Understand why and how to break these 7 common rules about writing dialogue, and you’ll write more effective, nuanced and engaging character conversations.
I envy pantsers, I really do. But for those of us who need to plot, I have tips on how to do that while still having fun with the month-long writing crazy of NaNoWriMo.
Start your revision by addressing these, and you'll immediately change your story for the better.
Being a writer is challenging and competitive, time-consuming and exhausting. The last thing you need is negativity. Here's how to surround yourself by supportive people.
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.
How do you stop over-plotting your novel? It isn’t easy, and it isn’t pleasant, but the reward for plot discipline can be a lean, compelling narrative that attracts literary agents. Try these tips.
Here are a few things to consider after you’ve written your first love—uh—I mean draft.
If you're a parent (or a writer with outside responsibilities), you'll need to find a way to write in an always-changing, consistently disruptive environment. Here's how to do that and reach your writing goals.
When it comes to writing, like all writers, I’m learning as I go. I was working on White Collar Girl, my fourth novel, I became aware of few crucial things. Let’s just say I debunked some popular writing myths and have learned some valuable tricks that I’d like to now pass...
Take an honest look at the real reasons our stories can stall—and discover 9 simple strategies to help you make it to “The End.”
Here are the good habits you should develop and add in your writing life if you want to find success.
The message is loud and clear: youth has value but life is basically over in old age. It’s in the preponderance of youth in television shows, movies, on magazine covers and advertisements. And it teaches us to fear aging. It is a lie.
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.
Listen here, punks! Discipline is the only way anybody ever accomplishes anything. Let these 7 tips guide you to sticking to your daily writing routine.
Editor’s Note: The discussion of diversity in publishing has been ongoing for decades. Some authors take issue with their books being categorized as “African-American Literature,” “Women’s Fiction” or “LGBTQ” (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer). Others don’t object to the labels, but decry the difficulty of breaking in when publishers identify your...
A popular school of thought in writing is to write what you know. What if your life story isn’t nearly exciting enough to create an entire novel? Here's how to get creative.
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.
Between plotting, drafting time and editing time, you'll be surprised what the answer is.
After writing my memoir for over four years, I was finished, right? Wrong. I didn't realize I needed help whipping my manuscript into shape. Using a professional editor helped me do just that.
The quotes that follow in this post are not the easy, flowery, hug-inducing kind of quotes. These are kick-you-in-the-pants quotes that tell it like it is and CAN change your life. Read them at your own risk.
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.
Dispensing writing tips is risky business. I do it for a living, and I’ve developed a sort of virtual crash helmet to handle incoming flack. While some things about writing are universally true – in the same way that gravity is there even if you don’t believe in gravity – others...
Here are three ways to avoid dumbing down our stories, our messages, our language when writing for middle grade audiences.
Unwritten Rules of Engagement shape every author’s body of work, and are in large measure responsible for defining and attracting the audience he or she has. Here are 4 of mine. What are yours?
Here are 9 things you can reasonably do to write your novel without quitting your day job.