Craft & Technique

5 Tips for Writing About Politics in Fiction

Politics can be a contentious topic to address in any scenario these days—but that doesn't mean you should avoid including politics in fiction if the story warrants it. Here, Aimee Agresti offers her best tips for writing about politics in a novel.

21 Ways to Pivot Your Plot

You can write a great character sketch, a moving love scene, a thrilling chase, even a heart-clutching murder—but a good story needs more than those elements. It needs plot movement—articulated by pivot points.

Leveling Up as a Writer with Peer Critique

Not all practice makes perfect. A writer who works in isolation will not improve significantly over time. Leveling up requires stepping outside of your comfort zone. Here's how your can do that through peer critique of your work.

4 Ways Writing Is Like Running

If you’re one of the millions of individuals who want to write a book “someday,” you may be struggling to turn that someday into today. Similarly, running might be that “impossible” thing and now I consider myself a runner. Here are 4 things writers can learn from running.

How Memory Loss Builds Suspense in The Buried Giant

The Buried Giant, Nobel Prize-winning novelist Kazuo Ishiguro’s 2015 foray into Arthurian-inspired fantasy, is not the first book you would think of as a suspenseful novel. But Jane K. Cleland's principles of building suspense with memory loss explain how the device heightens tensions in novels like this one.

The ABCs of Story: Plots, Subplots, and Sub-Subplots

The arrangement of a narrative is often singular in its focus: It details the peaks and valleys, dips and pivots, of a single story. But a single story needn’t be such a direct thrust. Imagine the metaphor of a roller coaster, but now weave in another roller coaster—perhaps even two rides...

Exploring Star Wars and the Hero’s Journey

“In the three decades since I discovered The Hero with a Thousand Faces, it has continued to fascinate and inspire me. Joseph Campbell peers through centuries and shows us that we are all connected by a basic need to hear stories and understand ourselves. As a book, it is wonderful to...

Don’t Find Your Writing Voice—Accept It

I found my voice as a writer rather late in my writing life. I spent about twenty years trying to write fiction. I had read fiction voraciously as a boy and young man, but had largely stopped reading it by the time I decided to try writing it. It was a...

paula munier, beginnings, how to write beginnings

Brainstorming for Story Ideas

The best beginnings are based on strong story ideas that immediately set the book apart from all others of its ilk. If you have a bad feeling that your story idea is not compelling or unique enough to hook agents or editors, much less readers, then this post is just for...

Write Short Fiction

The Strategic Use of Short Fiction

The new world of self-publishing options calls to mind the golden age of the pulp magazines. During that era, roughly 1920–1950, writers could earn decent money pounding out stories and novellas for a penny a word. Later, the 1950s boom in mass-market paperbacks provided another source of lettuce for the enterprising...