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 […]

Keeping Writing Resolutions

Keeping Writing Resolutions

  Writing passion, enthusiasm and confidence take a lot of energy to maintain. Here it is, two days into the new year, and already I’m wondering how I’ll keep my three best writing resolutions for 2017. Like those who jump to the gym only to abandon it, I’m wary of losing whatever momentum a resolution […]

Breaking Back into Writing

Breaking Back into Writing

Six long weeks ago, I underwent major surgery. Just before, I was certain it would take me a couple of weeks to recover. Then I’d get back to work. Ha! It’s taken me every day of the four to six-week recovery time the surgeon advised. So how do I get back to my writing life? […]

Writing Tip Classics: Dialogue

Dahlias in my front yard. With my husband so ill and in and out of hospital, I thought I’d publish a “classic” from this blog. Here’s one on writing dialog: I’m reading a new writing technique book by James Scott Bell, called Revision and Self-Editing for Publication. It’s not bad, although I am mostly seeing […]

Camera Angles in Fiction Writing

Camera Angles in Fiction Writing

Most novel writers have heard that their scenes should be cinematic. You want readers to imagine what they are reading as a film playing in their heads or as John Gardner said, “the continuous dream.” If your scenes are to be cinematic, you will need to know where the camera is in every scene. Writing […]