Writing 3-D Protagonists

Writing 3-D Protagonists

Do you have work that has languished in a drawer or been rejected?  I have at least three novels that are sitting around. Instead of immediately self-publishing or throwing the pages into the fire, it could be time to take a second look at the protagonist. Writing Tip for Today: Here are some ways to […]

Writing Rising Action

Writing Rising Action

A writing adage warns writers not to burn down the tree in the first chapter. Think of this as a plea to save writing your story’s jaw-drop moments for the best spot in the story timeline. Writing Tip for Today: Here are some ideas for building tension by saving those high-stakes moments: Tell Yourself the […]

Writing Short Personal Essays

Writing Short Personal Essays

One thing I almost always counsel my students to do while they finish their novels is to begin writing short personal essays for publication. Why? It’s all about your author cred. Writing Tip for Today: What are some tips for creating short personal essays for publication? The One-inch Frame Start with your life—but keep the […]

Writing Your Novel’s Opening

Writing Your Novel’s Opening

Whether you’re writing your first or your fiftieth novel, you will most likely need to revise your opening pages last. It’s a tall order for most of us—after all, we understand the importance of first impressions. Readers will usually only give a story a page or two (sometimes only a sentence or two!) to decide […]

Writing Your Character’s Big Secrets

Writing Your Character’s Big Secrets

We’ve all heard that our stories must contain rising tension and plenty of conflict. As a new writer, I thought that meant stuff had to blow up to make the conflict apparent. Boy, was I wrong! Writing Tip for Today: To maximize tension and conflict, force your character to reveal her biggest, darkest secrets. Here […]

Fixing Your Ailing Storyboard

Today’s post will show you how to remedy a storyboard (and by extension, plot) with problems.Writing Tip for Today: So you’ve laid out your novel’s scenes and taken a more holistic and objective look at your story. The nice thing about storyboarding is that you can add, rearrange or cut scenes without messing around in […]

Three Ways to Outline Fiction

Three Ways to Outline FictionWhether you’re a plotter or a pantster, the more you write the more likely you are to outline at some point. Outlining before, during or after your draft is finished can show you your story’s strengths and spot flaws.Writing Tip for Today: Here are three ways to use outlining in your […]

Three More Tips on Show, Don’t Tell

Most writing teachers talk about show, don’t tell in terms of avoiding explanations and increasing concrete sensory details. These techniques are vital. But to master show, don’t tell, here are some lesser-known writing tips. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s take a look at some other ways to attain “show, don’t tell”in your fiction. Manage Readers […]

Writing Multi-layered Fiction

Writing Multi-layered Fiction

Every story features a character whose actions or inactions influence not only that character but those around her. In the best stories, these influences ripple outwards, to the character’s community, her ethnic group and out to the universe. These multi-layered stories tend to elicit the deepest reader emotional response. Writing Tip for Today: Writing multi-layered […]