Readers can’t resist turning pages when characters are facing tough choices. Use these 5 keys to weave moral dilemmas into your stories—and watch your fiction climb to new heights. This guest post is by Steven James. James is the award-winning, bestselling author of 12 novels. He enjoys dark roast coffee and...
A battle scene in a novel can be a very powerful. Here is some novel writing advice about writing battle scenes.
BY JAMES SCOTT BELL Boost your story’s immunity to reader scrutiny with these fortifying nutrients.
Every fiction writer has to write across gender lines. I should know. I’m a fantasy / science fiction writer, and though my stories are populated with vampires, robots, and space squids, there tend to be more than a few humans in the mix. Many of those humans end up being women....
When I wanted to write an essay about my difficult relationship with my brother I had to figure out a way to make it interesting to other people so I turned to these 10 elements to keep the story rolling.
What exactly is the difference between behaviors, habits, mannerisms and quirks? Read on to learn the subtle (yet important) differences between them.
Understand why and how to break these 7 common rules about writing dialogue, and you’ll write more effective, nuanced and engaging character conversations.
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.