getting started

How to Develop a Writing Plan

Sometimes, as a writer, it’s difficult to think about large, overarching goals when you’re working on a project or planning to start on something new. Thinking, “I’m going to write a novel and have it completed by XX date,” is ambitious. And maybe it’s too much of a reach. Instead, develop a plan. Write...

When Your Novel Writing Clicks

Light-bulb moments. Aha moments. Flashes of recognition. Revelations. Call them whatever you like. I like to think of them as clicks. In the writing life, the best kind of click is that moment something makes you realize exactly what’s been missing from the not-quite-right scene you’ve been working on. Or the instant you put...

Starting NaNoWriMo: Finding the Motivation to Write

For some writers, the most difficult thing about writing is just getting started. For myself, I can’t think of anything more intimidating than a blank word document. I spend so much time trying to construct the perfect sentence that it no longer feels like writing. I analyze every word choice. That’s unhealthy. Many of our...

brian-klems-2013

The 7 Tools of Dialogue

My neighbor John loves to work on his hot rod. He’s an automotive whiz and tells me he can hear when something is not quite right with the engine. He doesn’t hesitate to pop the hood, grab his bag of tools and start to tinker. He’ll keep at it until the engine sounds just...

The Setback: How to Successfully Start Writing Again

If you’re anything like me, part of your New Year’s Resolution (that’s still a thing, right?) was to write more. It might’ve been to hit a certain word or page count in a day, write for a certain time length, develop a number of ideas in a day, etc. Whatever it was, you told...

Fruitless First Draft Struggles

The following is a guest blog post by the winner of the 82nd Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition, Dan J. Fiore. Dan shares his thoughts on the first draft writing process, common first draft problems and why your story should always take precedent over these problems. *   *   *   *  ...

How Long Should Your Story’s Opening Be?

Many writers often wonder how long or short their story’s opening should be. Read this excerpt from Hooked by Les Edgarton and find out what is the proper length for a story opening. The primary requirement of an opening is that the first line plunges the reader into the story instantly. A slow, leisurely...

writing for kids | story beginnings

12 Clichés To Avoid When Beginning Your Story

Read today’s tip from Mary Kole’s new book, Writing Irresistible Kidlit. In this excerpt, she shares some examples of common story beginnings that kidlit writers make. Here are some of the most common openings I see, as they’re almost always a rejection: Waking Up: Avoid the first moments of the day, especially if your...

Write Fiction that Grabs Readers from Page One

In your novel, the inciting incident is the first sign of trouble for your protagonist: it’s the catalyst, the chemical reaction, that sets the plot into motion. But the inciting incident isn’t only important for your main character. Understanding how to harness it is also crucial to hooking your reader from the very first...

review a manuscript | writing a novel

Writing a Novel: The Four Elements Of a Solid Story Concept

Do you want to write a novel? In addition to creating a solid plot, you are also going to need a strong concept for your novel. Wondering how to conceptualize your story? Todd A. Stone, author of the Novelist’s Boot Camp, shares essential elements for developing a story’s concept. Developing A Story’s Concept One...

how to write fiction | hooked on fiction writing

5 Wrong Ways to Start A Story

Your story’s opener is your one opportunity to capture an editor’s or agent’s attention. Learn how to avoid the critical mistakes (such as providing too much backstory) that lead to rejection and write a great beginning for your story. Today’s tip of the day, taken from Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers At Page...

writer with a day job | aine greaney

Three Ways To Strengthen Your Writing

The path to becoming a published author is full of twists and turns. No matter what stage of the writing process you are in or how busy your schedule is, you should always strive to get better and leave room for improvement. Below, author Aine Greaney talks about the importance of writing daily and...

setting in writing | between the lines

Discover The Basic Elements of Setting In a Story

No matter if you are just getting started or want to break into fiction writing, setting is a crucial element to any story. In order to create an imaginary world for your story, you’ll need to know the fundamental elements of setting first. Discover the basic elements of setting in a story from Between...

Core Competencies | Story Engineering Larry Brooks

Exploring Theme – A Key Component to Successful Writing

Discover one of the key components to successful writing — theme. In the following excerpt from Story Engineering, author Larry Brooks explains the difference between theme and concept. Plus, learn why theme is crucial to developing and writing a successful story. Defining Theme Have you ever put down a novel or walked out of...

Core Competencies | Story Engineering Larry Brooks

Spotlight on Story Engineering & The Six Core Competencies

Before you start writing your next story, consider reading Story Engineering by Larry Brooks. In the following excerpt, you’ll discover the elements of storytelling and how to achieve success in writing! Get an overview and definition of what the six core competencies to writing are, and how you can use them in your next...

How to Find, Rather Than Make, Writing Time

I’m always drawn to articles about being more productive. I come to them with a hopeful expectation that some gem inside will hold the power to transform my writing time. And usually I’m left feeling disappointed—more than disappointed, actually. Guilty. Because while these articles are great at pointing out things that can be seen...