Well-timed coincidences can catapult a story forward, but a poorly planned one can bring your readers to a dead stop. Use these 7 strategies to harness the power of this storytelling tool while steering clear of common missteps.
The history of the term "Great American Novel" is as interesting as the first book ever given that title by John William De Forest in 1869.
Author Boston Teran discusses his new novel, A Child Went Forth, his choice to use a pseudonym, upcoming film adaptations of his work, and the unique considerations of blending genres including historical fiction, mystery, crime and more.
In this exclusive extended interview with short-form master George Saunders, the globally acclaimed author dishes on inventive structure, reveals why he’s wary of outlines and talks novel-length success with Lincoln in the Bardo.
In a competitive industry, it’s easy to feel like publishers hold all the power. But the truth is they need good content—and writers have a right to not be fleeced. Here are some situations when the best option just might be to walk away from that book contract or that freelance...
This year marks the 300th anniversary of the death of Edward Thache, the notorious privateer-turned-pirate known as Blackbeard. Here, historical fiction author Samuel Marquis, great-grandson of Captain William Kidd and author of a new book on Blackbeard, offers his best advice for writing great historical fiction.
In Iowa Writers’ Workshop–graduate James Han Mattson’s acclaimed first novel, The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves, the cyber-bullying of a gay teen leads to a multi-victim shooting. Here, he discusses related topics, including LGBTQ literature and writing about gun violence.
Reimagining classic fiction has been a common practice among authors since the dawn of novel writing. Here, learn a few lessons from the masters about writing novels that incorporate elements of the classics.
Are you considering writing a series? Here, Bette Lee Crosby offers some of the benefits and challenges of composing more than one novel in the same universe.
New York Times bestselling author Lisa Genova writes novels chronicling the fate of ordinary people who are diagnosed with extraordinary and often fatal neurological diseases.
We like to think and talk a great deal about protagonists and antagonists, and that’s not a bad way to look at things, exactly. But it’s vital to realize that those two terms are purely a matter of perspective.
Should you write a memoir, or write a novel "based on a true story"? Here, Joan Jackson offers four advantages to fictionlizing the truth.
There are three primary sources for content: the author’s knowledge, interviews with others to seek information and insight, and research. Here's how to drive drama using the latter.
Here's how to explore the functions of dialogue and narration in a scene, so that you can find the mix that’s right for your novel.
The following is a brief rundown of the three most common POVs and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
When does black women’s fiction become just women’s fiction? To answer that question, we’d first have to establish the difference between the two. Some might argue that it’s the characters, others might say themes or cultural perspective. After reflecting on this for years, I concluded that the biggest thing that separates...
Persuasive characters keep a good story aloft and your readers involved. So where do you find these characters? How do you make them breathe? Here are specific tips to help you create characters that will win over readers.
Here are seven excellent pieces of advice for fiction writers from bestselling author Margaret Atwood.
Recognizing the subtle differences in writing emotion and writing feeling can help render both more powerfully on the page.
Here are a few things I learned along the way to writing a novel between stints as a copywriter.
No doubt about it: writing a novel isn’t easy. But use these lessons to help make it (slightly) easier.
When I wanted to write an essay about my difficult relationship with my brother I had to figure out a way to make it interesting to other people so I turned to these 10 elements to keep the story rolling.
What exactly is the difference between behaviors, habits, mannerisms and quirks? Read on to learn the subtle (yet important) differences between them.
Understand why and how to break these 7 common rules about writing dialogue, and you’ll write more effective, nuanced and engaging character conversations.