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How to Start Writing a Book, 1st Chapter
Sometimes there’s nothing worse for a writer than a blank screen, just waiting to be filled in. Here you’ll find guidelines, advice, and inspiration for taking those first steps from blank page to finished piece. You’ll also find resources to help you learn how to write a novel in three months or fewer.
In this excerpt from 179 Ways to Save a Novel, author Peter Selgin discusses ways to defeat the writer’s sworn enemy: the cliche. Read more
Never underestimate the power of suspense—in any genre. Use these surefire techniques to make your book one readers won’t be able to put down.
by Elizabeth Sims
Everything needed to learn invaluable and timeless techniques for writing science fiction and fantasy, as well as tips for building an entirely new and believable world.
Transposing your own powerful feelings, opinions, joys and sadness to your characters, every day, is the way to instill in your pages the wisdom that is living inside your novel—and you.
by Donald Maass Read more
Concerned that friends and family will be upset by what you write about them (even if it’s in the context of your life)? These tips gleaned from top essayists may keep you from ending up in a sticky situation with your writing.
by Kim Schworm Acosta
The trick to a great title is to find a happy balance between the all-too-forgettable and the truly over-the-top. You want to choose something that makes your readers think: What a fantastic title! Why didn’t I come up with it? Here’s how to do just that.
by Jacob M. Appel
How do you follow up a smash hit like The Time Traveler’s Wife? For artist and author Audrey Niffenegger, it all comes down to embracing the freedom to create—on your own terms.
by Jessica Strawser
Creating characters’ backstories before you start writing is crucial because you’ll want to determine each one’s past experiences and the repercussions these experiences will have on your story before you begin. Here’s a close look at the different ways you can introduce backstory.
by Rachel Ballon
Here are 4 simple exercises to help you invent characters for your fiction.
by Nancy Kress
Push forward your writing (and your career) even when the phone isn’t ringing.
by Art Spikol
Here are some simple techniques for revising scenes so your edifice will stand the test of time.
by James Scott Bell
Karen Dionne, author of Freezing Point, reveals what her late hero, Michael Crichton, taught her about crafting solid fiction.
Rough up your first draft to get to the good stuff.
by Elizabeth Sims Read more
What should you expect from a worthwhile fiction workshop? Here’s the inside scoop.
by Charles Johnson Read more
Read chapter 9, "Beginnings," from The Glimmer Train Guide to Writing Fiction, Volume 1: Building Blocks Read more
Read chapter 1, "What is Plot, Anyway?" of Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure. Read more
At the 2008 Maui Writers Conference, bestselling thriller writer Gary Braver (Skin Deep) said that dread drives thrillers. You know who the good guys and bad guys are. Dull moments will lose an audience, and writers can’t afford to lose an audience, even for one page. To captivate an audience (and agents and publishers), Braver offers these 10 essential ingredients for a successful thriller. Read more
Bestselling thriller writer Steve Berry says there are eight key rules that all writers must know and follow. Read more
Learn how adjective and adverbs create redundancy and promote lazy writing and see how you can make your writing direct, vivid, and descriptive without making your readers want to get rid of your book.
by William Noble