Hitting Your Novel’s Milestones

Hitting Your Novel’s Milestones

To many new writers (as well as some more experienced) novel writing feels like a mystery. You read novels you admire and the story just flows. But if you learn some basic milestones that almost every novel contains, the mystery unfolds. Writing Tip for Today: According to Larry Brooks, each “Milestone” should comprise from twelve […]

Writing Scene Transitions

Writing Scene Transitions

  The way any given scene ends and how the following scene begins is one of fiction’s most important elements to keep readers reading. Yet there is more to good technique than simply leaving white space between scenes. Writing Tip for Today: What are some ways to connect separate scenes in a way that engages […]

Pacing Your Prose

Pacing Your Prose

For many writers, one of the last writing skills areas to blossom has to be the rate at which a scene unfolds. Go on too long and readers become frustrated or bored, Cut a scene too short and the depth of emotional range shown by the characters often suffers. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s take […]

Writing the Ultimate Nano Novel

Writing the Ultimate Nano Novel

Every year, by the middle of November, you can almost hear the anguished cries of writers furiously at work on their NaNoWriMo novels. The middle of any novel draft is a risky place for even the most seasoned or plot-wise writer. If you’re speeding toward the November 30th deadline, the dreaded mid-novel sag can hit […]

Find the Perfect Novel Title

Find the Perfect Novel Title

Writers have told me more than once that I’m “good” with titles. I guess that means I can come up with titles that are both catchy and meaningful. Last post we discussed taking cues from our marketing friends, in order to become better writers. Finding the best title for your work is another way the […]

How Marketing Improves Writing

How Marketing Improves Writing

  Many writers and authors I know cringe at the word “marketing.” If all they had to do was write, they complain, life would be so much easier. We writers generally dislike the whole idea of selling our stuff. So how can marketing make writing better? Writing Tip for Today: Here are some ways to […]

Writing Unforgettable Characters

Writing Unforgettable Characters

Writers often talk about the importance of a likable main character. Readers must care about a character before they’ll sign on for the story’s journey.  Yet we can all point to characters who aren’t exactly likable yet they are unforgettable. What’s the right tone to aim for in a Main Character? Writing Tip for Today: […]

Writing Your Scenes Right

Writing Your Scenes Right

Write scenes! I seem to repeat this mantra often. Scenes are usually the most efficient way to deliver action and emotion to readers. So you draft scenes, maybe even a novel-length bunch of them. Some of these scenes are awesome, some need work. At some point, you’ll want to revise your scenes to make sure […]

Writing Titles with Pzazz

Writing Titles with Pzazz

Readers do judge a book by its cover—and its title. A great book with a dud of a title can be overlooked, and a mediocre book with a grabby title will increase its chances of being bought and buzzed. Yet many writers struggle to find the perfect title for the work. Writing Tip for Today: […]

Easy Ways to Tighten Your Writing

Easy Ways to Tighten Your Writing

Each Fall, I get ready to welcome a new crop of novel writers to my class. This year, I thought I’d start things off by offering some simple ways to kick your fiction up a notch. Writing Tip for Today: New writers often make a few common mistakes that if corrected, can propel their writing […]