Nothing (other than fame and glory) makes an author happier than hearing from a reader who couldn’t put down their book. So what makes readers skip going to bed when they should and instead decide, Just one more chapter? My agent, Barbara Poelle, and I decided to sit down and distill...
I’ve been asked how I separate myself from writing such dark themes after living in my villain’s head for months? It’s not easy. But here's how to do it.
Start your revision by addressing these, and you'll immediately change your story for the better.
You can doom your debut from the start with these 7 (tongue-in-cheek) strategies for flailing, and failing—or, you can do just the opposite.
Hi All! Barbara Poelle again….remember yesterday how I was salivating for a new thriller author? I asked my author Nick Petrie (THE DRIFTER, Putnam, out this week!) how he hooked me in…here’s what he had to say. About Nicholas Petrie: He received his MFA in fiction from the University of Washington,...
Unreliable narrators have been admired by readers and writer alike since Holden Caulfield set the gold standard—and they’re more popular than ever in today’s bestsellers. Here are 8 reliable ways to make your characters just unreliable enough to keep readers guessing.
Whether you're writing your first novel or are struggling with completing a second one (or more), sometimes you need some help focusing and figuring out how to reach your goal. Use these 9 tricks to help you go from first sentence all the way to completed novel.
Writing sports-themed action scenes provides an opportunity for an author to engage the passions of three different readers: enthusiasts, well versed in the particular sport featured; others unfamiliar with the specifics of this sport, yet athletes nevertheless; and non-athletes not involved with sports in anyway.
In honor of the passing of crime writing legend Ann Rule (you can read all about her life here), we're re-sharing this piece—written by former WD managing editor Zachary Petit—that's full of tips and advice delivered by Rule.
I've always been a big nerd. But for one shining moment, one GLORIOUS MOMENT, when I finished writing my book, OH BOY, YOU'RE HAVING A GIRL: A Dad's Survival Guide to Raising Daughters, I felt like a complete and utter badass. Here's why.
Hi, WD community! Today we’re sharing a guest post from J.E. Fishman, a former editor and literary agent turned author. He has penned Dynamite: A Concise History of the NYPD Bomb Squad and the novels Primacy, Cadaver Blues, and The Dark Pool. His Bomb Squad NYC series of police thrillers launches this month with A Danger to Himself and Others, Death...
BY ELIZABETH SIMS What’s in a character’s name? Everything. Here’s how you, the writer, can master the neglected art of moniker-making.
Sandra Brown, R.L. Stine and David Morrell got together for a chat on the craft of writing. Here are their writing processes and where they get their ideas.
In her insightful panel “Life or Work? Balancing Life’s Demands With Writing,” moderator Joan Johnston (Shattered, Hawk’s Way) quizzed a group of established publishing pros about how, exactly, you can quiet daily demands so that you can get those voices in your head down on the page and into the hands...
When it comes down to it, how do action scenes actually thrill, and how do they keep readers hooked?
Like his famous protagonist, Jack Reacher, Lee Child is a bit of a rogue badass—especially when it comes to his thoughts on writing, and debunking popular writing rules. In his ThrillerFest session “Tell, Don’t Show: Why Writing Rules are Mostly Wrong,” Child battled a few of the biggest writing myths out...
In a thought-provoking ThrillerFest panel provided by WD managing editor Zachary Petit, four popular authors shared what they believe to be the deadly sins of the writing craft. Here are seven of their offerings. Have you committed any of them?
Author and marketing guru (and former WD columnist) MJ Rose capped the day of ThrillerFest sessions off with “Buzz Your Book: And the New Reality.” So what’s the new reality? Rose explains, and gives the 411 on an modern marketing essentials.
Want to write a thriller, but stuck on the beginning? Novelist Daniel Palmer uses his own experience and that of his father (bestseller Michael Palmer) and lays out the essentials to get you on your way.
Catherine Coulter—who has had a stunning 62 New York Times bestsellers—shared her wisdom on the basics you must master before you worry about finding an agent, or dive too deeply into your book.
So where is the dividing line between major and minor charactors? There isn’t one. The different levels shade into each other, and as you master the techniques appropriate to each level, you’ll be able to create each character at exactly the level of importance the story requires. Here's how to master...
Your cast of supporting characters should reflect what your protagonist needs. Here's how to craft strong supporting characters to make your novel jump off the page.
Is your manuscript stuck? Take a break from completing your fiction project and diagnose it. Here's how to take your manuscript into its next phase: completion.
Whenever you cause readers to be curious about what comes next, you’re creating suspense in fiction writing. Here are five simple steps you can take to increase the level of suspense in your scenes.
If you’re the kind of writer who prefers being read and selling your work as opposed to being an unknown starving writer (who doesn’t?), here are 50 quick, simple ways to launch your platform into action and climb your way to success.