Writing that Has Staying Power

Writing that Has Staying Power

Want to produce writing that has true staying power? Many writers have heard that including passing fads, slang or even current events will quickly date a novel. You need to make your story relevant to readers, but you don’t want scenes that seem silly or naïve. What was all the rage yesterday is often passe […]

Writing Predictable/Unpredictable Characters

All novelists must portray their lead characters in both predictable and unpredictable ways. By digging into what sorts of predictable unpredictability that readers look for in a character, you can increase reader engagement. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s discuss some tips for refining your character according to predictable/unpredictable traits and actions. Predictable, not Stereotypical A […]

Writing Past Writer’s Block

Writing Past Writer’s Block

Last post, we talked about ways to train your Muse to show up when inspiration is AWOL. But after you’ve plopped down at the keyboard, how can you be writing past the dreaded writer’s block? Writing Tip for Today: Here are a few more ideas to keep your writing productive: Junk it Through One of […]

Train Your Writing Muse

Train Your Writing Muse

Has your writing Muse gone into hibernation? Writing when you don’t feel inspired is a hallmark of a pro. Yet even those who’ve been at it a long time run into dry spells. Writing Tip for Today: Here are a few ideas for stoking the writing fire: Read Up If I can’t seem to make […]

Writing and Spell-Check

Writing and Spell-Check

I take my local print newspaper, and in a few short years, I’ve watched it go from a wonderful independent to a skinny, USA Today clone. Almost every day, I read several articles with misspellings or typos. What’s going on? Writing Tip for Today: Print journalism is fighting for its life in the digital age. […]

Query, Blurb and Pitch Writing

Query, Blurb and Pitch Writing

You’ve polished your 500 word synopsis, carefully noting word count, genre and main characters. You’ve hit on major plot points and summarized the entire story line. What now? Query, Blurb and Pitch writing awaits you. Writing Tip for Today: If you plan to agent shop, you’ll need a few more tools, including a solid query […]

Writing Synopses: Trimming Words

Writing Synopses: Trimming Words

All novel writers will be faced with writing the dreaded synopsis. These story summaries strike fear into writers for two reasons: They require intimate knowledge of the story and they must be short and succinct. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s discuss some hacks to make writing synopses more effective. Find Your Story Writers can find […]

Why Do You Write?

Why Do You Write?

The publishing world has changed radically. Fewer books are published every year. Yes, you can self-publish, but then you’re cast into a very large sea called Amazon, waving your SOS flag at book buyers. Writing Tip for Today: So why write? What’s in it for you? Let’s talk about some reasons to write: Catharsis is […]

Writing Characters with Empathy

Writing Characters with Empathy

Empathy is a trait where you not only sympathize with another person’s situation, but you share feelings with that person. You walk a mile in their moccasins. How can writing utilize empathy for more effective fiction? Writing Tip for Today: Let’s look at the ways in which empathy can improve fiction: Empathy, Three Ways Psychology […]

Writing Time Jumps

One of the most common questions I hear from novel writers is about writing time jumps, or flashbacks. A novel that is nonlinear can add rich depth to a story, but chaos and confusion are always lurking. Writing Tip for Today: If a novel’s narrative jumps around in time, what are some ways to prevent […]