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.
Behind every well- developed novel lies an important backstory—but including too much of it too soon can halt your story’s momentum. Here’s how to know what to reveal, and when.
How far can a character go before she’s “out of character”? Here’s how to use the interplay of context, conflict and contradiction to your story’s advantage.
Suspense happens when a scene becomes charged with anticipation. Here's how to accomplish that in your writing.
A car engine breaks the stillness of the night … the smell of seaweed intrudes on an afternoon chess game … an unopened letter slips behind couch cushions. These are what we might call “plot-hypers,” in that they add elements of uncertainty and tension. Here's how to add them to your...
Doug Richardson may be best known for his scriptwriting and producing chops on Die Hard 2, Bad Boys and Hostage, but he’s a successful thriller writer as well. His new novel, Blood Money, is making a splash with both audiences and reviewers. We’re lucky to have had the opportunity to chat...
Now you’re to the point where you’re ready to start crafting your book. You’ve done a bit of brainstorming, and perhaps you’ve done some writing. But there’s something about brainstorming that’s only partly right. After years of writing, teaching writing, and talking with writers, I’ve come to realize that brainstorming is...
Some of your characters will change during the course of your story—let’s call them changers. Others—stayers—will not change significantly in personality or outlook, but their motivations may nonetheless change as the story progresses from situation to situation. Both changers and stayers can have progressive motivations. Confused? Don’t be; it’s simpler than...
Even good stories can crumble if they don’t have a strong framework. Use this time-tested structure to transport your readers from exhilarating start to satisfying finish.
You've found the perfect title for your book but come to find it's already been used by another author. Can an author copyright a title? Can you still use it?
When submitting a query letter to an agent or a publisher, there are several important items you must keep in mind. Here is a checklist of the top six.
No matter what type of novel you’re writing, there had better be some kind of suspense in it. Here's how to add some (or make what you have even better).