fiction writing

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10 Writing Techniques from Bram Stoker’s Dracula

October conjures up images of crackling fires, shivering leaves, the grinning teeth of a jack-o-lantern … and, if you’re a fan of classic horror, that iconic, fanged master of the night, Count Dracula. We feel there’s no better time than October—National Dracula Month—to share some writing tips and techniques that authors can learn from Dracula and apply to...

Writing New Adult Fiction Blog Tour

From Sylvia Day’s Bared to You to Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster, new adult fiction has arrived—and it’s hotter than ever. But there’s more to this category than its 18- to 26-year-old characters: The success of your story depends on authentically depicting the transition of your young protagonists from teenhood into adulthood. With Deborah Halverson’s...

On Writing Romance

Writing Gender-Specific Dialogue

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 often paired up or pitted against each other in relationships with varying degrees of complication. Achieving differentiation in the tones and spoken...

book research | how to write a novel

Research vs. Observation: What’s Your Preference?

This excerpt comes from Writing 21st Century Fiction by Donald Maass. Do you research your novels to the point of obsession, or do you not research at all? Historical novelists are research junkies. Coming-of-age novelists mostly rely on memory. The majority of fiction writers fall somewhere in between: They study just enough so that...

Writing a Book: Types of Characters | Revision & Self-Editing James Scott Bell

Writing Fiction: The Three Types of Lead Characters

Today’s writing tip comes from Write Great Fiction: Revision & Self-Editing by James Scott Bell. If you are writing a fiction book, you’ll need to create a strong lead character for your story and one readers can relate to. Writing Lead Characters There are three types of Lead characters: The Positive Lead. This is...

setting in writing | between the lines

Six Reasons For Using An Epilogue

You need a clear reason for writing an epilogue, and it cannot be used to simply tie up loose ends, which you should do during your falling action. Without a proper purpose for including one, an epilogue might come across as anti-climatic deadweight, inadvertently signaling to your reader that you’re afraid your ending is...

fiction writing | getting published

The 21 Key Traits of Best-Selling Fiction

Do you wonder want readers want? In today’s writing tip, you’ll discover the 21 key traits of best-selling fiction excerpted from The Writer’s Little Helper by James V. Smith, Jr. The 21 Key Traits of Best-Selling Fiction Utility (writing about things that people will use in their lives) Information (facts people must have to...

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, meaningful description that will make your words come alive? This simple checklist, from The Writer’s Little Helper by James V. Smith, Jr.,...

The Rules of Storytelling, Pixar Style

Anyone whose ever seen a screening of a Pixar movie (Finding Nemo, Up, and the Toy Story trio come to mind for me) knows that the writers of these charming, funny and often heartbreaking movies know a thing or two about the art of storytelling. Recently, Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats was asked to...