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.

10 Ways to Launch Strong Scenes

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,...

Stilted Dialogue

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 not toss your proposal on the reject stack. I know editors who will skip everything else in a proposal, go straight to...

Write-A-Thon Poster

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         Need a speaker? Contact Rochelle to speak by phone with your critique group, NaNoWriMo region, or book group: rochelle@writenowcoach.com About the...

Write-A-Thon Interview

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: rochelle@writenowcoach.com How many books have you written in 26 days or less? Five! I wrote Write-A-Thon in 26 days during National Novel Writing Month in 2009. Of course, I...

Write-A-Thon Excerpt

Need a speaker? Contact Rochelle to speak by phone with your critique group, NaNoWriMo region, or book group: rochelle@writenowcoach.com Avoid Overwhelm From Write-A-Thon by Rochelle Melander Being a poet is one of the unhealthier jobs—no regular hours, so many temptations! —Elizabeth Bishop In a study on choice, students reported better satisfaction with their work...

Write-A-Thon

  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 an Excerpt! Find out how to avoid getting overwhelmed in the midst of your writing marathon. Free Webinar: September 27! Are...

Women’s Fiction Spotlight: Kristin Hannah

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 of your writing was first planted by your mother, not long before she passed away. Does that still influence the types of...

Historical Fiction Spotlight: Paula McLain

Paula McLain’s latest book is the bestselling The Paris Wife, a fictional account of Ernest Hemingway’s first marriage and upstart years in 1920s Paris, told from the point of view of his wife, Hadley. The author of two poetry collections, a memoir and an earlier novel, McLain holds a Master of Fine Arts in...

3 Ways to Know When to End Your Chapters

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

Twist Ending Tips From Harlan Coben

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

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.

by Jacob M. Appel

Motivate Your Characters Like a Pro

In his session “The Psychology of Character Motivation,” Edgar-nominated author D.P. Lyle, MD, shared this invaluable exercise for developing your characters’ motivations as your story unfolds.

by Jessica Strawser, reporting from ThrillerFest 2010 (New York City)