February 2014 Issue
Free Writing Downloads
Workshops Starting March 13th
- Creative Writing 101
- Query Letter in 14 Days
- Essentials of Science Fiction & Fantasy
- The Art of Storytelling 102
- Essentials of Mystery Writing
- Grammar & Mechanics
- Advanced Poetry
Workshops Starting March 20th
- Creative Writing 101
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Tag Archives: online editor blog
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
Turn your dream novel into a reality by using this Story Plan Checklist. Read more
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
Set aside 30 minutes, choose one of the following exercises and, as Tim Gunn from “Project Runway” would say, “Make it work!” Read more
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
Find pitch-perfect hooks for articles on virtually any topic by targeting anniversaries. Read more
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
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
Here are the keys to writing and pitching a novel that crosses genres. Read more
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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 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 can you tell when your novel is really finished? Learn the final-draft factors that most often make or break a novel. Read more
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
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
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
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
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
Subplots and multiple points of view make novels longer and more work, but rewards for that effort are there for writer and reader alike—that is, if they are successful. Here’s how to pull it off. Read more
Transform personal experience into powerful fiction, and you’ll tell stories like no one else can. Read more