing for category romance readers, your blurb would need to at least mention the tropes or evoke them so intensely that it’s as though you were explicit about them because that’s a lot of what those readers are looking for. I speak as one of them anyway. To mention the trope itself evokes the feeling that I know I’m looking for, and then whatever kind of voice you can put on top of it to let me know the kind of experience that I having when reading the story. The thing though that… I would focus on the experience because if you go into too much detail about the plot, what someone once explained to me that shamelessly stole is your blurb is sort of like asking somebody out on a date.

If you were asking somebody out or they were asking you out; you would not go into every detail about, well, when I wake up in the morning to get ready for our date, this is what I’m going to do to brush my teeth, to pick up my clothes, to go to my job, to get ready for 6 pm and then we’re going out, you know? And then you would not go into all these details about the date. It’s like, well, I get that that happens in the story, but what does it have to do with tempting me to read the book? Those are even if all of those details are interesting; they’re not part of the pitch for the book. The only pieces of the plot you want to mention are the things that are going to evoke the primary experience that you know readers are going to want to have while reading your book. Not necessarily the payoff, because like in a romance, the payoff is true love fulfilled. That’s how I see it. But you wouldn’t want true love fulfilled during the story. That’s not what you… you don’t start there. You need the conflict that comes between you and getting there. And the promise of that is what gets you to go through the experience of the story.

Alessandra: And on that, using that same first date analogy, if I was headed to a date and something really crazy and interesting happened on the way and the person called and said, “Are you coming?” You know, I might say “yes and oh my gosh, you won’t believe what happened on the way.” But I wouldn’t go and tell them that because goodness, I now have a great carrot of something that I can share during the date and can build suspense until I get to arrive there and to share it.

Stephenie: Yeah. And all the stuff that happens on the way it’s also like, I mean, now you’re sort of talking about the plotting experience, but all that stuff is like B story stuff that’s really fun. Would you necessarily want to get into it in the blurb? No, but it is part of the conflict between you and the main point of the story.

Alessandra: I love that. So let’s talk about, OK, you sent me an article in advance that I read, and one of it talked about was like the process you would go through with figuring out your experience and then having it. It said that the first step was kind of asking yourself what experience do I want my readers to have when they read this book? Is that a question that you should ask yourself at the very beginning? Is it a question you should ask yourself at the end of your first draft? When should you really start thinking about and paying attention to your reader’s experience?

Stephenie: That’s a real good question. And I think it has to do with your degree of self-awareness as a writer. So, if you are really new at writing, these are things that you may need to write a lot in order to explore. What I’m talking about when you stop to assess the experience, you may not know that, you know, and you may need to try a lot of different stories, a lot of different genres before you find out what it experience, you’re actually manifesting in which kinds you’re good at manifesting in which kinds you enjoy manifesting for readers. I don’t know that I would ask that question too soon because it’s going to be hard to know. But if you’ve been writing for a little while, I think it’s appropriate to stop and take the assessment, read your stuff and ask yourself what experience are you having from what you write? Did you write this as a comedy? Well, does it make you laugh? If it doesn’t, then maybe you need to ask yourself, are you really good at writing comedy if you can’t make yourself laugh?

If it’s not making you laugh, well, go back through what you experienced and ask yourself. Well, what is it that does make you laugh? Because you need to figure out how to evoke that on the page at least for yourself. Now the other part of it though is that unless you’re only writing for yourself, you want to ask somebody who you trust – read my stuff. It’s a good question now to ask them as much as yourself, forget about the plot. I’m not going to test you on what happened in chapter four. I want to know what do you experience when you read my stuff and a valid answer is boredom. I struggle to finish. That’s OK if that’s what the person says, but they may also give you something much more insightful where they say, “I know you’re writing a love story, but it’s so disturbing. Have you ever thought of writing horror?”

Alessandra: Not even talking about genre, it’s a valid question to ask yourself, there’s what we want to write and what we want to create. And then there’s what we’re great at creating. And then there’s what we do create. And they could be three totally different things. Like we could really want something, but we’re creating something else. And a third thing is what we’re really good at. And maybe we don’t know it yet because it’s like, oh, all the money is in sexy romance, so I’m going to write sexy romance – when you could be creating a huge name for yourself in something else.

Stephenie: That’s true. I mean, I think that’s why it’s important to try a lot of different stuff because it’s like, you’re saying there’s a question of, well, how do other people receive what you’re writing? And is it getting good reviews? Well, that may now be the same thing as selling a whole bunch of copies. There are one-star books that are infamous.

Alessandra: I have a lot of copies. We have a great question from a Facebook user, their name didn’t come through, but they said, what do you think the payoff is for women’s fiction? And I know we were going to kind of hit on some of the major genres. Can you answer this question and kind of go through some of the payoffs for some major genres?

