inside outside mode

How to Produce an Emotional Response in Readers: Inner Mode, Outer Mode, and Other Mode

All three paths to producing emotional responses in readers are valid, but all three have pitfalls and can fail to work. To successfully use each, it’s necessary to understand why each is effective when it is.
writing characters fiction

How to Make Readers Deeply Connect to Your Characters

There is one secret ingredient to crafting a novel that readers will read from beginning to end. All the other elements are important and necessary, but they play supporting roles to this one.
multiple viewpoints

Using Multiple Points of View: When and How Is It Most Effective?

Some stories require greater scope, more voices, or a different context than can be delivered through the eyes of one protagonist. When you find this to be the case, consider using multiple viewpoints. However, you must think about several factors before launching into this greater undertaking.
A photograph of several bookstore shelves loaded with books.

What’s Your Genre? A High-Level Overview for Writers

Learn how to determine what genre you're writing in and why it matters—plus the difference between commercial and literary.
When Writers Err Too Heavily on the Side of Drama and Conflict

When Writers Err Too Heavily on the Side of Drama and Conflict

Much of writing advice boils down to: add more conflict. But don't forget how happy lives can involve compromise and complication as well.
writing a love scene

How to Write a Great (and Not Schmaltzy) Love Scene

For a love scene to move readers, it must embody the principle of restraint—in dialogue, in description, and in the characters’ actions.
An image of a Central Indian tribal figuring of a woman reclining and reading a book.

How to Find and Work with Beta Readers to Improve Your Book

Editor and writing coach Kristen Kieffer discusses how to get the best out of a beta-reader experience.
a top-down view of a spiral staircase with red bannister

Crafting a Compelling Novel Concept

Larry Brooks discusses how to create a concept for your novel that will compel readers (and agents and publishers) to read more.
several old, handwritten letters in a loose stack

The Feel of Real: Researching a Novel

In today's guest post, author Maggie Kast (@tweenworlds) discusses the role research plays in the development and evolution of a historical novel.
Photograph of a judge's gavel on a desk with some paperwork

Using Newbie Attorneys in Your Fiction

Attorney and author Karen A. Wyle offers insight into using new attorneys in your fiction.
Write Brain Workbook by Bonnie Neubauer

Strengthening Your Creativity Muscles: Q&A with Bonnie Neubauer

In this interview, Bonnie Neubauer, author of The Write-Brain Workbook discusses her own creativity practices and goals, her favorite means of gathering writing prompts, and myths about creativity.
Several water drops hitting a pond surface, resulting in circular ripples

The Fundamentals of Writing a Scene

Martha Alderson and Jordan Rosenfeld explain how to craft a compelling scene and when it's okay to use summary.
Magnifying glass by Todd Chandler via Flickr

Writing Your Book’s Back-Cover Copy

Editor Jessi Rita Hoffman explains how to craft professional and compelling back-cover copy for your book.
Close-up of feet on a tightrope

Balancing Dialogue and Description in Your Story

Alex Limberg discusses attaining the perfect balance between dialogue and description in your fiction.
Josip Novakovich

5 On: Josip Novakovich

In this interview, Josip Novakovich discusses expectations vs. reality, the role of writing instruction, trends in writing, and more.