Why Do You Write?

Why Do You Write?

The publishing world has changed radically. Fewer books are published every year. Yes, you can self-publish, but then you’re cast into a very large sea called Amazon, waving your SOS flag at book buyers. Writing Tip for Today: So why write? What’s in it for you? Let’s talk about some reasons to write: Catharsis is […]

Writing Characters with Empathy

Writing Characters with Empathy

Empathy is a trait where you not only sympathize with another person’s situation, but you share feelings with that person. You walk a mile in their moccasins. How can writing utilize empathy for more effective fiction? Writing Tip for Today: Let’s look at the ways in which empathy can improve fiction: Empathy, Three Ways Psychology […]

Writing Time Jumps

One of the most common questions I hear from novel writers is about writing time jumps, or flashbacks. A novel that is nonlinear can add rich depth to a story, but chaos and confusion are always lurking. Writing Tip for Today: If a novel’s narrative jumps around in time, what are some ways to prevent […]

Writing Supporting Characters

Oprah famously said, “Everybody gets a car.” For fiction writing, we can say, “Everybody gets an arc.” Writing Tip for Today: Writing a character arc for every character in a story helps provide a richer more complete reader experience. Here are some tips: Everybody Wants Give even the supporting players in your story a goal. […]

Writing Fiction: Chapter Lengths

How Long Should Chapters Be? Working with a terrific young writer, the topic of chapter length has been on my mind. When you write a novel how long should your chapters be? Writing Tip for Today: Let’s examine fiction chapter lengths and what those lengths mean to readers. Same or Different? Take a look at […]

Boys to Men

I’d just made my thirty-eight-year-old son a dental appointment to examine his freshly broken tooth. But instead of thanking me, he frowned the same way he’d done in childhood if I “helped” without his permission. Now, as then, he huffed, “I’m a big boy. I should call them myself.” I tried not to look hurt. […]

Writing Minor Characters

Writing Minor Characters

Writers spend a lot of time researching, planning and digging deep into their protagonists’ qualities. We know that readers need a strong main character to care about. But what about the supporting cast? Writing Tip for Today: Let’s look at some ways to bring secondary characters to life in ways that complement the protagonist. Cast […]

Writing that Shows and Tells

Writing that Shows and Tells

You’ve no doubt heard the advice to “show, don’t tell” in your writing. It’s the basic rule of effective writing. Seems simple enough, until you’re staring at your work-in-progress. Then, show don’t tell becomes a wrestling match in the writer’s mind. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s talk about what “showing” means in your writing—and when […]

Writing Multiple POVs

Writing Multiple POVs

So many novels today are told in more than one point of view or POV. While adding voices to the protagonist’s story seems simple, writing effective multiple POV stories takes skill and purpose. Writing Tip for Today: What are some things to consider in writing a multiple POV story or novel? Purpose The most important […]