Questions & Quandaries Blog
Embracing the Blank Page: Why All Writing is an Act of Courage
From writing sketch comedy to novels to telling true stories from his own life, William Kenower has found that all writing takes courage. Learn more about how to gather the courage to turn nothing into something.
Old and New: Merging Memory and Research in New Zealand
Call Me Evie author J.P. Pomare shares how his research trips to the town where his suspense novel takes place influenced his writing.
Taming the Synopsis: 4 Steps for Perfecting One-Page and Long-Form Synopses
When approached one step at a time, the dreaded synopsis can become a trusted companion on your publishing journey. Ammi-Joan Paquette explains how to write a synopsis for any novel.
Self-Publishing Audiobooks: Why Should You Consider It?
As WD author Jessica Kaye shares in the opening paragraphs of her book The Guide to Publishing Audiobooks, audiobooks are reaching more people than ever. Here are her thoughts about why you might consider self-publishing audiobooks.
A Nest of Words: What Kind of Writer-Bird Are You?
What kind of writer-bird are you? Gayle Brandeis looks at different species of birds and their nest building techniques and considers how our fine feathered friends’ creative processes might intersect with our own as writers.
5 Tough Tips for Surviving (and Triumphing Over) Really Rotten Book Reviews
Negative reviews of your work can cut deep. Author Pamela Jane offers five proactive measures you can take to stay strong and move forward when dealing with bad book reviews.
This is NOT Research Advice
Kerri Maher, author of WD Books' This is Not a Writing Manual and the new novel The Kennedy Debutante, offers research advice—or rather, NOT research advice—explaining how diaries, letters and books she read made their way into her fiction.
How to Incorporate Procrastination into Your Writing Schedule
Kathy Edens finds that she can write content all day every day, but when it comes to fiction, she's terrified of the blank page. Her secret? Scheduling procrastination into her writing schedule.
The 7 Deadly Sins of Novelists (According to Editors)
A healthy relationship between novelist and editor can send your story to heavenly heights, but a poor partnership deserves its own special circle of hell. Longtime writer-editor duo Steven James and Pam Johnson discuss where novelists go astray.
Writing with Wonder: Weaving Time and Place with Story in Historical Fiction
Dana Chamblee Carpenter recalls a panel on which Anne Perry tossed aside the idea that the historical fiction writer had a responsibility to get everything “right.” We’re storytellers, after all, not historians.
Graphic Novel Best Practices: 4 Ways to Blend Text and Art to Create a Storyline
If you're writing a graphic novel or a comic, you need to consider how your images and text work together to spin the story. Here are a few ways to play with combining words and pictures in sequential art from author-illustrator Whitney Gardner.
The Difference Between an Author-Author and an Author-Entrepreneur and Why You Need to Know
If you want to write a book, for whatever reason, it’s important to know what kind of author you actually want to be so you know what strategy to use to sell books. Vickie Gould explains the difference and why it matters.
Successful Writing Collaborations: 3 Questions Co-Authors & Ghostwriters Need to Ask
The key to successful collaborative writing, from an equal co-authorship to a ghostwritten autobiography, is a good contract that is clear about who has what roles, how rights and burdens are shared, and how to unwind the project if things implode. Here are the key terms your collaboration agreement should cover.
When Should You Hire an Editor? 3 Professional Editors Weigh In
Want to write the best possible book? You need an editor. They are critical for making your writing “tight” and immersive. But before you do, you need to understand when to hire an editor.
Masters of Suspense: Thriller Agents on Querying & the Best Books in the Genre
Our panel of thriller agents provide their thoughts on the state of the thriller and suspense subgenres and share their own favorite thrillers and what makes them work, along with some crucial advice for querying.
11 Webcomics for Writers: Inspiration and Motivation
Sometimes we have to look outside of our usual medium to find the motivation we need to get the words on the page—or to just feel like someone else "gets it." Check out these webcomics for writers.
Keeping the Writing Faith: Strike a Balance Between Solitude and Community
Jennifer Haupt discusses five strategies for finding a good balance between your vital alone time and the benefits of participating in a writing community.
47 Things Longmire Author Craig Johnson Taught Me About Writing Fiction
Landis Wade shares 47 tips about writing fiction that he learned in a writing workshop with Craig Johnson, author of the Longmire series that was adapted into a popular TV series.
Risky Business: Taking Big Risks in Your Writing Career—and How They Can Pay Off
Here, we talk with writers who have taken big writing career risks and how those risks paid off—along with what they learned along the way.
Funny You Should Ask: What are the best times to query a literary agent?
Funny You Should Ask is a humorous and handy column by literary agent Barbara Poelle. In this edition, she answers a reader's question about the best times to query a literary agent.