Stephenie: Yes. Well with the course that the understanding that these are big genres with people who have strong opinions and everyone’s free to disagree, OK. But here’s what I’d say since he asked. I just finished working on a great book that’s more up-market women’s fiction for pitch wars who, dang, RIP, their last year I found out. But Colleen’s book is more women’s fiction. And it’s gotten me to think some about what the payoff is, which is not necessarily a love story, even though women’s fiction often and can include a love story. For me, it’s much more about the self-empowerment of womanhood. At the end of the story, the individual needs to feel – the character needs to feel an empowerment towards their self-concept and identity of womanhood. So, that could mean that the love story actually… that’s why in women’s fiction, you can get some really cool stuff that just doesn’t happen in romance or category romance.

You know, like you could argue that Message in a Bottle is much more women’s fiction because the dude dies at the end. I would argue it’s still a romance story because it does feel like true love fulfilled. But the bigger payoff is that that character feels like she’s empowered at the end that even though his death is a terrible loss, in a way it’s helped her see some things and take stronger steps for what comes afterward. That feeling of empowerment is what I would look for at the end of WF.

Alessandra: Yeah. And I think, I would say like, yeah, finding and accepting yourself, like understanding yourself. And it might be yourself, it might be a relationship, it might be… because a lot of times women’s fiction is about friendship and you know, feeling a mother-daughter bond. But a lot of that comes through accepting things you’ve done in the past or the way that you are.

Stephenie: Yeah. And if you can add something high concept on top of that, then it’s even better. Like Jody Pickle stuff; she’s always got something high concept that’s also like, well, even without the high concept, but because you’re also telling a story that’s sort of retelling a Dante’s Inferno I’m in.

Stephenie: Yeah, I think so for romance is true love fulfilled, whatever gives that experience at the end. I mean, of course, if you’re talking about category genre, then you have some conventions that you need to respect depending on the category.

Alessandra: And what about and I won’t go into all the sub-genres of romance, but I saw on a blog post you did, and we’ll put these breakdowns in the summary for this post. Erotic romance you described in an interesting way.

Stephenie: Oh yeah. Because I think that that is in the same way that comedy is about using laughter to process embarrassment, erotic romance is about using sex to process fear of vulnerability and intimacy, you know? And that was some hard lessons for me. I’ve worked in – it was a category romance line for a long time that was much more erotic, but it was particularly not that… they drilled it into me. It’s not erotic romance, there’s a difference. But let me just say that in a similar way, you’re using the characters, the experience is they feel something with this person that they’re afraid of. And the erotic tension between them, the sexual desire is so intense and so pleasurable, not just for the characters but for the reader, all of the conflict-related to intimacy and vulnerability is suddenly bearable. Questions that the reader might find really hard to process and face about themselves, about how they’re afraid to open up; suddenly because the author is using these erotic situations to get them to stick with it.

I mean, it’s a really fun situation, but the characters chapter by chapter, situation by situation are slowly letting their boundaries down are slowly getting closer, are slowly taking more emotionally intense risks, to the point that… I’ve read some erotic romance that like there was barely any sex on the page. It felt like it was, but it was really because the author was so good at using that frame to investigate and explore the emotional intimacy at the core of the story, what the characters were reaching for, but only knew how to access through sex.

Alessandra: I love that. I love that. And we do have a few more that we’re going to go through and Kerstin said that’s a great definition of erotic romance. And it is true also, contemporary romance has a lot of sex now. Like, you know, we really blurred the lines when 50 Shades of Grey went so mainstream, so some of this normal romance has a lot of sex in it, and I think that’s true of that also.

Stephenie: Sure.

Alessandra: Mike, I’ll swing around your comment when we but I want to knock out a few more genres. So, what about mystery versus thriller? Do they have different payoffs or is it the same or different experiences?

Stephenie: Yeah. So a mystery is much more about the experience of outsmarting the feeling that you have outsmarted someone. There’s the puzzle of who is the killer or what’s really going on. It’s not necessarily the crime of murder, you know, it’s just a mystery. There have been really fun things that are just about writers’ conventions with a mystery in the middle. And the experience that the reader is looking for in a mystery is to for just a moment, be with that character who in this particular situation at least is the smartest person in the room and can see things that no one else can see and they walk side by side with them. And when things come together, they feel like even if the character figured things out a moment before they did; they feel like, oh, if I had a moment, I would’ve been right there with you.

People want to feel smart when they read a mystery, you know, they want to feel like they’re able to put puzzles together that would’ve been beyond them. And a thriller though is not really about a mystery. There may be a mystery, that’s motivating the characters, but it’s a totally different experience because in a mystery, you probably, don’t know who the killer is, or you don’t know where they are, there’s a puzzle to solve. In a thriller, like a James Patterson book, well, half the book is told from the killer’s point of view, you know who they are, the reader is in a totally different point of view and experience for the story because of the elements that he uses.

