getting started

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

10 Ways to Start Your Story Better

A good opening line is a powerful thing: It can grab an editor’s attention, set the tone for the rest of the piece, and make sure readers stay through The End. Here are 10 ways to steer your story toward success.

10 Ways to Fuel Your Writing

It takes a lot of energy to write a book and stay with it through drafts, revisions, submissions, rejections, sales and marketing. Many writers find the energy in the sheer joy of writing. But others draw on darker impulses and feelings to carry them through the process. Sorrow, anger and hurt...

Novel in 30 Days Worksheet Index

To help you successfully complete your book in 30 days, here are nine worksheets to help you keep track of plot, scenes, characters and revisions. All of these worksheets originally appeared in Book in a Month by Victoria Lynn Schmidt and were also featured in the special issue