Image: dense layers of scaffolding inside the Hagia Sophia, obscuring a light-filled arched window.

Structure Isn’t the Holy Grail You’re Looking For

Your memoir’s structure can reveal itself later, once the primary elements are in place. In the meantime, concentrate on scaffolding.
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Does the Idea of Promoting Your Book Make You Feel Queasy?

As an author, marketing your work will always be your job, but it doesn't have to be a chore. To do it well, think beyond self-promotion.
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NaNoWriMo: How to Fly by the Seat of Your Pants—and Win

For writers who prefer to work without a roadmap, here are some tips for reaching your NaNoWriMo goals.
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Use Your Analyzer Switch to Increase Productivity

Envision your inner critic as an adjustable dial: turn it lower to let ideas flow freely, and higher when it’s time to analyze and revise.
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Book Printing 101: What You Need to Know Before Approaching a Printer

Choosing the right materials for your printed book affects not just its appearance but how a potential customer perceives its value.
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Adversaries in Fiction: Who Is Standing in Your Character’s Way?

Your story’s adversary might come in many shapes or sizes. Most important, ensure that the conflict they present has a reason for existing.
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Your Writing Matters. A Coach Can Help.

Just as coaches help athletes, writing coaches can help authors be more productive, proficient, and proud of what they accomplish.
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Why You Should Write a Novella for NaNoWriMo 2021

Only a fraction of participants reach the finish line. Setting your sights on the more compact novella form might help you go the distance.
Can Fiction Make a Difference in the World?

Can Fiction Make a Difference in the World?

When sociopolitical discourse seems entrenched, good fiction can dig deeper with honest curiosity about all facets of the human experience.
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What It Takes to Be a Freelance Editor

Being a freelance editor requires lifelong curiosity, persistent self-education, ruthless support—and the ability to do all this quickly.
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3 Writing Prompts to Spark Your Creativity

In this excerpt from her book The Joy of Writing Journal, Lisa Tener offers three prompts to help you see story ideas all around.
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How to Format Your Manuscript for a Designer or Publisher

When your ms is complete, it's time to think about semantic structure—a digital map that allows computers to identify the parts of your book.
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Why and How I Got My Rights Back from HarperCollins

Despite pre-publication buzz, one author found her book orphaned when the publisher was fired and the imprint dissolved.
Want to Win NaNoWriMo? The Secret Is Preparation

Want to Win NaNoWriMo? The Secret Is Preparation

Whatever your writing goals are in November, a bit of planning can help set you up for success.
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Why Write This Book?

Identifying your story’s “why”—why it haunts you, why you care—will give your book power that readers can feel.
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Choosing a Publicist (Again): Assessing Your Changing Needs

As an author’s career progresses, the publicity needs change—and what worked for the first book might no longer be appropriate for the third.
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How to Turn Trolling Into a Fine Art

Edgar Allan Poe was a 19th century troll, virulently critical of other writers—but also engaged in literary citizenship for work he admired.
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That Second Book: To Write, or Not to Write?

An author who only set out to write one book wrestles with the question—do I really have a second book in me?
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How to Make Six Figures Self-Publishing Children’s Books

One successful self-publishing author discusses the importance of multiple formats, licensing, thinking like a publisher, and much more.
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The Art of Endlessly Revising a Memoir

Time reshapes how we view and frame the chapters of our lives. Since a memoir inevitably can’t tell the whole story, we keep writing.
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How to Market Your Book Without Social Media

One self-publishing author who opted-out offers a dozen other avenues on and off the Internet to help spread the word and drive book sales.
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Starting Your Novel With Theme: 3 Strengths and 3 Challenges

In the last of a three-part series we examine the advantages and disadvantages of starting with theme, as opposed to character or plot.
The Secret to a Tight, Propulsive Plot: The Want, The Action, The Shift

The Secret to a Tight, Propulsive Plot: The Want, The Action, The Shift

Framing the overall story, as well as each scene within it, through these key elements will help create a consistently propulsive plot.
Michelle Brower and Jennifer Chen Tran

Should You Publish Your Book with a Small Press? Two Literary Agents Advise

Literary agents Michelle Brower and Jennifer Chen Tran discuss the pros and cons of small presses, querying strategy, and much more.
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Dual Point of View: What to Know While You Write

Writing in dual perspectives can easily tie you in knots, but it also opens the door to new opportunities between characters and story lines.
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Should I Hire a Coach Or a Therapist?