Alessandra: What’s the focus there? What should the author focus on delivering in a thriller?

Stephenie: The experience in a thriller is a lot more black and white, good overcoming evil. I probably need to update the research because I did this back in 2013, but it was a pretty good study on the mystery-thriller genre about the difference between critically acclaimed versus commercially successful books.

Alessandra: That’d be fun.

Stephenie: I know, right. And part of it was whether something was black and white, the stuff that won awards and didn’t sell well tended to be about crimes that were much harder to resolve, kidnapping stuff with children, you know the stuff with John Grisham, James Patterson, you know, the big names that excel at thrillers, or they release a book, it just jumps. Those are all about black and white crimes where it’s murder, if you stop the killer, it’s over. Even if they killed somebody, the person is dead; the situation is over once they’re stopped. Whereas in that critically acclaimed stuff that won awards, because they’re about situations that will never be, and people will live with this for the rest of their lives. The experience is so different – does really well with critics in awards shows, but not necessarily for wider audiences.

Alessandra: Yeah. That’s really interesting. And I’d love to put our AI on that. It’d be really interesting.

Stephenie: Oh sure, sure, sure.

Alessandra: Critically acclaimed but poor sellers, and compare it with 10 commercial successes.

Stephenie: Absolutely.


You know the plot arcs, what the characters are, the pacing, all of that.

Stephenie: That’s a really good idea because I had to code it all by hand. This is back in the day in grad school. And it would be interesting for you to apply that to other genres too, you know because it was just me coding it by hand. I didn’t want to go into all the other stuff that I really wanted to, but it would be fascinating for you to find out in romance, in horror, in thrillers; is there a difference that the AI can identify that writers might learn from? If you do this, you’re more likely to sell copies, but you won’t win awards. If you do this, you’re more likely to win awards, but you’ll sell about 20 copies, which do you want?

Alessandra: Yeah, I think we would all go for… the best scenario around. We only have a few more minutes and I know guys, I messed up our beginning, so we’ll probably go a few minutes over. If you have any questions, please shout them out now. I’m going to go ahead and go to Mike’s question. And he said, is it worth going into a first-person narrative when you want to get into a character’s head when the rest of the story is generally third person?

Stephenie: Dang! I would generally say no just because you’re going to confuse the reader. You know, when the reader opens a book, they’ve all been trained to expect a certain structure and format for the experience of reading a book. So if you start flipping between, it would have to be consistent or you’d really need to think about how are you going to introduce this element so that it doesn’t set up a question or anticipation that this sort of thing is going to be how you tell the story going forward. Like, John Grisham and James Patterson, again, they actually will do that. They’ll tell the third person from the hero, first person from the villain and man, it confuses me even though they’re established, but it works real well for readers as long as it’s consistent.

Alessandra: Yeah. And he followed up by saying, “I always do it as a sidebar chapter.”

Stephenie: Oh yeah. I don’t know it’s going to be that big a difference, but that would be my concern that it will confuse somebody; they’ll wonder, is this something that’s going to last the whole book and I wouldn’t want the reader even subconsciously asking that question.

Alessandra: And he said Mary almost gets raped then the first person paragraph afterward gets into her head. I agree. I agree with Stephenie. I think you have to be consistent. I oftentimes will do one character and first-person and the rest of the characters and third person, but I’m consistent throughout the book.

Stephenie: Yeah.

Alessandra: But moving on – David said, what about the payoff for horror or supernatural?

Stephenie: OK. Hmm, dang! What is the payoff from horror? Well, I think the horror from payoff is more an acceptance of things that we cannot control and wish we could because I believe that horror, the experience is that no matter how hopeful things seem, you will lose, that’s the payoff in the end. We want the experience of… for me, it’s a kind of experience of serenity, you know, a good experience that I take away into real life that something awful happens at the end of a horror story, no matter how hard we fought for it, it happened anyway, we lost control. You know, and even if we won it cost something. And to me, that payoff is something that we take back to the real world to say like, well, this helps me live a little better because everything’s not going to be in my control.

Alessandra: Yeah. And David, if you haven’t seen it, we have a really great first draft Friday chat on riding horror. It’s fantastic, so I encourage you to look that up on our page on YouTube. And supernatural, so like fantasy books, is there a typical experience or payoff that you’re striving for there?

