Christine Sneed

Incorporating Someone You Know Into Your Novel

If you can't portray someone you know personally in a positive fashion, you will probably lose this friend and/or be sued for libel.
Anne Perry advice for writers

5 On: Anne Perry

In this 5On interview, author Anne Perry discusses (among other things): what plot is not what to look for when
novel concept

How to Build a Compelling Novel Concept (Something With a Kicker!)

Writers flounder trying to figure out how to make their idea compelling enough to sustain a great novel. Here's how to go from ordinary to extraordinary.
Kathleen Rodgers

5 On: Kathleen M. Rodgers

Author Kathleen M. Rodgers discusses her approach to writing and reading, her self-promotion philosophy, and why she won't self-publish.
James Moore

5 On: James C. Moore

In this interview, James C. Moore discusses journalistic vs. creative writing, finding time to write when time is hard to come by, and what being a New York Times best-selling author doesn't mean.
Mark Wisniewski

Write the Book That Keeps You Awake at Night Scared

Do you have a project that confuses you, or feels dangerous? That's what you should write says Mark Wisniewski.
by David Marcu

How to Tell If Back Story Is Sabotaging Your Novel

Most novels have some amount of back story—because they rarely start from the beginning of a character’s life. However, writers tend to misuse it or include too much.
Leora Skulkin-Smith

5 On: Leora Skolkin-Smith

Note from Jane: Today, I'm pleased to announce the series 5 On by author Kristen Tsetsi. 5 On asks established, traditionally published
Rowena Macdonalod

10 Tips on Writing Dialogue

Fiction writer Rowena Macdonald says she finds writing dialogue much easier than constructing a plot.

Finding More Readers Through Wattpad

Note from Jane: Today's guest post is by Anne Pfeffer (@AnnePfeffer1), an author of several YA and new adult novels. As
John Thornton Williams

How to Reveal Character Emotion Without Venturing Into Cliché

One of the most important goals of any fiction writer is getting the reader to connect on an emotional level
Josh Weil

Sow Your Characters’ Emotions in Early

In a thought-provoking post over at Glimmer Train, Josh Weil talks about Chekhov's rule: If you bring a gun into the story,
Beth Ann Fennelly

A Collaborative Novel Is Twice the Work, Not Half the Work

In an essay about writing a novel with her husband, Beth Ann Fennelly discusses that the process did not lead
Celeste Ng

The Challenges and Opportunities of an Omniscient POV

The most prevalent point-of-view used by writers today is the third-person limited POV (sometimes spread across multiple characters), as well
Men Don't Read Fiction? BULL! - Writing on the Ether

Men Don’t Read Fiction? BULL! – Writing on the Ether

BULL Men's Fiction is a newly relaunched site (just this month) and a print magazine, about 130 pages, published twice a year.
Laura van den Berg

How a Collection of Stories Comes Together

Laura van den Berg discusses the evolution of how her stories get written and shaped into a collection, or a book.
photo by Ian Burnes

Editors Are Usually Really Nice People

If you have Zen or Buddhist inclinations—and you're also in the profession of writing and publishing—you will love this story
E.A. Durden

The Problem With Overly Nice Characters

What's wrong with overly nice characters? To begin with, they're boring. This is because they can't abide conflict, and smooth it over every chance they get.
Color pencils isolated on white

How to Identify and Remove Trivial Detail From Your Stories

Writers are often advised to fill their scenes with rich detail—to show, not tell. However, taken too far, you can clutter or bloat your story with too much irrelevant description.
A photograph of several bookstore shelves loaded with books.

Why Editors Focus on Page One

Editors can tell within a couple pages if a manuscript will be acceptable to them. How? What makes this decision so clear to an editor and so muddy to an author?
You've Got a Book in You by Elizabeth Sims

To Be Great, Strive to Be Ordinary

The following guest post from Elizabeth Sims is adapted from her newest book, You've Got a Book in You, from
Fine-Tuning Fiction by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

Your Story Opening: Shock vs. Seduction

A reader is drawn into a story in one of two ways: shocked or seduced. This is called the hook, and it must be in the first three paragraphs of the text, preferably in the first sentence. The hook also sets up the initial pace of the story, which is maintained through the beginning of the tale.
Yelizaveta P. Renfro

6 Exercises for Stronger Character Relationships

As writers, we can spend so much time "fleshing out" our characters as individuals that we forget about the connections