Both writing coaches and therapists dig deep, listen attentively, and meet regularly. But hiring one versus the other depends on your goals.
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The Secret Ingredient of a Commercially Successful Novel

Masterful writers keep their readers in a constant state of tension. How to get tension on every page? By focusing on microtension.
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The Importance of Curiosity and Tension to Storytelling

What makes readers open a book and keep turning the pages? In part, curiosity and tension.
Andrea Askowitz

Going the Wrong Kind of Viral: Q&A with Andrea Askowitz

The author and podcaster discusses what she learned from going the wrong kind of viral, the power of vulnerable truth in writing, and more.
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Starting Your Novel With Plot: 3 Strengths and 3 Challenges

Writers focused on plot are often strong when it comes to world-building and “big ideas,” but there are inherent challenges as well.
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Find Your Topic, Not Your Voice

Developing voice is important, but finding a topic that excites you—and others—could be a better first step for a new writer.
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The Art of the Moment Memoir

There are many kinds of memoir, with one thing in common: their authors must ultimately possess the ability to artfully render the moment.
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The Most Significant Choice Of Your Writing Career

This choice has nothing to do with the act of writing, but everything to do with how you talk to yourself about your vocation.
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Are Fictional Characters Protected Under Copyright Law?

Copyright law is written to protect stories, not characters, but over time the law on character protection has evolved.
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The Peer Review Process: What Sets University Presses Apart

During peer review, expert scholars evaluate your proposal. Their suggestions can improve your book if you synthesize them thoughtfully.
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Post Book Launch Depression Is a Thing

Publishing a book can be an exciting prospect which often ends in anticlimax. One indie author examines the emotional roller-coaster.
Donna Ward

Writing From the Spinster’s Perspective: Q&A with Donna Ward

Donna Ward is an Australian writer whose first book, She I Dare Not Name, has just been published in the US.
Everydays: The First 5000 Days by Beeple (Mike Winkelmann)

The (Copyright) Trouble with NFTs

Hype aside, an NFT is not equivalent to registering a digital work with the Copyright Office—and it's no barrier to unlawful reproduction.
How to Develop a Marketing and Promotion Plan as an Indie Author

How to Develop a Marketing and Promotion Plan as an Indie Author

Self-publishing offers so many paths and options that it can seem intimidating. One debut novelist shares her journey, with valuable tips.
Cartoon illustrations of many different types of people

Starting Your Novel With Character: 3 Strengths and 3 Challenges

Fiction writers who start with character, as opposed to plot or theme, have certain advantages—and certain challenges.
How Authors Can Leverage Facebook Ads to Sell More Books

How Authors Can Leverage Facebook Ads to Sell More Books

Facebook’s most valuable asset is data. As an advertiser, you can tap into this data and pinpoint the exact readers you want to reach.
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How to Be a Great Podcast Guest: A Guide for Authors

Learning these basic skills will help you relax, enjoy the conversation, and hopefully turn a podcast’s audience into yours as well.
I’m Selling Books on TikTok, No Dancing (or Crying) Required

I’m Selling Books on TikTok, No Dancing (or Crying) Required

TikTok has evolved into an entertainment and educational hub, with a remarkably engaged community of book buyers.
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You Can’t Sell an Idea

Ideas are a dime a dozen. What matters is expressing an idea in ways that are unique to the artist and specific to the time and culture.
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The Alchemy of Emotion: 6 Key Strategies for Emotionally Affecting Fiction

To create the alchemical magic of emotion in your fiction, you need to approach the challenge from more than one angle.
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Strained Brain? How to Stoke Your Mental Fire

It’s impossible to fire on all cylinders all the time, so dedicate some of your writing time to stoke the flames of creativity.
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What Writers Can Learn from Runners

The most useful work is that which tests our limits and forces us to write something we didn’t realize we were capable of producing.
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Writers: Ask for What You Want

Your community might be all too willing to help promote your book. The hard part is overcoming the fear of asking.
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Don’t Tease Your Reader. Get to the Tension and Keep It Rising

If you write knowing how the story will end, you’ll deprive readers of the tension that comes from putting obstacles in your characters’ way.
How to Get Your First Freelance Byline (and Why Even Fiction Writers Should Freelance)

How to Get Your First Freelance Byline (and Why Even Fiction Writers Should Freelance)

Freelance writing—even for little or no pay—offers a low-stakes way to gain publication credit, hone your skills, and raise your visibility.