Author Archives: Courtney Carpenter

writing a novel | novel writing mistakes

Avoiding Cliches in Writing

Don’t write another cliché novel or use clichés in your novel (here are some cliche examples)! Learn what to avoid from 179 Ways to Save a Novel by Peter Selgin. A writer’s job is to write stories—not to steal or borrow them and, with a coat of fresh paint, pawn them off as original....

how to show and tell in writing | turning points

Scene Structure: How to Write Turning Points

Are you in the middle of writing your story and wondering how to write a scene that indicates a turning point? Learn about turning points and how to show them within your story from Laurie Alberts, author of Showing & Telling. Turning points in the action or the character’s emotions must be rendered in...

review a manuscript | writing a novel

Writing a Novel: The Four Elements Of a Solid Story Concept

Do you want to write a novel? In addition to creating a solid plot, you are also going to need a strong concept for your novel. Wondering how to conceptualize your story? Todd A. Stone, author of the Novelist’s Boot Camp, shares essential elements for developing a story’s concept. Developing A Story’s Concept One...

how to write mean characters | jessica morrell

Writing Strong Female Characters: Defining a Bitch

If you’re interested in breaking the mold with your character, there is no single criterion for a bitch. However, you might want to consider making several of her dominant traits negative or what society has typically not expected of females. For example, her traits might include being manipulating, selfish, cunning, power-seeking, or vengeful. Or,...

fiction writing exercises | writing tips

How To Develop a Story Idea Into a Book

The following excerpt is from The Art of War For Writers by James Scott Bell. In the book, you’ll find exercises, tactics, and strategies for fiction writers. Today’s tip of the day is Tactic #27: Test your premise to prove it worthy. Decide Your Book’s Premise Editors and agents are all looking for the...

the productive writer | free time managment tools

Meet Your Writing Goals With Four Time-Management Tools

In order to succeed as a professional writer, you must be able to set and meet deadlines. If you are looking for time-management tools to help you stay on track with your writing goals, read today’s tip of the day from The Productive Writer by Sage Cohen. Meet Your Deadlines With The Right Time-Management...

writing exercises | writing tips

4 Tips For Revising Your Work

No matter what type of writing you do–fiction, nonfiction, or freelance–you should expect to revise your work. Learn four essential tips for revising your work from Christina Katz, author of The Writer’s Workout. When you are a professional writer, you spend at least half of your time rewriting, likely even more time than you...

The Nighttime Novelist | writing plot

4 Editing & Proofreading Techniques For Your Novel

Joseph Bates, author of The Nighttime Novelist, shares tips for editing and proofreading a novel or book. Creating A System For Editing & Proofreading Revision is really about seeing your book as a whole–recognizing patterns you didn’t notice before, and reconciling any disparate parts into a unified whole. The best way to accomplish this...

how to write fiction | hooked on fiction writing

5 Wrong Ways to Start A Story

Your story’s opener is your one opportunity to capture an editor’s or agent’s attention. Learn how to avoid the critical mistakes (such as providing too much backstory) that lead to rejection and write a great beginning for your story. Today’s tip of the day, taken from Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers At Page...

premise in writing | writing a novel

Writing Scenes: Stepping Forward, Falling Back

Author of The Breakout Novelist, Donald Maass, discusses writing scenes in today’s tip of the day. He explains the importance of setting goals for each scene with an example from George R.R. Martin’s book, A Storm of Swords. Most instruction in writing scenes begins with this sound advice: Send your character into the scene...

writer with a day job | aine greaney

Three Ways To Strengthen Your Writing

The path to becoming a published author is full of twists and turns. No matter what stage of the writing process you are in or how busy your schedule is, you should always strive to get better and leave room for improvement. Below, author Aine Greaney talks about the importance of writing daily and...

how to find writing inspiration | writing exercises

What an Agent Does & Does Not Do

You’ve landed an agent. Now what? You’re probably wondering what a literary agent does and does not do and how they can help you. Discover the truth about what literary agents actually do for authors from today’s writing tip. This excerpt from Your First Novel discusses the author-agent relationship. What Does a Literary Agent...

writer with a day job | aine greaney

Make Time to Write: 10 Tips for Daily Writing

Writing takes commitment, self-discipline, and desire. Don’t let other distractions get in the way of your writing goals–set aside time every day to write. When you are tempted to make up an excuse as to why you can’t write today, stop yourself. Only you can write the rest of that chapter you’re working on...