One of the most common challenges writers face in the character development process is conveying their personalities (even those of side characters) in a naturally complex and believable way. Here, Joan Dempsey dives into the heart of a critical element that can help you flesh out—no pun intended—your characters and enrich...
BY JAMES SCOTT BELL Boost your story’s immunity to reader scrutiny with these fortifying nutrients.
Start your revision by addressing these, and you'll immediately change your story for the better.
Whether you're writing your first novel or are struggling with completing a second one (or more), sometimes you need some help focusing and figuring out how to reach your goal. Use these 9 tricks to help you go from first sentence all the way to completed novel.
When dividing a manuscript into chapters, how long should each chapter be? Are there any requirements on length? Find out here.
At one time or another, all writers would probably describe themselves as "frustrated" by the writing process. With writer's block, computer malfunctions, Twitter, kids, and Tetris all clamoring for our attention, it's hard to pen a short story, let alone a novel. But if you're serious about writing you'll make it...
You put all your effort in to writing a book and, when finished, it comes out a little longer than most writing guidebooks suggest. Can you still sell that lengthy novel? Here's the answer.
If you dare to write about less-than-charming characters, you don’t need to always redeem them with an ending in which they see the error of their ways, mend their faults and allow their flinty hearts to be transformed into a choir loft of goodness. You see, Hollywood movies have greatly influenced...
Writing and publishing your debut novel can take three months or 30 years. In this roundtable discussion, five very different breakout authors share what they’ve learned about how to position yourself for success.
Turn your dream novel into a reality by using this Story Plan Checklist.
Just like anyone else who builds things from scratch, writers need tools. And the more you use them, the better you become at using them. The more tools you’re exposed to, the greater your skill. So herein are some tools for you in this matter of creating conflict. Use them to...
Here are the keys to writing and pitching a novel that crosses genres.
How can you tell when your novel is really finished? Learn the final-draft factors that most often make or break a novel.
Subplots and multiple points of view make novels longer and more work, but rewards for that effort are there for writer and reader alike—that is, if they are successful. Here's how to pull it off.
A friend alerted me to an interesting infographic posted on Goodreads. The subject: Why readers abandon a book they've started. Among the reasons ...
Try all you want to make the words unrecognizable—misspell them, cut them in half, throw in a fistful of apostrophes, sound out every groan the character makes—but the truth is, they are still words you’re dealing with. Here's how successfully write characters who have dialects.
Here are the principles of story structure that you need to apply to your writing in order to get the ending of your fiction right.
Michael Connelly dishes his No. 1 secret on how to pull off a successful series.
Conspiracy. Murder. Politics. Love. Sex. Ghosts. Pirates. Thrillers and the works of William Shakespeare may have more in common than you’d think. And, as author A.J. Hartley proved in his session “Cues From Shakespeare, the First Thriller Writer,” there’s a lot the bard can teach scribes about storytelling.
Knowing character archetypes and their traits is key to decoding what motivates your characters—and bringing them to life for readers. Here are some of the main archetypes.
Michael Connelly (author of the Harry Bosch series) shares three of his favorite nuggets of advice from other writers.
What should writers do when they finish their first drafts? Author Patricia Gussin reveals how to tune your manuscript up so it’s ready for agents and editors.
In his ThrillerFest session “Off on the Right Foot—When to Outline and When to Write,” T. Jefferson Parker (author of the Charlie Hood series) detailed the ins and outs of his personal writing process.
To craft fascinating characters, you have to know them inside and out, and know them so deeply that you know what motivates them—what causes them to act. Here’s how to do just that.
The question many writers often face when asking themselves about their writing is: Is it a hobby or job? Let's explore and see if we can put an end to the debate.