Stephenie: To me, I mean, fantasy is such a big genre, you know, I think that that’s more like now you’re talking about like young adult; it’s like, where do you even begin? I think the general experience in my observation for fantasy, it tends to be about history and world-building, otherwise it’s more of an aesthetic, which is not to say that it can’t be integral to the world-building, but when I think about… now we’re really getting into the sub-genres though. Because if you’re talking about epic fantasy, right, if you’re talking about something like Lord of The Rings, The Wheel of Time; those things are a lot about the history, the world-building. The story is important, but when people are reading it in my experience, they want a focus on the details that otherwise would not be acceptable. Like, could you compare Lord of the Rings to – what’s a good romance book here? Help me.

Alessandra: I’m trying to think of something that’s not…

Stephenie: This is crazy.

Alessandra: I’m trying to think of a famous romance book that is something…

Stephenie: Let’s say young adult, Twilight. That’s when everybody’s heard of and probably read by now. I spent so much brainpower thinking of the second one, what was the first book we said?

Alessandra: Well, or like Time Traveler’s Wife or – oh, Lord of the Rings is what the original one you’re comparing.

Stephenie: That’s right. Because if you think about it that way, Lord of the Rings is much more like you went to a history class. It’s much more like somebody sitting you down and saying, let me tell you every intricate detail of the world, building the people, their lore, the story is secondary. It needs to be there. It’s not that it’s not important, but it is secondary to the history telling. Whereas, if you were to talk about the Time Traveler’s Wife or Twilight or something, and it’s like, you know, all that other stuff is essential to flesh out the experience of the story, but it’s secondary. The history and all that stuff are just things more about like substantiating this to make it feel real, but it’s not the primary experience, whereas in my experience, epic fantasy, is much more about the world-building and the history.

Alessandra: Rob said, what are your thoughts on combining genres, for example, cowboys and aliens?

Stephenie: Oh man.

Alessandra: When I think Cowboys and Aliens, I think it’s a movie, right?

Stephenie: It’s a movie. It’s what Jon Favreau did after Ironman. And let me tell you how unhappy I was that it was not better because you know, he came out with Ironman; it’s like, oh man, the guy can do no wrong. And it also had what Daniel Craig, 007 at the time.

Alessandra: What were the genres there? Was it like Western?

Stephenie: I guess it was western and sci-fi.

Alessandra: Yeah.

Stephenie: And genre mashups are my favorite thing, but I’m not sure what to tell you, Rob, because it’s also one of the hardest things to do. You have to think about what is the primary experience that you’re offering because you cannot equally serve both masters. And I think that they really lost the point of what experience they were offering. I don’t know if that’s like a script decision or Jon Favreau or something, I guess I’ll just blame him since he’s so famous now he can take it. But it was not like, are you offering the experience of a Western? Are you offering the… exploring the limits of science fiction and technology? Is it a horror story where we’re worried that we’re going to be taken over by aliens and it happens anyway? Is it a thriller where it’s much more about black and white fighting good and evil and we’re going to win in the end, no matter how? To me, watching Cowboys and Aliens, none of that was really clear. And when people say the story was incoherent, I don’t think the story matters. I think what they’re saying is the experience was incoherent.

Alessandra: And I can see that being hard when you’re writing like romantic suspense and balancing the romance and suspension.

Stephenie: Oh yeah.

Alessandra: Romantic suspense seems to be falling really in marketing everything else, more in the romance genre, but I can see that being a great question to ask yourself if you are combining genres is yeah, what experience am I going after? And we’re out of time. If we didn’t get to your question, I’m so sorry, but thank you so much, Stephenie. I appreciate you joining us today.

Stephenie: Thank you.

Alessandra: My big takeaway and a great tip. If you’re wondering what experience you’re currently giving readers is to read your reviews, even the bad reviews because they should mention there, you should start seeing a common thread of things that they mentioned, which even if it’s bad, even if it was like, I was bored stiff, like, you know, you know something out of that.

Stephenie: Absolutely.

Alessandra: But if they’re interested in looking you up or having you edit one of their books, where can they find you?

Stephenie: Oh, sure. So again, I’m Stephenie Magister; the easiest way to find me is at And you can also read a whole bunch of stuff. If you go on medium, just look up “transgender soapbox” and you’ll find my articles.

Alessandra: Transgender soapbox.

Stephenie: Yeah.

Alessandra: Perfect. And that’s on If you guys haven’t tried out Marlowe, she’s our artificial intelligence that loves fiction and can critique your book in just a few minutes. You can check out Marlowe at, and please check out our other First Draft Friday videos. You can subscribe to us here on YouTube if you’re watching on YouTube or be sure to follow us and join the Facebook group if you’re watching on Facebook. Thank you again, Stephenie, it was fantastic having you. Thank you, everyone, for dealing with our tech issues, my tech issues, and we’ll see guys in two weeks at another First Draft Friday.

Stephenie: Thank you, Alessandra. Bye, everybody.

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