Sophomore Superstar

"I only publish a book when I feel it's the best thing that I can do, then that's it. I don't think about the steppingstones," says Jeffrey Eugenides, author of Middlesex (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Waiting Out a Dark Cloud 2

Philip Beard persevered through the publishing industry's post-9/11 trauma to publish his novel, Dear Zoe. His story offers a telling look at how the industry's mood can launch—or crush—a writing career.

What Fiction Editors Want

Just what is it that today's editors want from fiction writers?We interviewed three top editors about a variety of subjects of pressing interest to writers. The bad news: They don't read unagented submissions. The good news: They agree it's all about craft.

The How’s of Writing Fiction

Jane Smiley — author of Moo, A Thousand Acres and The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton — credits The Grapes of Wrath as one of the novels that taught her about what makes effective fiction. How?

From Zero to Hero

Is your main character more grating than great? Here's how to tell if your hero is getting off track and how to turn him back into a character that readers will root for.

Crowd Control

How many characters belong in a scene, a story and a reader's head? Find out how to avoid fictional overpopulation.

Kimberly Willis Holt on Writing—and Revising—YA Fiction

Author Kimberly Willis Holt realizes the importance of rewriting a manuscript. Here, the award-winning author of My Louisiana Sky (winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award), When Zachary Beaver Came to Town (the National Book Award winner) and Dancing in Cadillac Light talks about her writing process.