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 […]

A Note From Linda

A Note From Linda

While I Recover To all my treasured writer subscribers: On Monday, June 3rd, 2019, I will be having carpal tunnel surgery on my dominant hand. Typing may or may not be possible for a few days. Instead of reposting old material, I invite you to scroll through my archives, or find great tips on Twitterific, […]

Managing Fictional Time

Managing Fictional Time

Are you managing your fiction’s time? Last post we talked about exposing your character’s deepest secrets. Yet a story can’t be compelling if you reveal that secret in Chapter One. Managing Time efficiently is essential to keep tension rising. Writing Tip for Today: All fiction writers must be time managers. Here are some tips for […]

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 […]

Mastering Scenic Reminders

Effective scene writing weaves nearly a dozen elements together to tell the story: everything from a purpose, lots of sensory details and most importantly, a character at a specific time and place. Even when the place setting is spelled out at the opening, readers will need reminders to keep imagining the scene. Writing Tip for […]

How to Revive a Dead Scene

How to Revive a Dead Scene

Last post we discussed injecting some kind of death into every scene—to keep tension rising and story moving forward. But what if you’ve written a scene that’s DOA? Writing Tip for Today: Let’s talk about some ways you can breathe new life into a scene that’s dead. Is it Chit-chatty? Scenes that include a lot […]

Writing Death into Scenes

Writing Death into Scenes

James Scott Bell teaches that every scene must include death. Whether it’s the death of a dream, the death of hope or the death of a real person, every scene in fiction must propel the protagonist toward an alternate way of solving a problem. Writing Tip for Today: Death isn’t something most of us want […]

Write Deep, Write True

I’ve just returned from teaching at a wonderful writing conference located in the redwoods of Northern California. There, for six days I taught classes, read manuscripts and met with writers about their work. One bit of advice I gave again and again was to learn to write deeper and truer. Writing Tip for Today: Here […]