Writing: Should Fiction Persuade?

Writing: Should Fiction Persuade?

Many fiction writers I’ve known have told me that they intend their novels to educate or persuade readers of something. But is this a wise path? Writing Tip for Today: Let’s discuss some pros and cons of persuasive or educational fiction. Writing from the Pulpit The fiction writers I mentioned above mostly wrote out of […]

Writing Your Character’s Why

Writing Your Character’s Why

Apologies for missing last week’s post—but it gave me time to think about how, when we write fiction, our character’s “why” must be clear to our readers’ emotions. Writing Tip for Today: Here are a few tips for understanding your character’s why: Who Is This? They say all fictional characters have at least some of […]

Writing: Zoom in on Specifics

Writing: Zoom in on Specifics

In query letters and synopses, outlines and sample pitches, a virus spreads. Abstract, generalized words and phrases that tell readers almost nothing. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s discuss a few ways to get specifics into your writing. Man v. A Man E.B. White famously said, “Don’t write about man. Write about a man. Great advice. […]

Finding Beta Readers, Part II

Finding Beta Readers, Part II

Last post, we talked about beta readers, people who preview your manuscript. Let’s continue the conversation—who to ask, when to ask and what to expect from a beta reader. Writing Tip for Today: Who makes a good beta reader? When should you find one? And what should you expect? Readers v. Writers Some authors use […]

Beta Readers for Your Writing

Beta Readers for Your Writing

We hear a lot about beta readers these days—those whom we seek out to test our writing’s effectiveness. Here are three tips for finding good beta readers. Writing Tip for Today: How can we locate beta readers and what should we expect? Ready for Primetime Before you approach a potential beta reader for your work, […]

Polishing Your Writing

Polishing Your Writing

As writers, we understand how multiple revisions can polish a so-so piece and make it shine. But how we approach our polishing may be as important as how many revisions we undertake. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s look at a rewriting strategy for polishing your prose. Hearing Is Believing I tend to write a first […]

Writing Specific Details

Writing Specific Details

A student once told me he hadn’t written down much of his novel. “I’ve got it all up here,” he said, pointing to his head. Trouble brews when what you write down and how you imagine your story don’t mesh. Writing Tip for Today: How can you better ensure that your readers experience what you […]

Writers and Publication

Writers and Publication

Last post, we discussed the idea of author branding. Most writers are more concerned with just getting published. Writing Tip for Today: What are some ways newer writers can achieve publication? Practice and Feedback Although I didn’t love the first few years of writing for publication, I now understand how vital all that practice writing […]

Writer or Brand?

Writer or Brand?

A few years ago, obscure yet devoted writers like me were informed that we had to be a brand. We needed a tag line, as if we were products on TV, and we had to pick one type of thing to write. Writing Tip for Today: After more than a decade of urging by PR […]

Writing 3-D Characters

Our fictional characters can make or break our fiction. The challenge for all of us is to paint characters in a three-dimensional way. What do I mean by three-dimensional characters? Writing Tip for Today: Here are tips for writing better 3-D characters:  Like Real Life But Different We often hear it said about writing dialogue—it’s […]