Tag Archives: online editor blog

How to Prepare for NaNoWriMo:
To Outline or Not To Outline


November is almost here, which means two things: 1) You’re going to be seeing a lot of mustaches and 2) it’s time to start preparing for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Before November 1 hits, study these key tips on outlining. Read more

What if Dr. Seuss, J.K. Rowling and Mary Shelley Were Rejected by Agents?


As writers who receive piles of rejection letters, it only seems fair that, from time to time, we be given an opportunity to return the favor. There are many books I’d love to reject (here’s my #1 choice), if only for the satisfaction of releasing some pent up frustration and envy. Or, perhaps, just to be funny. Thanks to a few witty writers, we have some fake rejection letters that are pretty hilarious. (Plus, your chance to write a rejection.) Read more

A 12-Day Plan of Simple Writing Exercises


It’s the perfect time to restart your engine and get back into writing. Here, I offer up a 12-day plan of simple writing exercises to help you keep your creative juices flowing without eating up too much of your time. Follow this plan and in less than half a month, you’ll not only be impressed with what you’ve accomplished, but you may also have something worth publishing. Read more

Your Novel Blueprint


Turn your dream novel into a reality by using this Story Plan Checklist. Read more

QUICK TIP: Save Your Story From Coming to a Bad End


Too many stories end badly. And yet they somehow get published and even succeed to some degree. That’s because the rest of the story—the structure of it and the compelling essence of the character—triumphs to an extent that the ending doesn’t make or break the story at all. It just is. Your goal is … Read more

Try These 30-Minute Writing Challenges


Set aside 30 minutes, choose one of the following exercises and, as Tim Gunn from “Project Runway” would say, “Make it work!” Read more

How to Write a Biography: Writing from the Heart


The most important thing that you as a biographer can do is to write from the heart. You can take a number of approaches to writing from the heart. For example … Read more

Freelance Writing: 5 Tips for Pitching Anniversary-Themed Articles


Find pitch-perfect hooks for articles on virtually any topic by targeting anniversaries. Read more

5 Tools for Building Conflict in Your Novel


Just like anyone else who builds things from scratch, writers need tools. And the more you use them, the better you become at using them. The more tools you’re exposed to, the … Read more

Why We’re Thankful to Be Writers


Around Thanksgiving I’m always reminded of how thankful I am for my wife, my kids, my family and my friends. One thing that I often overlook is how thankful I am that I am a writer. It’s a challenging profession, one that causes a lot of rejection, heartbreak and unintentionally condescending looks from others (“So you’re a writer? That’s nice, but what’s your real job?”). But the payoff is this: Read more

How to Write & Sell a Cross-Genre Novel

Here are the keys to writing and pitching a novel that crosses genres. Read more

How To Make Your Setting a Character


Powerfully portrayed settings seem to have a life of their own, but how is that effect achieved? Make your setting a character is a common piece of advice given to fiction writers, yet beyond invoking all five senses when describing the scenery, there’s not a lot of info out there about exactly how to do it. Here are 5 keys to doing it. Read more

“New Adult”: The Next Big Thing?


There’s a new genre targeting readers who are outgrowing YA—but is it here to stay? Here’s what you should know about the New Adult trend.
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NaNoWriMo: 5 Writing Lessons That I Knew Before, But Know Much Better Now


A few weeks ago, I had never heard of National Novel Writing Month, although I’ve been somewhat lazily writing a book for a year in my free time (Lesson 1: don’t wait for free time). Then one day when I was busily browsing posts on Facebook, I got a notification; someone had shared a link on my timeline. How lovely! I clicked and saw a poster image of my local library’s NaNoWriMo events for the month. I had no idea what this meant, but was honored that my husband’s aunt had thought of me when she saw this; I know because that was her comment (Lesson 2 learned: once you tell people that you’re writing a book, they’ll hold you to it, for better or for worse.). Read more

How to Become a Travel Writer


Each person in the audience fights the bull along with the torero, not by following the flight of the cape, but by using another imaginary one that moves differently than the one … Read more

Write Like A House Cat


In a way, most successful writers I know remind me of my house cat Charlotte, says author Peter Brown Hoffmeister. They might be balding or have an average coat of hair. They might not be incredibly good-looking, large or small. They certainly won’t exude sex appeal in a bikini, and they might even have a hidden abscess that gives off an unpleasant odor, but they get their work done. Read on as Peter explains. Read more

10 Things Your Freelance Editor Might Not Tell You—But Should


Before you hire an editor, you need to know what kind of help you’re looking for. It’s important you know the following … Read more

Mystery Novel Writing: 5 FAQs on How to Do Excellent Research for Your Novel


International bestselling novelist Peter James reveals his secret to killer crime fiction: joining hands with the long arm of the law. Read more

5-Minute Memoir: Writing From the Mat


5-Minute Memoir is exactly what it sounds like—a personal essay on some facet of the writing life, be it a narrative or a reflection, pensive, touching or hilarious. Enjoy this installment from N.M. Kleby. Read more

How to Write the Last 10% of Your Novel


How can you tell when your novel is really finished? Learn the final-draft factors that most often make or break a novel. Read more

8 Ways Any Writer Can Get Started in the Craft of Playwriting


Playwriting can be a terrific outlet for any writer’s talent—it not only serves as an excellent new venue for your work, but it can also sharpen your style and boost your overall writing ability in innumerable ways. Interested, but unsure of how, exactly, to get your feet wet? Here are eight things any writer can do to get a jump-start writing for the stage. Read more

6 Secrets of Writing a Novel Without an Outline


If you’ve ever wanted to throw away your outline and uncover a story word by word, here’s how to get started. Read more

Benefits of Writing a Fast First Draft


One of the greatest predictors of successfully pre-plotting and writing a novel or memoir in a month is the ability to write in the zone. When you’re in the flow of your … Read more

Why Writers Wallow in the Beginning and Resist Writing to the End


Writing and plotting the beginning of a story are like meeting people for the first time. We wonder if the other people like us. We wonder if we like them. We show only so much of ourselves, as we determine how we feel about these other persons. We are in control––and being in control at the beginning sounds far superior to being out of control in the middle and the end, places where you must dig deeply into emotions … Read more

7 Reasons to Write an Entire 1st Draft before Going Back to the Beginning


There are important benefits of writing a novel or memoir from beginning to end before going back and starting again. Here are seven of them that you should know. Read more

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