Tip of the Day, Creative Writing Tips

Our creative writing tips are short, helpful tidbits of information that you can apply to your writing right away. Use our Tip of the Day for easy-to-apply advice that you can use to improve your writing or help you get published.

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 mean characters | jessica morrell

Writing Strong Female Characters: Defining a Bitch

If you’re interested in breaking the mold with your character, there is no single criterion for a bitch. However, you might want to consider making several of her dominant traits negative or what society has typically not expected of females. For example, her traits might include being manipulating, selfish, cunning, power-seeking, or vengeful. Or,...

fiction writing exercises | writing tips

How To Develop a Story Idea Into a Book

The following excerpt is from The Art of War For Writers by James Scott Bell. In the book, you’ll find exercises, tactics, and strategies for fiction writers. Today’s tip of the day is Tactic #27: Test your premise to prove it worthy. Decide Your Book’s Premise Editors and agents are all looking for the...

the productive writer | free time managment tools

Meet Your Writing Goals With Four Time-Management Tools

In order to succeed as a professional writer, you must be able to set and meet deadlines. If you are looking for time-management tools to help you stay on track with your writing goals, read today’s tip of the day from The Productive Writer by Sage Cohen. Meet Your Deadlines With The Right Time-Management...

writing exercises | writing tips

4 Tips For Revising Your Work

No matter what type of writing you do–fiction, nonfiction, or freelance–you should expect to revise your work. Learn four essential tips for revising your work from Christina Katz, author of The Writer’s Workout. When you are a professional writer, you spend at least half of your time rewriting, likely even more time than you...

The Nighttime Novelist | writing plot

4 Editing & Proofreading Techniques For Your Novel

Joseph Bates, author of The Nighttime Novelist, shares tips for editing and proofreading a novel or book. Creating A System For Editing & Proofreading Revision is really about seeing your book as a whole–recognizing patterns you didn’t notice before, and reconciling any disparate parts into a unified whole. The best way to accomplish this...

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...

premise in writing | writing a novel

Writing Scenes: Stepping Forward, Falling Back

Author of The Breakout Novelist, Donald Maass, discusses writing scenes in today’s tip of the day. He explains the importance of setting goals for each scene with an example from George R.R. Martin’s book, A Storm of Swords. Most instruction in writing scenes begins with this sound advice: Send your character into the scene...

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...

how to find writing inspiration | writing exercises

What an Agent Does & Does Not Do

You’ve landed an agent. Now what? You’re probably wondering what a literary agent does and does not do and how they can help you. Discover the truth about what literary agents actually do for authors from today’s writing tip. This excerpt from Your First Novel discusses the author-agent relationship. What Does a Literary Agent...

writer with a day job | aine greaney

Make Time to Write: 10 Tips for Daily Writing

Writing takes commitment, self-discipline, and desire. Don’t let other distractions get in the way of your writing goals–set aside time every day to write. When you are tempted to make up an excuse as to why you can’t write today, stop yourself. Only you can write the rest of that chapter you’re working on...

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...

How to be a writer | voice in writing

Learn How to Recover Your Voice When Writing

Whether you write fiction, nonfiction, or a blog–it’s important to have a unique voice in writing, or style. Your writing voice conveys to readers your personality and when writing fiction, can add depth to your characters and your story. Barbara Baig, author of How to Be a Writer, suggests using these tips to improve...

Z5927c_PersonalEssaysmall.jpg

Focus On: The Memoir Essay

If you’re interested in sharing your personal experiences through writing, consider learning more about the memoir essay. The following excerpt is taken from Crafting The Personal Essay by Dinty W. Moore. You’ll learn what exactly a memoir essay is and three essential tips to writing one of your own. What is a memoir essay?...

how to pace a novel | crafting novels and short stories

Crafting A Crime Fiction Novel & Ways To Kill A Character

Part of crafting a crime fiction novel is knowing who your villain is and using this information to create the perfect–and plausible–crime. In this excerpt written by Hallie Ephron, you’ll learn how to make the crime fit the villain you’ve created and explores creative ways to kill a character. Today’s tip is taken from...

story-engineering

Learn How To Motivate Your Characters

At some point or another, all writers will struggle with their story’s characters. If you are hitting a brick wall when it comes to developing your characters or simply need inspiration for creating them–read today’s tip of the day from Story Engineering by Larry Brooks. You’ll learn about characterization and how the principles of...

Novel writing tips | Nighttime Novelist

The Top Three Mistakes To Avoid When Writing Plot

Every writer knows crafting a great story revolves around plot–one of the essential elements of storytelling. But do you know what exactly plot is? In the following excerpt from The Nighttime Novelist, author Joseph Bates explains what plot is and gives examples of common plot problems. What is Plot? Plot begins with a big-picture...