Author Archives: Scott Francis

Key Advice for Writing Fantasy

Paranormal writing is still hot… Whether you love the Twilight phenomenon or hate it, the buzz around teen vampires and werewolves is still going strong. If you’re into spooky writing—from the YA side of writing fantasy stories to things a bit darker (like horror writing)—times are both good and bad for you. Good because...

Author Interview: Don Fry

Don Fry has taught over 10,000 writers worldwide to write better and faster with less agony. He a writing coach who has worked with newspapers and magazines, radio and television stations, and non-profit organizations. He is the author of 17 books including Writing Your Way: Creating a Writing Process That Works for You. Here...

How to Research Your Novel

Just because you’re writing fiction, it doesn’t give you license to make everything up. Well, okay, so maybe it does. It’s your story, you can do whatever you want. But, let’s say you want someone to actually read it. Now, things are a little different. You want to write a story that will draw...

Finding Creative Writing Ideas

Where Do You Get Your Creative Writing Ideas? As a writer one of the most common questions you’ll hear is “where do you get your ideas?” Non-writers think that writers have some magical power or that ideas for writing a story just come to them from out of nowhere. And maybe that does happen...

How to Get a Short Story Published Like a Pro

As a writer you probably hear a lot of advice about how to get your novel published, how to write a perfect query letter, how to get an agent or editor’s attention and so forth. But what if you want to know how to get a short story published? How is the process different...

Defining character archetypes

For a character’s actions to seem believable they must reflect the personality of that character. Character archetypes are a great way to help understand what motivates your heroes and villains – the reasons they do what they do. In the following excerpt from her book 45 Master Characters, archetype expert Victoria Schmidt explains how...

The Gamechanger

Based on her popular writing reference 45 Master Characters, author and journey and archetype guru Victoria Lynn Schmidt has written a bonus character archetype to accompany the reprinting of her classic reference. This new character archetype covers the traits and motivations of the Gamechanger and the character’s alter ego, the Manipulator. Click on the...

A Day in the Life of a Writer

Try this fun day-long writing prompt from Jack Heffron, author of The Writer’s Idea Book. You’ll gain a lot of insight, and may just come up with some great ideas to spark your next writing project.   A Day in the Life of a Writer by Jack Heffron This excerpt, which is essentially one...

Writer’s Idea Book

The Writer’s Idea Book, 10th Anniversary Edition How to Develop Great Ideas for Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, & Screenplays by Jack Heffron Writer’s Digest Books, 2011 ISBN: 9781599633862 $19.99, paperback, 352 pages buy now Read an excerpt Author Jack Heffron guides you through the process of writing down everything that happens to you in a...

50 Questions

50 WRITING QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER Ponder these writing questions if you find yourself stuck on a project or are struggling with some aspect of your writing life. Based on the time-tested Writer’s Idea Book by Jack Heffron, these 50 questions may help you find the inspiration you need to get yourself back on track....

Songwriting Without Boundaries

Songwriting Without Boundaries Lyric Writing Exercises for Finding Your Voice by Pat Pattison Writer’s Digest Books, 2011 ISBN: 978-1-59963-297-1 $17.99, paperback, 240 pages Infuse your lyrics with sensory detail! Writing great song lyrics requires practice and discipline. Songwriting Without Boundaries will help you commit to routine practice through fun writing exercises. This unique collection...

Your Story 38 – Winners!

Prompt: Write the opening sentence to a story (25 words or fewer) based on the photo prompt to the left.Official Rules Thanks to everyone for your votes. Here are the results of Your Story #38. The winners in ranking order are as follows: 1. The aging motel lay off the beaten path, looking lost...

Songwriting Challenge Commentary

Songwriting Without Boundaries by Pat Pattison is destined to become a classic. Filled with more than 150 sense-bound prompts to help you commit to routine practice and improve your craft. The book also features wonderful examples from a stable of working writers. As a bonus feature to the book, the contributors discuss their experience...

Stilted Dialogue

Considering dialogue from a book proposal standpoint. by Jeff Gerke Poor dialogue is something you must not have in your submission package if you want agents and editors to keep reading and not toss your proposal on the reject stack. I know editors who will skip everything else in a proposal, go straight to...

First 50 Pages

The First 50 Pages Engage Agents, Editors, and Readers, and Set Up Your Novel for Success by Jeff Gerke Writer’s Digest Books, 2011 ISBN: 9781599632384 $16.99, paperback, 240 pages Buy the Book Read an Excerpt Poor dialogue is something you must not have in your submission package. In this excerpt, author Jeff Gerke helps...

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Question of the Day

Question of the Day Where Truth Is the Dare by Al Katkowsky Writer’s Digest Books, 2011 ISBN: 9781599632926 $12.99, paperback, 352 pages   buy the book Life has answers. Make sure you’re asking the right questions. Are you searching for meaning? Or maybe you just want to really get to know someone. This book...

First 50 Pages Checklist

Before submitting your manuscript to an agent or editor, it’s important to make sure your submission package is in the best possible shape it can be. Here’s a checklist that can help you troubleshoot your manuscript and improve your chances of success: How strong is your first line? Make sure you lead off with...

Your Story 37 Winner: Anonymous

Prompt: After being pulled over for speeding, your character finds something important while looking for her registration in the glove compartment. Once again, you’ve made the Your Story competition a success. Thanks to everyone who participated in the competition (either by entering, reading or voting). Out of more than 600 entries, readers helped us...

About the Author

In the “About the Author” section of your proposal, you want to explain why you are the perfect person to write this book. Or because there might be (probably will be) more than one perfect person, why you are among them? Some of the elements of that question’s answer are straightforward. “I am the...

Openings That Will Grab Your Reader

Here are just three of the many ways to open your nonfiction article or book for a juvenile audience: Anecdotal The evening is silent except for the rhythm of the cricket’s song. Out of nowhere, a giant black glider soars from the darkening clouds toward the ground. There’s a slight scratching sound followed by...