Writing Tension in Every Line

Writing Tension in Every Line

Writing tension into every line sounds simple. But when writers struggle with this idea, the results can sink their efforts. Writing Tip for Today: What is tension and what is its role in writing? Uneasy Suspense Tension is also called uneasy suspense. Most writers understand that the climax needs tension, but to be effective, tension […]

Are You the Right Person to Write this Book?

I’m working on a nonfiction book proposal. I’m passionate about the topic. But I keep worrying: Am I the right person to write the book? Writing Tip for Today: Let’s look at some ways to determine if you are the right person to write your book: Proposal Pufferies Every good book proposal must answer the […]

Writing Memoir: Timelines

Memoir writing is one of the most common types of stories my students attempt. Hey, write what you know, right? Good memoirs demonstrate a command of the timeline. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s discuss memoir timelines and which events should form them. Time Travel Most writers begin a memoir in chronological order. But by beginning […]

Writing Finishing Touches

Writing Finishing Touches

Writing involves multiple revisions. But how do you know if your finishing touches are enough? Writing Tip for Today: Here are three tips to help you decide when your piece is finished: Let it Sit and Read Aloud After you’ve drafted a piece, you’ll want to set it aside for a period of time. Work […]

Finding Your Writing Voice

Finding Your Writing Voice

Most writers strive for a unique writing voice. Voice refers to not what you write, but how you write it. Developing a unique style or voice takes practice and mastery of skills. Writing Tip for Today: What are some valuable skills for developing writer’s voice? Avoid Wordiness To find one’s writing voice, many writers mistakenly […]

Writing Ratios: Actions v. Info

Writing Ratios: Actions v. Info

As the late Gary Provost writes in the writing resource, Beyond Style, “Things shouldn’t just be in your stories; things should happen.” Yet writing must also contain information. How can you know how much information should accompany your happenings? Writing Tip for Today: Let’s talk about how to write a good balance of action and […]

Emotions in Writing: Fall Back, Spring Forward

Emotions in Writing: Fall Back, Spring Forward

As a writing coach, I talk a lot about emotion, but I believe it’s true—if your readers aren’t feeling something, they aren’t reading. In ways, writing emotions can be like the way we change our clocks for Daylight Savings Time: emotions in stories must fall back, then spring forward. Writing Tip for Today: How do […]

Writing: Dialogue Must-Haves

Writing: Dialogue Must-Haves

Last post we discussed writing scenes and the associated must-haves. Most good scenes also contain dialogue, and writing good dialogue also requires a few must-haves. Writing Tip for Today: What are some dialogue must-haves and how do you use them? Dialogue Essentials When a character speaks, readers need a few markers to orient themselves and […]

Scene Writing Must-Haves

If you write fiction or memoir, your work is more effective when it can tell a story. Stories are more effective when they are largely told in scenes. Writing Tip for Today: What are some scene writing must-haves? Elements Scenes bring a story to life. Readers crave action and want to experience the scene as […]

Writing: Editing Must-haves

You’re writing a book, article or story and want to publish. Now you’re looking for a good editor. What are some “must-haves” for any editor you hire? Writing Tip for Today: Here are some tips for finding the editor you need: Refining Your Needs If you’ve written, rewritten and done as much self-editing as you […]