My favorite digital media tools that have enhanced my productivity and creativity as a teacher, author, and entrepreneur.
Every action in your novel should be justified by the intersection of setting, context, pursuit, and characterization. They all need to make sense. They all need to fit. If you have to explain why something just happened, you’re telling the story backward.
When deciding whether to write for free—or for exposure—here are 5 questions writers should ask.
Before you can take someone else’s advice, you have to develop a realistic picture of who you are, what your tendencies are, and what you’re willing and able to change.
Author and editor Jessica Strawser offers guidance on how to write through illness, grief, and other major life events.
Author Jennifer Louden offers five tips for developing and strengthening your writer’s voice.
As a product of the human brain, writing is particularly influenced by emotions, moods, and worldviews. Learn how to create a mindset conducive to writing.
Author R.J. Keller on the notion of the “second-book slump,” how she dealt with a book idea similar to her own beating hers to the market, why to write the things that scare you, and more in this 5 On interview.
Stuart Horwitz explains how you can complete your book in three drafts: the messy draft, the method draft, and the polished draft.
Think in terms of “telling details”: details that let the reader see your characters while also revealing something about their minds.
Author Rufi Thorpe discusses writing for men, her improbable path to publication, what she likes to see in a book review, and more in this 5 On interview.
Author and ghostwriter Roz Morris discusses the necessary characteristics for a ghostwriter, as well as who hires ghostwriters and why.
Author and editor Yi Shun Lai discusses writing for the J. Peterman catalog, common problems she sees in short fiction and short nonfiction, why she decided to start writing about being Asian, and more in this 5 On interview.
A plot planner enables you to keep the larger picture of your story in full view as you concentrate on writing individual scenes.
The advantages of walking are well-known and long-heralded. Likewise delightful, the urban perambulatory habits of the flâneur. Less heralded perhaps are the practical creative benefits of stretching one’s legs with neither exercise nor aimlessless in mind.
Author and radio broadcaster Reggie Lutz discusses her tendency as a writer to synthesize fiction genres, recommends qualities to look for in a writing critique group, offers advice on pitching and interviewing with radio hosts, and more.
A couple weeks ago, I advised young writers to have patience—with themselves, with the publishing process, and with their development. Writer Gabe Herron recently wrote an essay for Glimmer Train that echoes that theme as well. He says: Time is the main thing. There never seems to be enough of it, especially once you’ve gone […]
What young people need to know about writing and publishing.
Jane Smiley on necessary compromises, writing good sex scenes, and what makes her nervous about writing even now in this 5 On interview.
Agent Paula Munier explains how to imbue your writing with narrative thrust to keep your readers turning the pages.
David Corbett discusses the decline in our country’s writing skills, his personal approach to marketing, writing to the market vs. to the passion, and more.
Allyson Rudolph discusses some of her favorite experimental fiction, the day-to-day life of an associate editor at a publishing house, common problems she sees in fiction and nonfiction, her commitment to increased diversity in media and the arts, and more.
Literary agent Mollie Glick on what drew her to being an agent, what kind of query letter gets a quick delete, thoughts on chick lit, and more in this 5 On interview.
Author Barbara Baig discusses word choice and how it affects tone, voice, and clarity.
Editor Jim Thomsen discusses freelance editing, story craft, favorite authors, and his own authorial aspirations.
In this interview, author E. E. King (Elizabeth Eve King) explains her approaches to writing, humor, marketing, and publishing.
Robert Kroese reveals the process that allows him to write up to three books per year, and how authors can increase their sales potential.
BookBaby founder Brian Felsen discusses the push against the gatekeeper and the prevailing belief that not being on top is synonymous with being a “loser.”
For my upcoming keynote talk at The Muse & The Marketplace, I’ve been immersing myself in histories of publishing and the evolution of authorship. While I’m quite well-read on what the future holds (see a separate reading list here), and often speak on the current digital-era disruption, I’ve always wanted a more cohesive understanding of […]
In an essay about writing a novel with her husband, Beth Ann Fennelly discusses that the process did not lead to fighting, but that it was fun, and not as lonely. However, it didn’t mean half the work. It meant twice the work. She writes: That’s when the novel really started cooking—and finally became fun to […]
The most prevalent point-of-view used by writers today is the third-person limited POV (sometimes spread across multiple characters), as well as the first-person POV. It’s pretty rare to find a contemporary novel written with an omniscient narrator—which is why Celeste Ng found it a terrifying realization, while writing her first novel, that her story required […]
Writing is rewriting.