Publication is elusive and in many ways out of your hands, but feeling seen is something that writers can offer each other right now.
Perseverence isn’t just about finding the right agent or publisher—it’s also about refining your work into the best version of itself.
Let go of description, extra words, and clever exposition. What’s left is a tightly crafted nugget of concentrated gold—flash fiction.
Authoring a memoir, the gift of hindsight allows you to invest moments with deeper meaning than they may have had at the time.
Like pruning the extra sprouts out of a garden, sharper and tighter prose makes the details you keep stand out.
The field is saturated, so many people wanting to tell their interesting stories. You wonder: Am I a good enough writer to keep doing this?
A daily practice can only succeed if we’re 100% honest about our doubts and weaknesses, because one area of denial can scuttle the ship.
Writing can be a lonely process, and it’s easy to feel stuck. Editors and coaches can help identify the common problems—and their solutions.
Experienced editors look for a story so engrossing the reader forgets that he’s reading—story in which the author’s voice seems not to exist.
If you have a book idea or manuscript, one of your first questions is probably: How do I find a publisher? Here are the most popular, essential resources.
To gauge your manuscript’s pitch-readiness, turn a critical eye to the query letter, synopsis, and first fifty pages.
Despite the pandemic, getting that proposal off your desk allows you to shift your energy to platform—a bigger deal than most authors realize.
Writing memoir won’t fix what’s wrong. But writing what you know will give you the kind of insight that begets a better sense of control in uncertain times.
Whether grappling with believable world-building or adherence to historical accuracy, these six tips will help you navigate this daunting genre.
Why sweat the commas? To save your reader from working to decode syntax-level meaning, enabling full focus on your protagonist, your plot, and your prose.
In this Q&A, agents Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel and Leslie Zampetti tackle the complications of authorship and literary citizenship in the pandemic age.
If the idea of facing a blank page gives you the sudden urge to do chores, the problem might be that you’re trying to write in a way that doesn’t suit you.
Writing about the people you are closest to can be one of the most rewarding experiences a writer can have—but also the scariest.
Librarians and teachers are clamoring for more history nonfiction for younger students. Author Tim Grove offers tips on writing to this unique segment.
Unless a metaphor spontaneously suggests itself from your creative, subconscious mind, it’s probably forced and phony-sounding—and far from “literary”.
A goal 10 times bigger than what feels achievable is a psychological kick in the pants that gives you the motivation to achieve liftoff and sustain effort.
The science suggests that repetition can make a new practice reach the “second nature” part of your brain sooner, creating a habit that’s hard to break.
This post explains four critical types of book editing, why you need an editor, how to choose one, and what your editor can and cannot do.
Employing the science of captivating rewards is one way to keep yourself excited about and engaged with a big writing project, all the way to The End.
Your protagonist must directly influence or engineer her own destiny. If she doesn’t, she isn’t the hero; she’s a passenger in the story.
Learn how to craft a strong novel synopsis, while avoiding the most common mistakes, including the dreaded “synopsis speak.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The query letter has one purpose, and one purpose only: to seduce the agent or editor into reading or requesting your work. The query letter is so much of a sales piece that it’s quite possible to write one without having written a word of the manuscript. All it requires is a firm grasp of your story premise.
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.
While it’s not wrong to open in these ways—and a great writer can make even the most pedestrian series of events read as fascinating—consider if you can find a more advantageous way to begin.
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.