• THE
    Writing Prompt
    Boot Camp

    Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and get the Writing Prompt Boot Camp download.

  • There Are No Rules

Excerpts

An Insider’s Guide: Odd Jobs of the Masters

The history of writing is full of authors striving to succeed in a hyper-competitive publishing world, contending with agents, editors, publishers, critics, and sometimes the greatest challenge of all—overnight success. David Comfort’s … Read more

How to Become a Kick-Ass Writer

If you haven’t yet read, met, or followed the career of Chuck Wendig, you’re in for a treat. I’ve had the great pleasure of following Chuck’s blog at terribleminds.com for a couple … Read more

The Horror Genre: On Writing Horror and Avoiding Clichés

“The three types of terror: The Gross-out: the sight of a severed head tumbling down a flight of stairs, it’s when the lights go out and something green and slimy splatters against … Read more

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Fiction Series

One of the main concerns writers should have when planning and writing a series is consistency. But what does it mean to be consistent? It’s more than just keeping track of the … Read more

Knowing When to Stop: Expectations for a Satisfying Ending

Creating Plot

Everyone struggles with how to write an ending, regardless of whether it’s a novel or a short story. Sometimes our perfect endings come to us in a dream-like vision, and other times … Read more

Creating Emotional Frustration in Your Characters

Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint

Using emotion to create strong, emotional characters and move a plot is critical for any writer in any type of genre. Knowing what kind of emotion to use and how to use it … Read more

Writing Gender-Specific Dialogue

On Writing Romance

Writing dialogue to suit the gender of your characters is important in any genre, but it becomes even more essential in romance writing. In a romance novel, characters of opposite sexes are … Read more

Don’t Let Worry Drag You Down

Writers are often worriers. We’re plagued with indecision about the choices we make for our stories. We doubt the quality of our writing. We wonder if we’ll ever break through into the … Read more

How to Write a Reader-Friendly Essay

Powerful, surprising, and fascinating personal essays are also “reader-friendly essays” that keep the reader squarely in focus. So how do you go about writing one? In this excerpt from Crafting the Personal … Read more

4 Ways to Revise as You Write

Writers differ in their opinions of the revision process. Some balk at it–they see it as the “no fun” part of writing, and much prefer drafting and creation to fixing and rethinking. … Read more

Writing 21st Century Fiction: A Sneak Peek

Donald Maass, bestselling author of Writing the Breakout Novel and The Fire in Fiction, now takes an in-depth, comprehensive look at the craft and method of writing 21st century fiction. You might … Read more

Create Structure in Your Fiction Using Index Cards

I was reading through some of our older science fiction titles, and I came upon Worlds of Wonder by David Gerrold (published in 2001). As I was flipping through the book, I … Read more

Create Powerful Imagery in Your Writing

We’ve heard the old montage “Show, don’t tell” so many times that it’s become stale–and what does it mean, anyway? It’s an easy phrase to utter, but how do you achieve resonant, … Read more

Showing vs. Telling in Your Writing

Show, don’t tell. Most writers have heard this maxim at some point, whether from a teacher, an editor or an agent. But what does this writing advice mean, in practical terms? While … Read more

How to Find Great Writing Ideas

In the search for story-worthy ideas, most writers are sidelined by occasional bouts of creative myopia. When it sets in—when your field of inspiration narrows—it’s easy to convince yourself that your luck … Read more

Top 10 Blogging Tips: How to Turn Your Blog Into a Book

If you’d like to quickly amass content for a book—without the pressure of actually having to work on one—consider blogging a book. Blogging is a fast and simple way to generate a … Read more

How to Write Effective Dialogue

Dialogue serves several key functions in your fiction: It reveals your characters’ personalities and beliefs, heightens tension, provides an alternative to lengthy descriptive passages and, most importantly, advances your plot. The key … Read more

How to Start a Book Project

  March seems like a good checkpoint for New Year’s writing goals: Two months into the New Year, you probably have a sense of whether a resolution made in January will become … Read more

The Writing Process: Step One

Prewriting. Freewriting. Mind Mapping. Clustering. If you’ve taken a creative writing or English composition class, you’ve likely encountered these terms. They represent an important step in the writing process and, in my … Read more

How to Find Your Narrative Voice

A strong narrative voice gives your fiction a distinctive flavor and makes it stand out in a slush pile. But many beginning novelists struggle with finding their narrative voice, and some opt … Read more

Expert Tips for Writing Action Scenes

Think “action scene,” and you probably think of the Hollywood version: A character is thrust into high-stakes, physical drama (a gunfight, a daring rescue, a desperate escape) that changes her in some … Read more

5 Tips for Fearless Writing

Putting ideas out in the world takes courage, so playing it safe with your writing can be an appealing strategy. Faced with limited writing time and abundant competition, you figure out what … Read more

The Secret to Writing a Standout Picture Book

As any children’s picture book author will attest, writing for children is not easier than writing for adults. In fact, it’s probably more difficult, and here’s why: The story must appeal to … Read more

4 Techniques for Creating Believable Villains

The protagonist’s conflict with an opposing force—usually in the form of another character—is the essence of every novel. Read more

Be Strategic in What You Consume to Boost Productivity

Today’s guest post is from Todd Henry, founder and CEO of Accidental Creative, a consulting firm that helps organizations like P&G, Mattel, and State Farm generate creative ideas. He has one of … Read more

Page 1 of 212