(You Can) Write Better Dialogue

(You Can) Write Better Dialogue

For some writers, an ear for good dialogue seems to come naturally. For the rest of us, lots of practice and some writing tips can make all the difference. Writing Tip for Today: Here are three ways to start writing better dialogue today: Rule of Three When I taught fiction writing at a local community […]

Readers Must Sympathize with Characters

Readers Must Sympathize with Characters

Recent feedback from a writer concerning a novel that I’m drafting said, “One character is more interesting than the other.” Since I’m writing a rotating Point of View, both are protagonists. The comment told me that one character was not sympathetic enough. Writing Tip for Today: How can we make our characters more sympathetic? Likable, […]

Writing Help for Slow Openings

Writing Help for Slow Openings

Each time I draft a novel, I wrestle with my set-up in the opening. Does the opening give enough info and heart to compel the reader? How much do readers really need to know before they commit to the story? Writing Tip for Today: A novel’s first pages need a delicate balance of action and […]

Writing Your Story’s Fictional Body

Writing Your Story’s Fictional Body

A writer I know has a helpful book titled “Plot Skeleton,” wherein the author divides up the different parts of a fictional story by percentages and—body parts. Hint: If you get to the knees without a good climax, you’re in trouble! But the Plot Skeleton got me thinking about fiction structure, so let’s run with […]

Writing that Connects

Writing that Connects

When I started my writing journey, someone asked me what my purpose was. I said, “To connect with readers,” and it’s still true today. You might have a different purpose for writing, but any writer will be better off if she connects with her readers. Writing Tip for Today: What are some ways to better […]

Writing Animated Characters

Writing Animated Characters

It’s nearly Fall! The pumpkins are busy plumping, cats are knocking stuff over and our fictional characters could use a little more sparkle—NaNoWriMo is almost here. Writing Tip for Today: Here are some ideas for pumping some 3-D spice into your fictional characters: The Unique Character Most writers will admit, if they’re honest, that their […]

When Is a POV Error a Problem?

When Is a POV Error a Problem?

Ask any veteran writer about POV (Point of View) and the advice is almost always the same: Don’t head-hop, change POV only at chapter or scene breaks, tell the most compelling character’s version of events. Most of the time, this is solid advice, meant to keep readers from becoming confused. But there’s always an exception. […]

How Deep POV Elicits Emotions

How Deep POV Elicits Emotions

My friend C.S. Lakin, over at LiveWriteThrive, has just unveiled her latest writing course: Handling character emotions. Conveying emotion is so important! You can check it out here. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at how using Deep POV can help you convey emotion in your fiction. Writing Tip for Today: How can Deep POV help […]

Writing Your Story’s Set-up

Writing Your Story’s Set-up

To write a story, you just plunge in and go, right? I favor this don’t-edit-while-you-draft method. But in revision, how you set-up your story is crucial to readers. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s discuss the important elements of story set-ups: Timing is Everything Set-ups differ from your story’s setting. The where and when of your […]

Writers Beware: Micro-managing

Writers Beware: Micro-managing

Since it’s August, I thought it might be good to trot out some easily avoided fiction mistakes I see in student work. Micro-management is what I call the tendency to over-regulate how readers experience a scene or description. Writing Tip for Today: Here are three simple fixes for eliminating micro-management from your writing: My Right […]