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.
Editors are always looking for knowledgeable, entertaining, dependable freelance columnists to fill their ever-recurring white space. Become one and enjoy these potential perks.
Nothing (other than fame and glory) makes an author happier than hearing from a reader who couldn’t put down their book. So what makes readers skip going to bed when they should and instead decide, Just one more chapter? My agent, Barbara Poelle, and I decided to sit down and distill...
How do you entice readers to try out a new world when everyone already loves the old one? Why start from scratch when the recipe works?
You’d think New Age Fiction would be overflowing with titles. But it’s not. This makes no sense. Here’s why:
I’ve been asked how I separate myself from writing such dark themes after living in my villain’s head for months? It’s not easy. But here's how to do it.
Start your revision by addressing these, and you'll immediately change your story for the better.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you go about the task of "world-editing" in the early stages of an urban fantasy, paranormal, or near-future science fiction story.
Put aside any thought of a little pink diary with Hello Kitty on the cover, secured by a lock that can be jimmied with a toothpick. I’m here to talk about why keeping diary may hold the key to achieving a meaningful adult life. It’s a realization I came to not...
To write a good young adult novel you need to get yourself back to thinking like a teenager again. This high school English teacher and YA novelist offers up 10 practical tips on how to do just that.
This is a question I love being asked because it is such a fertile one, although my first responses are succinct: “No way!” – pause, then, “Absolutely!” Well, it’s a jumble of both. Here's why.
You can doom your debut from the start with these 7 (tongue-in-cheek) strategies for flailing, and failing—or, you can do just the opposite.
The following is a guest post by romance author Kait Jagger. She is the author of two novels: Lord and Master and Master’s Servant. Jagger is currently working on the final installment of her Lord and Master trilogy, The Marchioness. You can follower her on Twitter at @KaitJagger. The alpha male...
A quality column takes consistent effort, thought, and much rewriting. My experience writing several columns and the advice of several column writers I interviewed pinpoint seven of the most important and challenging considerations.
How do you stop over-plotting your novel? It isn’t easy, and it isn’t pleasant, but the reward for plot discipline can be a lean, compelling narrative that attracts literary agents. Try these tips.
It was only after contacting agents that I realized that by making my historical novel's lead a high schooler I had created a problem. Here's what I learned.
Friends, Romans, countrymen—lend me your ears. We come to bury Reject a Hit, the back-page humor column of WD. Since the March/April 2010 issue, RaH has treated readers to the satirical letters of imagined “curmudgeonly or fool-hearted” editors, as they bluntly dismissed the manuscripts of classic novels from Lolita and War...
Small-circulation publications are often overlooked, but they offer big perks to writers who are willing to reach out.
Want to make your YA characters more like real teenagers? This teenage writer talked to every teen she knows and came up with a list of the top 6 mistakes writers make when writing YA books.
It may sound funny, but it’s true: Humor is a great way to hook readers, no matter the subject. Here’s how to write better nonfiction simply by lightening the mood.
Whenever I pitched my book to an agent, I was always quick to point out I’d been a reporter for almost two decades. They’d have to take me somewhat seriously because everyone knows journalists can write. Right? If only that were true.
Hi All! Barbara Poelle again….remember yesterday how I was salivating for a new thriller author? I asked my author Nick Petrie (THE DRIFTER, Putnam, out this week!) how he hooked me in…here’s what he had to say. About Nicholas Petrie: He received his MFA in fiction from the University of Washington,...
Magazines are always looking for holiday-themed articles. But if you pitch your idea too late, you won't get it published. Here's what you need to know when querying magazine editors your holiday-themed articles.
Unreliable narrators have been admired by readers and writer alike since Holden Caulfield set the gold standard—and they’re more popular than ever in today’s bestsellers. Here are 8 reliable ways to make your characters just unreliable enough to keep readers guessing.