When you query a magazine editor, should you propose a word count for the article or let the editor decide? Here's what editors want you to do.
Some people know exactly what they want to write about when they start their memoir. Others come to the computer expecting to purge their life onto the virtual page. If that’s you, take it from me, it won’t work—at least not for a book project. By focusing on the three foundational legs of memoir...
To write honestly and compassionately about members of your family, you must first reflect on your purpose, your approach, the details of your story and the potential reactions your family members might have. Here's how to do that.
There are many elements writers need to pay close attention to when creating a fictional world. There’s setting, plot, pacing, voice, imagery and so on. Everything is important, everything counts. That said, one of my favorite places to focus my writing attention is on my characters. How do your create a good character? Well,...
BY JESSICA STRAWSER Can you imagine 30 days from now holding your finished first draft in your hands? It's possible. Here are 30 tips, resources and strategies for writing a book in a month.
BY ELIZABETH SIMS When your plot starts lagging behind your word count, try one of these simple suggestions for picking up steam.
Writers often have a tough time staying on our diet—you know, the one where our goal is to burn as many words as possible onto the page each day. That's why we're here to help.
BY ANNE R. ALLEN Bite-sized fiction has moved mainstream, and today’s readers are more eager than ever to “read short.” Here’s why writing little stories is paying off in a big way.
Over the past year I posted articles on this blog that covered everything—from grammar to writing better characters to getting published and more. Here’s a cheat sheet linking to what I consider the 50 best articles that can help you reach your writing goals. My goal is to help you move your writing career...
BY LORIE ANN GROVER Writing fiction springing from an actual event requires a finesse for your reader’s benefit, your friends’, your enemies, and yourself.
Before sending your novel out to potential agents and publishers, be sure to follow these important formatting guidelines.
One of the biggest bugaboos in manuscript submissions is when the author doesn’t properly introduce the protagonist within the first chapter. Here's how to help readers meet your main character.
In explaining why he wrote his novels, the great writer Joseph Conrad once told his readers that it was so they could “glimpse the truth for which you have forgotten to ask.” These words no doubt resonate with many writers, but especially with those of us who choose faraway places and times for our...
BY BRENDA JANOWITZ You simply cannot write a good novel without knowing your characters inside and out. Here are the top 10 questions you need to be able to answer about each of your characters:
As the middleclass lives out the tale spun by Stephen King’s Thinner, we might find ourselves picking up a dystopian novel to relive our despondent youths. In other words, if you feel angry about the current political milieu, then you just might be a dystopian author.
A literary agent shares a real-life novel pitch that ultimately led to a book deal—and shows you how to query your own work with success.
The lives and lifestyles of legendary writers can teach us all some crucial lessons about platform and self-branding today.
There are four primary approaches for beginning a successful novel. Probably more, including some highly experimental ones, but these are the classic main four. Run your story idea through the filter of each of these and see if one of them feels right for your book.
For several years I labored in the agent fields, trying to harvest one for my book on helping doctoral candidates finish their dissertations. My approach, I was sure, was new, based on my longtime practice of coaching doctoral students and editing their dissertation drafts.
Don’t be boring. That’s it. The shortest article you’ll ever read on how to write for television. Okay, so maybe there’s a little more to it. You want to write a TV show? Here's what you need to know.
If you're trying to earn money from your writing (whether that's by freelancing or trying to sell your novel) you get the benefit of business-related tax breaks. But there are some conditions. Here's what you need to know.
As a nonfiction writer, you might feel a bit left out during November. Everyone is talking about NaNoWriMo this and NaNoWriMo that. All the while, you want to write a nonfiction book in a month not a novel. Well, you can, and you should. I have news for you, though. You don’t have to...
BY LINDA FORMICHELLI 10 top conference organizers share secrets learned behind the scenes.
BY JESSICA BARKSDALE INCLAN After writing literary short fiction and then six contemporary novels, my then-agent told me to go henceforth and write a romance. A romance? I thought. Really? So when I decided to try my hand at romance, I learned a lot about writing in that genre. Here’s what I know...