Image: six-sided die showing faces labeled Yes, No, and Maybe

Is Your Writer’s Block Really Writer’s Indecision?

When facing decisions in your writing, it helps to identify which questions have lower stakes and which ones are preventing real progress.
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How to Effectively Manage Multiple Narrators in Your Novel

There’s nothing wrong with using multiple narrators in a first-person story, but it requires some serious background work.
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The End May Only Be the Beginning: Infusing New Life Into Your Fiction

One editor’s technique to add narrative tension, deepen characterization, and force you to think past the original boundaries of a premise.
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How to Move From First Draft to Second Draft to Publishable Book

When you’ve completed a draft but it’s falling a bit flat, it’s time for the Story Draft: creative work done technically.
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Pick Your Pond: How Nonfiction Authors Can Find the Right Positioning

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.
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The Charm of the Large Word

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.
Fiona Higgins

A Successful Author Was Rejected By Her Publisher. Here’s How She Found Another.

When big publishers rejected a book due to marketing concerns, one author forewent an advance to work with an indie that saw potential.
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Emotional Truth and Storytelling: Why It Works and How

Emotional truth is the lens that allows us to see ourselves in a story, resulting in a heartfelt connection in a fictional narrative.
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4 Story Weaknesses That Lead to a Sagging Middle

If your middle’s lost momentum, check to see if your plot, characters, stakes and suspense consistently propel readers along the story arc.
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Don’t Hold Out for Publishing to Make You Feel Seen. Here’s Another Goal Instead.

Publication is elusive and in many ways out of your hands, but feeling seen is something that writers can offer each other right now.
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I Spent Nearly Two Decades Writing and Editing My Book. It Finally Found a Publisher.

Perseverence isn’t just about finding the right agent or publisher—it’s also about refining your work into the best version of itself.
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The Benefits of Writing Flash Fiction

Let go of description, extra words, and clever exposition. What’s left is a tightly crafted nugget of concentrated gold—flash fiction.
2 Methods for Structuring Your Memoir

2 Methods for Structuring Your Memoir

Authoring a memoir, the gift of hindsight allows you to invest moments with deeper meaning than they may have had at the time.
3 Tips for Cutting Your Word Count (Without Giving Your Whole Story the Ax)

3 Tips for Cutting Your Word Count (Without Giving Your Whole Story the Ax)

Like pruning the extra sprouts out of a garden, sharper and tighter prose makes the details you keep stand out.
Writers Often Ask Me a Question I Can’t Answer

Writers Often Ask Me a Question I Can’t Answer

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?
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A Successful Daily Practice Requires Honesty

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.
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Where Novelists Get Stuck: 3 Common Issues with Early Drafts

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.
To Avoid Rejection, Take the Writer Out of the Story

To Avoid Rejection, Take the Writer Out of the Story

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.
how to find publishers and agents

How to Find Publishers

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.
What Your First 50 Pages Reveals

What Your First 50 Pages Reveals

To gauge your manuscript’s pitch-readiness, turn a critical eye to the query letter, synopsis, and first fifty pages.
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Are Editors Responding to Submissions During Coronavirus?

Despite the pandemic, getting that proposal off your desk allows you to shift your energy to platform—a bigger deal than most authors realize.
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Why Write Memoir Right Now

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.
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6 Principles for Writing Historical Fiction

Whether grappling with believable world-building or adherence to historical accuracy, these six tips will help you navigate this daunting genre.
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You Win This Round Comma

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.
Stefanie Sanchez von Borstel and Leslie Zampetti

Writing, Pitching & Promoting in the Age of the Coronavirus

In this Q&A, agents Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel and Leslie Zampetti tackle the complications of authorship and literary citizenship in the pandemic age.
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Stop Staring at a Blank Page: 4 (Not So) Silly Writing Tips to Get Words on Paper

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.
How to and (Especially) How Not to Write About Family

How to and (Especially) How Not to Write About Family

Writing about the people you are closest to can be one of the most rewarding experiences a writer can have—but also the scariest.
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What I’ve Learned Writing Middle Grade Nonfiction

Librarians and teachers are clamoring for more history nonfiction for younger students. Author Tim Grove offers tips on writing to this unique segment.
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Do You Torture Your Metaphors? The Problem of Self-Conscious Writing

Unless a metaphor spontaneously suggests itself from your creative, subconscious mind, it’s probably forced and phony-sounding—and far from “literary”.
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What Writers Have to Learn from The 10X Rule

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.
Developing a Writing Practice Pt. 7 Engrained

Developing a Writing Practice, Part 7: Engrained

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.
Comprehensive Guide to Finding, Hiring and Working With an Editor

The Comprehensive Guide to Finding, Hiring, and Working with an Editor

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.
Developing a Writing Practice Pt. 6 Captivating

Developing a Writing Practice, Part 6: Captivating

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.
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Who Makes It Happen? Giving Your Characters Agency

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.
how to write a novel synopsis

How to Write a Novel Synopsis

Learn how to craft a strong novel synopsis, while avoiding the most common mistakes, including the dreaded "synopsis speak."
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The 3 Ms of Character Setup

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.
Developing a Writing Practice Pt. 5 Neurohacks

Developing a Writing Practice, Part 5: Neurohacks

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.
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The Puzzle-Piece Plotting Method: Using What You Know to Build What You Don’t

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.
Developing a Writing Practice Pt. 4 Easy

Developing a Writing Practice, Part 4: Easy

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.
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The Easy-to-Fix Tense Problem That Might Be Tripping Up Your Readers

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.
Developing a Writing Practice Pt. 3 Important

Developing a Writing Practice, Part 3: Important

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.
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Instead of Setting a Goal, Try a Writing Dare

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.
Developing a Writing Practice Pt. 2 Community

Developing a Writing Practice, Part 2: Community

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.
Developing a Writing Practice Pt. 1 Stepladders

Developing a Writing Practice, Part 1: Stepladders

Studies show that making meaningful progress toward big goals is best served by focusing on the small steps that will get us there.
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Peer Critique Versus Professional Editing: When, Why and How to Use Both

Developmental editors, critique partners, sensitivity readers, friends—feedback comes from different people, for different reasons, at different times.
3 Unique Research Methods for Identifying Small Publishers

3 Unique Research Methods for Identifying Small Publishers

Small presses are their own ecosystem. To understand the landscape, study the review sites, awards, and distributors catering specifically to that market.
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Writing Unlikeable Characters Readers Will Root For

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.
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4 Reasons to Spend Time with “Bad” Books

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.
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5 Mistakes When Writing Flashbacks in Memoir (and Fiction)

When used properly, flashbacks can be illuminating. When used haphazardly, they detract from the narrative and leave the reader confused (or worse, bored).
A Good Memoir Is an Act of Service

A Good Memoir Is an Act of Service

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.