For first impressions to occur as quickly on the page as in person, try this basic foundation to help readers achieve familiarity with your characters.
In some ways, the idea behind neurohacks is simple: Fake it till you make it. Or, fake it until it feels real, because your brain can’t tell the difference.
For some, the most intimidating part of writing a novel is the plotting. Here’s one way: Puzzle-Piece the story together from details you already know.
Many dream of publishing a book, but actually sitting down to write one seems hard. Preparation and limiting your choices can make writing feel easier.
Past perfect is less common in the internet era, but isn’t just a formality. Without it, readers are ever so slightly more adrift in your ocean of words.
Because an anthology includes many authors, it can connect to the fan bases of all those authors and ultimately be greater than the sum of its parts.
A lot of the people who genuinely want to write a book never do so, because they never find a reason to prioritize their writing practice.
Too much free time can actually hinder momentum. That’s why it can be useful to focus on small challenges, always aiming just beyond your comfort level.
Don’t feel like you have to go it alone—others are on the same journey, ready to offer encouragement and applaud your hard-earned victories.
In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the top rung is where creativity happens—after our sustenance and security are met. Many of us are just not there, yet.
Studies show that making meaningful progress toward big goals is best served by focusing on the small steps that will get us there.
Developmental editors, critique partners, sensitivity readers, friends—feedback comes from different people, for different reasons, at different times.
Small presses are their own ecosystem. To understand the landscape, study the review sites, awards, and distributors catering specifically to that market.
You can get your readers behind a character they don’t want to grab a beer with—if you allow enough humanity to show through.
We’re often told to read the best books first and apply their lessons to our own work. Here’s a wrinkle: Books you don’t like can be great teachers too.
When used properly, flashbacks can be illuminating. When used haphazardly, they detract from the narrative and leave the reader confused (or worse, bored).
The human condition in its alienation, pain, and joy yearns for a faithful scribe. Memoir offers readers that ultimate safe harbor: the knowledge that they are not alone.
You’ve got something that corporate brands don’t—yourself. Nurture a relationship with your readers, and they’ll do the marketing for you.
Is your reader being told a story, or experiencing it by your protagonist’s side? When revising your novel, here are four important red flags to look for.
Unless you’re a celebrity, your expertise in a field may not be enough to interest publishers. A partner can increase your book’s credibility and reach.
If there’s an organization whose mission aligns with your story or characters, a partnership might help both parties promote one another.
Here’s a System and Template for Tracking Your Submissions (Bonus: It Reduces the Sting of Rejection)
You can’t control rejections, but you can control your next steps. Staying organized and focused helps isolate and minimize the impact of any one rejection.
No two publishing paths are the same. When choosing an agent, find someone you can stand strong with, whether lashed to the mast or gliding in calm waters.
A book is often the product of teamwork. The ability to revise—to accept feedback and apply it with diligence and insight—is essential to success.
Book coaching is much more than editorial support. Coaches help clients complete a transformation—from someone who wants to write a book into someone who has created a book they are proud of.
In this Q&A, literary agents Jim McCarthy and Paula Munier discuss the priorities and responsibilities—to yourself and to others—of being a working writer.
In conversation we describe dialogue simply—”She said,” “He asked”—but writing enables a broader palette. How do we decide which words to use, or not use?
It may be on the wane for reasons ranging from linguistic evolution to feminism, but one writer says exclamation point usage is a simple kindness.
Like trying to outrun a semi bearing down in your rear-view mirror, writing serially for release in real-time can be both exhilarating and exhausting.
The point of line edits isn’t to say, “My way is better!”, but to give a fellow author the gift of a fresh pair of eyes and ears and alternatives to reflect upon.
In this interview, Bob Eckstein discusses art vs. commerce, newspaper/magazine cartoons vs. TV as communication delivery systems, the influence of just the right validation, and much more.
In this interview, she discusses discovering writing in mid-life, how she knew when her writing was ready, why she opted to self-publish, and much more.
Effective “defamiliarization”—an unexpected comparison—results in readers viewing the commonplace in new ways, but beware of employing it in half measures.
Description alone won’t bring a character to life; it must be supported with evidence of a personality—and the more concrete, the better.
When you’re a one-person marketing team, try these foundational tips for approaching libraries about having your book added to their collections.
When your narrator walks readers into the story, hand-in-hand, make sure you’re really going somewhere and not just blowing smoke.
An unpublished writer describes how she built a five-figure Twitter following within a year, by helping other writers and engaging on a personal level.
Exposition works when it arises organically from a scene. But a scene that only exists to deliver exposition might leave readers disengaged.
A debut novelist surveyed readers on Facebook. The result? In publishing, as in life, first impressions matter—and we do judge books by their covers.
Our lives contain an abundance of indelible experiences, but a good memoir isn’t just about us—it’s about illuminating a facet of our shared humanity.
Skip the book signing; there’s greater reward in identifying and connecting with the audience that already shares a passion for your topic.
To read your work aloud well, you must train like a pro. From public speaking coach Gigi Rosenberg, here’s a guide to what you need to do to show up with confidence.
To convey a sense of immediacy, nothing beats the present tense. But for readers to want to stay in that moment, your scenes must be suspenseful and compelling.
Research shows that most people reach peak cognitive performance under moderately noisy conditions—roughly the sound of a coffee shop on a busy day.
You don’t need an influencer’s clout to make your book and brand successful, but it can help expose your work to a larger audience. Before you reach out, here are some important do’s & don’ts to keep in mind.
The point of fiction is to make believers out of us. Small details provide authenticity, making an invented world feel real enough to invest in emotionally.
At times when reading seems like a chore and writing every day is like squeezing blood from a stone, try nurturing your creativity in different ways.
To convey a scene clearly, your narrator must experience it clearly—from a specific, well-defined perspective rather than a vague, general one.
Ensure that your work continues to generate earnings for you and your heirs by staying on top of contracts, royalties, licensing, and available formats.
When you’ve taken your work as far as you can, a manuscript evaluation can address problems before you begin querying and submitting.