3 Key Novel Writing Tips: Wisdom from the Authors Speaking in the 2019 Virtual Conference for Novelists

Each January, we help writer’s launch and achieve their novel writing goals in our annual Virtual Conference for Novelists. This year’s event, running January 25-27, features six award-winning and best-selling authors who will share techniques for honing your craft skills, refining your characters, exploring the future of publishing, and getting the tools you need to advance your career in live presentations throughout the weekend.

Then, if you choose, participants can pitch your novel via a query letter to a literary agent. he agent will provide you with a personalized critique of your query—and maybe ask to see more.

Here’s a sneak peek at a few of the things you can expect to learn from this year’s presenters—plus a little bit about each of them:

3 Key Novel Writing Tips

David Corbett on Character Development

In David Corbett’s presentation “The Character of Plot,” writers will learn the key elements of internal need and conflict necessary to generate complex characters who can generate a compelling story.

Corbettis the award-winning author of six novels, including 2015’s The Mercy of the Night and the upcoming The Long-Lost Love Letters of Doc Holliday, as well as the novella The Devil Prayed and Darkness Fell, the story collection Thirteen Confessions, and the writing guide The Art of Character. 

Check out some of his Writer’s Digest articles here:


Erica Wright on Setting

In Erica Wright’s presentation, “Setting the Scene: Using Place to Advance Your Story,” writers will learn how to seamlessly incorporate setting in a way that advances their stories.

Erica is the author of Instructions for Killing the Jackal (Black Lawrence Press) and the poetry chapbook Silt (Dancing Girl Press). Her poems have appeared in Blackbird, Crazyhorse, Denver Quarterly, Drunken Boat, From the Fishouse, New Orleans Review, and elsewhere. She is the Poetry Editor at Guernica Magazine and teaches creative writing at Marymount Manhattan College. Check out an interview with her here.


Tee Morris on Writing Effective Dialogue

In Tee Morris’ presentation, “Talk to Me: Writing Effective Dialogue,” writers will learn how to write compelling dialogue that keeps the action moving and readers reading.

Morris has been writing science fiction, fantasy, horror, and nonfiction for over a decade. His first novel, MOREVI: The Chronciles of Rafe & Askana, became the first novel to be podcast in its entirety, ushering in a the podcasting age for authors. He authored the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series, penned with his wife, Pip Ballantine (who will also speak in the virtual conference). The series and its short fiction podcast, Tales From the Archives, has won several awards, including the 2014 Parsec Award for Best Science Fiction Anthology Podcast, the 2011 Airship Award for Best Steampunk Literature, and RT Reviews’ Choice Awards for Best Steampunk of 2014.


In addition to these three presenters, the 2019 Virtual Conference for novelists will include:

  • Handling Conflict in Fiction By Jeffrey Wilson
  • Crafting Characters Your Readers Will Love By Philippa Ballantine
  • and Supercharge Your Plot by Elizabeth Sims

Don’t miss this exciting virtual event! Learn more and register here.

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