The Importance of a Strong Opening Scene
No pressure, but the opening of your book is the gatekeeper in determining whether your novel will sell. If your opening is weak, it won’t matter if chapter two is a masterpiece. Editors and agents and booksellers and librarians and readers will stop reading before they get there.
How to Write Your Memoir with Fun, Easy Lists
You need to write a memoir—except the mere thought floods you with anxiety. You’ve got decades of memories; where would you even start? Lists to the rescue!
On Tastemakers and Making
Taste is not static. Rather than a fixed endpoint toward which one toils away, it's a target that moves over the course of a lifetime.
You Don’t Have to Finish Every Story You Start
Sometimes that first draft is never going to become a final draft. That doesn't mean it's a waste, though.
How to Attract a Readership Based on Concept Alone
Ultimately, concept is far less important than character when it comes to determining the overall quality of your story, but your audience is attracted to your story based on your concept alone. Does your concept have what it takes to draw people in?
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 New Platform for Serialized Work: Tapas Media
For years, serialization has been discussed as a significant area of opportunity for reading and publishing in the digital age.
Begin Your Novel with Action: A Good Rule?
You’ve probably heard the adage that you must begin your novel with action—even if it’s not the main action of the book. While this rule is fairly well-accepted in fiction teaching circles, not everyone agrees with it.
How to Plot and Outline Without Using a Formula
When we talk about plot as separate from the characters, the symbols, the locales, the dialogue, and the philosophical introspection, what we are doing is privileging events over everything else. But nothing exists in a vacuum.
How to Tell If Your Story Idea Is Mediocre—And How to Improve It
Note from Jane: Today's guest post is adapted from The Writer's Advantage: A Toolkit for Mastering Your Genre by Laurie
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.
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?
The Reader Must Want to Know What Happens Next
Today's post is excerpted from Wired for Story by Lisa Cron, just released from Ten Speed Press. We think in