Writers focused on plot are often strong when it comes to world-building and “big ideas,” but there are inherent challenges as well.
Developing voice is important, but finding a topic that excites you—and others—could be a better first step for a new writer.
There are many kinds of memoir, with one thing in common: their authors must ultimately possess the ability to artfully render the moment.
During peer review, expert scholars evaluate your proposal. Their suggestions can improve your book if you synthesize them thoughtfully.
Publishing a book can be an exciting prospect which often ends in anticlimax. One indie author examines the emotional roller-coaster.
Fiction writers who start with character, as opposed to plot or theme, have certain advantages—and certain challenges.
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.
To create the alchemical magic of emotion in your fiction, you need to approach the challenge from more than one angle.
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.
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.
Freelance writing—even for little or no pay—offers a low-stakes way to gain publication credit, hone your skills, and raise your visibility.
Paying attention to your own visceral reactions and thoughts can help you create richly developed characters who leap off the page.
Showing the moments of normalcy brings the reader more fully into your life, and heightens the drama when traumatic events occur.
When you’ve finished your story, it’s time to step into a stewardship role to place it in the best position to connect with readers.
True forgiveness can take years to achieve. That’s why memoirs take longer to write than novels. But it’s worth the effort.
Identifying comparable titles helps agents and publishers understand where your book fits in the market and who your most likely readers are.
In writing memoir, internal voices—with competing interests—can emerge to inform the narrative. A rounded story is careful to balance them all.
One author struggles to prioritize between major writing projects when time and energy are limited.
What keeps many writers from a book deal isn’t a polished manuscript or proposal. It’s a sense of the publishing landscape as it really is.
When placed intentionally, crafted well, and set up via emotional context and backstory, scene might be the writer’s most powerful tool.
Without insight into how your characters will react in even the most mundane of circumstances, you aren’t ready to plan or pants your plot.
Word doesn't export to EPUB, but you can still produce an editable file quickly, without buying software or using a "meatgrinder" conversion.
Hybrid publishing is like hiring a contractor: You pay them to oversee the design and construction and, when it’s done, you own the result.
Mentorship programs are a popular way to gain knowledge and exposure, but as their popularity has risen the competition has gotten tougher.
Given that many of us sidestep endings in real life, it should not be surprising that writers have trouble concluding book projects.
Factual details can be great fuel for your writing, but it’s crucial to recognize when adherence to them is getting in the way of the story.
Misguided feedback, which can damage your manuscript, often arises from a common mistake: asking the right question of the wrong person.
Mom writers are wired to succeed at writing (and querying) because they can multitask like no other.
Deep third pulls readers into a character’s world view, but pronoun ambiguities and apparent point-of-view shifts push readers away. These 6 tips keep prose sharp.
Finding the right editor or critique partner is important, but so is being mentally prepared for the feedback you’ll receive.
Just as we might be conflict averse, it can be tempting to keep revising a story’s beginning instead of proceeding into the messy middle.
There’s a good chance that getting these essential elements right are among the biggest challenges you’ll face with your novel.
Like story arcs, individual scenes also have shapes. Understanding yours can help you improve the ones that are falling flat.
The key to an author’s emotional wellbeing and continued productivity is creating a support system, and knowing which part to call on when.
The idea of universal story archetypes is not a new one—but its corroboration by an A.I. brings a new dimension to the debate.
There’s only one thing that any novel must do if it’s going to succeed, and that’s arouse the reader’s curiosity.
Third-person POV dominates the current publishing market, so it’s helpful to learn to navigate its many facets.
New authors are often confused about what level of editing they need. Here’s some insight into the differences.
For one unagented author, landing a publisher was a result of preparation, transparency, and a well-developed network.
When facing decisions in your writing, it helps to identify which questions have lower stakes and which ones are preventing real progress.
There’s nothing wrong with using multiple narrators in a first-person story, but it requires some serious background work.
One editor’s technique to add narrative tension, deepen characterization, and force you to think past the original boundaries of a premise.
When you’ve completed a draft but it’s falling a bit flat, it’s time for the Story Draft: creative work done technically.
As an author, it’s good to be a big fish in a small pond—but you’ll benefit even more if your pond is connected to a larger system.
Use of a big word can be beautiful, as long as it meets two criteria: it must be the right word and the best word.
When big publishers rejected a book due to marketing concerns, one author forewent an advance to work with an indie that saw potential.
Emotional truth is the lens that allows us to see ourselves in a story, resulting in a heartfelt connection in a fictional narrative.
If your middle’s lost momentum, check to see if your plot, characters, stakes and suspense consistently propel readers along the story arc.
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.