A time-lapse photo of peopl milling about an interior with stairs and an escalator.

How Writers Can Craft an Effective Setting

Setting is often an afterthought when writing a scene, but it can affect characterization, tension, pacing—and more. Bestselling author Mary Buckham shows how to create effective descriptions for any type of narrative.

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The Myth of the Everyreader

Editor and writing coach Rebecca Faith Heyman discusses myths surrounding appealing fiction, YA novels, and readership.

Allyson Rudolph

5 On: Allyson Rudolph

Allyson Rudolph discusses some of her favorite experimental fiction, the day-to-day life of an associate editor at a publishing house, common problems she sees in fiction and nonfiction, her commitment to increased diversity in media and the arts, and more.

Sandra Gulland

5 On: Sandra Gulland

Sandra Gulland discusses the delicate process of blending of fact and fiction, the allure of unhappy endings, the publishing industry then vs. now, preparation for public readings/signings, and more.

Danger of writing groups

The 4 Hidden Dangers of Writing Groups

Writing groups can cause fatal frustration, deep self-doubt, and sometimes years of wasted effort. Learn the most common dangers of writing groups, and find out how to improve your group to give you more of what you need—and less of what you don’t.

Image of colorful typewriter by Ralph Aichinger / via Flickr

Begin Your Novel with Action: A Good Rule?

You’ve probably heard the adage that you must begin your novel with action—even if it’s not the main action of the book. While this rule is fairly well-accepted in fiction teaching circles, not everyone agrees with it.

How to Plot and Outline Without Using a Formula

When we talk about plot as separate from the characters, the symbols, the locales, the dialogue, and the philosophical introspection, what we are doing is privileging events over everything else. But nothing exists in a vacuum.