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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Literary Fiction Writing
If your passion is for literary fiction, you’ll find guidelines for mastering plot, character, setting, dialogue and more right here. You’ll also get insights into selling your work and getting it published.
Any story or novel is, in essence, a series of scenes strung together like beads on a wire, with narrative summary adding texture and color between. A work of fiction will comprise many scenes, and each one of these individual scenes must be built with a structure most easily described as having a beginning, middle and end. The beginning of each scene is what we’ll address here. Read more
Considering dialogue from a book proposal standpoint. by Jeff Gerke Poor dialogue is something you must not have in your submission package if you want agents and editors to keep reading and … Read more
Download a 26-day countdown poster with energy boosting ideas to fuel your marathon and track your accomplishments from Day 1 to Day 26. Write-A-Thon Poster 8.5×11 Write-A-Thon Poster 11×17 … Read more
Q&A with Rochelle Melander, author of Write-A-Thon Need a speaker? Contact Rochelle to speak by phone with your critique group, NaNoWriMo region, or book group: email@example.com How many books have you written … Read more
Need a speaker? Contact Rochelle to speak by phone with your critique group, NaNoWriMo region, or book group: firstname.lastname@example.org Avoid Overwhelm From Write-A-Thon by Rochelle Melander Being a poet is one of … Read more
Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (and Life to Tell About it) by Rochelle Melander Writer’s Digest Books, 2011 ISBN-13: 978-1-59963-391-6 ISBN-10: 1-59963-391-4 $16.99 paperback, 240 pages Buy the book! … Read more
Can a virtual critique group really be as good as meeting face to face? If you make the most of the format, it could be even better. Here’s how. Read more
Donald Miller is the author of multiple New York Times Bestsellers including Blue Like Jazz and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. He has served on the Presidential Task Force on … Read more
Kristin Hannah (kristinhannah.com) is The New York Times bestselling author of 18 novels, including the blockbusters Firefly Lane, True Colors and Winter Garden, and, most recently, Night Road. You’ve said the seed … Read more
At some point in writing your novel, you have to start thinking about “chaptering,” the process of deciding exactly when and where your chapter breaks will go. Here are three simple, essential techniques that can help you make effective chapter pauses.
by Aaron Elkins
Award-winning writing, quick-witted characters and the kind of suspense every reader craves—his books may be classified under mystery or thriller, but Harlan Coben seems to have it all. And he’s willing to share his secrets.
by Jessica Strawser
To make characters seem real, you need to tap into what drives them. Use this foolproof method to bring the emotion of your story to life.
by David Corbett
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.
by Jacob M. Appel
If you think you’ve heard all you need to know about what drives a plot, think again. Here’s the real stuff the best stories are made of.
by Steven James
Most of the time, we want to balance our scenes using dialogue, action and narrative to engage readers at an emotional level and keep them hooked. Here’s how to do that.
by Gloria Kempton
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 Write Your Novel in 30 Days.
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 … Read more
Structural problems can sink a novel. Let’s look at 10 common plot problems and how to quickly fix them.
by Elizabeth Sims
Don’t be afraid to make things hard on your characters. You should always come up with several different problems to choose from. Here are 3 ways to do that.
by Victoria Lynn Schmidt
Here’s editor Anica Mrose Rissi’s list of what you can do to increase your book’s chances of making it out of the slush pile and into the spotlight.
by Anica Mrose Rissi
Understanding gender differences can improve your writing in any genre. Here’s how.
by Leigh Anne Jasheway
Here are 4 quick exercises to make sure your characters speak to readers (and agents).
All stories contain four elements that can determine structure: milieu, idea, character and event. Here’s a look at each one and how each will affect your novel.
by Orson Scott Card
According to bestselling authors JT Ellison, Alex Kava and Erica Spindler, there are 5 key ways to make your heroine shine. Here they are.
by Jessica Strawser, reporting from ThrillerFest 2010 (New York City)