It might not be essential to impose a standard arc structure on a character who’s non-traditional or isn’t affected by the story’s actions.
We writers know that critiques are an integral part of improving our work. But we rarely learn how to receive feedback or what to do after.
The author of dark- and paranormal romance discusses negative attitudes toward the genre, why sex scenes are the hardest to write, and more.
Central to most of Michael Lewis’ works are larger-than-life characters who find themselves at the center of major industry or societal shifts.
When completing a readable draft left one author exhausted and overwhelmed, these three steps helped him start writing again.
Good editors are expensive, so the best time for a full manuscript review is when you’re pretty sure your book is ready for publication.
If your subject already has a large existing fandom, how can you quantify that audience, using the data to impress agents, publishers, and editors?
Whether you’re a planner or a pantser, this brainstorming document can take your story to places it might not have gone otherwise.
A prologue can open the door to your story and entice the reader in, or throw up a barrier that delays or prevents their engagement.
A great villain character should have complex motivations and be able to evoke sympathy from readers.
The writers who get their books into the world are those who find a middle ground between refining their work and endlessly tinkering.
Switching POVs within the same scene should only be tackled by experienced fiction writers, and only when it reveals something important.
Science says these three techniques can draw your readers in, keep them engaged, and provide them with a compelling experience.
If your agent or publisher wants to pitch your book to Hollywood, they need to know the rules—or at least, the rules of the day.
You can mine the first paragraphs of well-written novels for four critical components that keep readers hooked.
What makes a good writer? Relentless internal drive, a thick skin for editorial feedback, and reading voraciously across many genres.
From appealing to short attention spans to offering no-fuss ways to play in another sandbox, short story writing has many benefits.
Writing a book with multiple authors requires trust, vulnerability and patience. But done right, group writing has some surprising benefits.
When we’re dealt life-altering circumstances, how do we stay true to creative ambitions while finding a whole new way of existing?
When editorial feedback entails rebuilding a manuscript, one writer struggles with not taking it too personally.
Your writing might soar to new heights when you make weather—and the words describing it—an important element in your characters’ lives.
Along with sex and death, money is a topic with evergreen appeal. So when you write about money, you put the odds of a breakout on your side.
Some writers struggle with ever getting one word of their Great Idea down on the page, for fear of crafting an imperfect beginning.
In an excerpt from her new book on cover design, Jessica Bell offers tips regarding how to utilize space and color for maximum effect.
Is it best for unpublished authors to trust the editorial guidance of their agents and editors, especially when it comes to sensitive issues?
Some writers can finish a book all by themselves, but even more of them have support systems, deadlines, teachers, exercises, instructions and help.
To write something that connects on a universal level, concentrate on specifics. Small truths are easier for readers to identify with.
When a Vermont author’s book was accepted by a New Mexico university press, she decided to ask its editors about the acquisitions process.
It’s possible to create connections with readers by utilizing some fun and interesting ways for them to interact with your book.
An elaborately structured plot, without clearly-defined character goals and motivations, is like mapping a trip and calling it a vacation.
A successful nonfiction book proposal addresses market demand and cements the writer’s authority throughout the entire document.
The big dogs will remain the big dogs. Mega advances will still be paid, and it will remain challenging to make a living if you’re the average author (as it has been throughout history if you depend on book sales alone).
Shifting from memoir to fiction allows painful memories to be expressed, while sharing the hard-won wisdom we’ve gained through experience.
Subtext, the real conversation hidden by surface talk, can deepen the story with unpredictable outcomes and emotion.
It takes grit to seek and implement qualified feedback, and to keep finding ways to improve a manuscript even after you’ve given it your all.
The Toronto-based novelist discusses his journey from self- to traditional publishing, marketing, the art and business of writing, and more.
If you’d like to see your work in national publications—and get paid—tailor your essay to smoothly fit their voice and mission.
A half-hour’s writing might yield only 500, 300, even a mere 100 words. But a half-hour’s writing over 7 or 8 months: a book’s worth of words.
Anticipation—“Will it happen or won’t it?”—keeps readers on edge, and we can make use of their need to know by building scenes that cater to it.
Why one freelancer believes that spending too much time at a computer holds writers back from producing their best work.
As writers, we often cling to certain myths that suck up emotional energy and reinforce practices that undermine the creative process.
When writing a prescriptive nonfiction book, anticipating doubts and objections lets your readers feel seen and keeps them on the page.
Two agents discuss the importance of retaining film rights, option types, author involvement in adaptations, and much more.
Skillful authors weave suspense and tension to draw readers through stories on a taut thread of unanswered questions and constant frictions.
Focusing on your “just right” reader—instead of trying to convey everything that every reader might need to know—can help combat overwhelm.
What’s between scenes is like mortar—necessary for your story’s structure, but not significant—and well handled using summary and spacers.
The author of “weird fiction” discusses why writers should never wait for permission, and the value of reading and writing for entertainment.
A little preparation—noting environmental details, character moods and motivations—will make a big difference in the way your scenes unfold.
Many successful authors maintain side writing careers, in less glamorous forms such as grant writing, copywriting, and ghostwriting.
“Making a scene” in public often happens spontaneously, but creating emotionally compelling scenes on paper requires considerable planning.