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 […]

Pitch Your Writing: Tips

Pitch Your Writing: Tips

It’s writing conference season, and many writers I know will put egos on the line to pitch their books. But is your novel “done” enough to warrant this leap of faith? Writing Tip for Today: Although writers are often anxious to get their writing into an editor or agent’s hands, we sometimes jump the gun. […]

Writing Your Novel’s Middle

Writing Your Novel’s Middle

We’ve discussed endings and openings. Now let’s look to one of a novel’s most critical spots: its midpoint. Writing Tip for Today: What are some ways to improve a novel’s middle? Act II Rising The middle of a novel consists of the bulk of Act II in the classic three-act structure. The most important aspect […]

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 Novel’s Ending

Writing Your Novel’s Ending

Some readers love sweet story endings. Others want more realistic or nuanced finishes. Either way, readers will demand that your novel have a satisfying ending. Writing Tip for Today: Here are some little reminders for nailing that novel ending: Short and Sweet Your novel’s ending begins just after your climax scene. If you proceed to […]

Fantastic Editors and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Editors and Where to Find Them

Pre-pubbed writers often hear that they MUST hire a good editor before moving forward—either with self or traditional publishing. But how do you find that perfect editor for your project? Writing Tip for Today: What kind of editors are available and how do you find a good one? No Experience Necessary Unlike barbers or schoolteachers, […]

Writing Realism, Part II

Writing Realism, Part II

Three Ways to BOOST Your Fiction Last post we talked about some of the ways that too much realism in fiction can drag down your reader’s experience. But writing realistically can also be a big plus—with the right approach. Writing Tip for Today: Here are some ideas for using realism to enhance fiction and draw […]

Writing Realism, Part I

Writing Realism, Part I

Three Ways to Sink Your Fiction We should aim for realism in our fiction, right? In order to connect with our readers, they need our stories to reflect real life. In most cases, yes. But there are exceptions. Writing Tip for Today: Yes, we need readers to connect with our stories, but watch out for […]

Writers, Know Your POV

Writers, Know Your POV

Last week, I read a former agent’s list of common mistakes writers make while writing their novels, and number one was stories that jump around in POV. I agree—also recognizing that some writers seem to have little trouble with viewpoint, while others struggle. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s talk about the role of protagonists and […]