Light-bulb moments. Aha moments. Flashes of recognition. Revelations. Call them whatever you like. I like to think of them as clicks.
In the writing life, the best kind of click is that moment something makes you realize exactly what’s been missing from the not-quite-right scene you’ve been working on. Or the instant you put two plot points together and suddenly have a clear view of what’s really beneath your character’s behavior. Or the random tip on plot structure that magically conjures for you a map of how everything in your messy draft might fit together after all.
Clicks. They’re satisfying, exciting, inspiring, invigorating. And they’re the stuff writers live for.
The January 2015 Writer’s Digest—devoted to all things novel writing—releases today, and I’m so excited to finally be able to offer you a preview of what’s inside. We’ve done our best to fill this issue with the types of craft advice and writing techniques that help things click into place. Because whether your own moments of realization are quiet head nods or loud exclamations of triumph, as subtle as the click of a key in a lock or dramatic as a stack of papers launched into the air, we know it’s the bits of advice that resonate that can make all the difference for your novel-in-progress.
First, award-winning novelist David Corbett shares what made his own characters finally click on the page—and how you can paint more effective pictures of the players in your own stories, too. Then, longtime contributor Elizabeth Sims details techniques for mastering one of the most notoriously difficult elements of fiction: dialogue. Bestselling novelist Steven James shows you precisely how to manage the flow of tension and conflict in your story—through multiple plot points, climaxes, subplots and more. Therapist-turned-writer Tracey Barnes Priestley delves into the real reasons “Why So Many Writers Give Up Mid-Novel—and How Not to Be One of Them.” And four bestselling series writers take you behind the scenes with their iconic characters to show you what it is that gives a novel that special something that makes readers want another installment, and another, and another.
We all know that writing a novel isn’t easy. But in those moments that something clicks, suddenly anything seems possible. Here’s to many ahas on the pages—and in the new year—ahead.
Get your copy of our “This Is the Year You Write That Novel!” issue on your favorite newsstand starting today, or download the January 2015 Writer’s Digest and start reading right now.