How to Write Your Memoir Like a Novel

A few years ago, I went to a workshop in New York City for writers. There I was surrounded by a group of novelists. As someone who loves to write fiction, I was interested, but at the time, I wasn’t working on a novel. I was working on a memoir, a book about a series […]

How to Know Which Parts of Your Story Readers Will Like Best (It Isn’t Always What You Think)

You want readers to like your story. You want to give them something to love on every single page. But it’s so much easier said than done. How can you know—really know—which parts of your story readers will like and which will have them yawning and skipping ahead? So many stories, in all mediums, hit […]

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How to Evoke Reader Emotions With “Surprisingness”

Have you ever read a book for a second, third, even tenth time—just to experience the emotion the story evokes? Clearly the elements of the story aren’t a surprise. You know exactly what to expect. If so, you were benefiting from an author who knew how to evoke reader emotions. Literary agent Donald Maass says […]

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7 Things to Try When Writing Is Hard

Some writers might look at that title and respond incredulously: “When isn’t writing hard?” But as I’m sure all writers everywhere can attest, there are times when writing is hard in the normal sense and times when it’s hard hard. Often, the difficulty lies simply in the unwieldy story—and the need for an ever-evolving understanding and ability […]

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The New Scrivener 3.0 – Should You Upgrade?

Did you know Literature and Latte released version 3 of their acclaimed writing software Scrivener? Scrivener is famous for its rich functionality, but also its steep learning curve. If you’ve taken the time to learn an existing version of Scrivener, or are a newcomer looking to try it out yourself, making the move to version […]

The Great Novel-Writing Checklist (Just in Time for NaNoWriMo!)

I adore lists. They bring order to the chaos of my brain and allow me to rest in the knowledge that even if I don’t remember everything I have to do, the list remembers [spoken in an epic Jeremy Irons bass]. This is why today I’m going to share you with you my ultimate novel-writing checklist—and […]

Learn Scrivener Fast Webinar Replay Now Available (Plus Freebies!)

Learn Scrivener Fast Webinar Replay Now Available!

Thanks to all of you who were able to attend the free Learn Scrivener Fast webinar with Joseph Michael yesterday! This is the fourth annual webinar I’ve done with Joe, due to the enthusiasm we keep getting for Joe’s excellent overview of how to use and get the most out of the wonderful writing software […]

5 Things I Learned When I Switched Genres

5 Things I Learned When I Decided to Switch Genres

I was in the middle of mundane household chores when the idea for The Lost Girl of Astor Street struck: Veronica Mars meets Downton Abbey was my initial thought. Followed quickly by, But I’ve never written a mystery or a historical! There’s no way I could write that. The idea nipped at me all day long. As did the doubts. I’ve written […]

Top 10 Writing Posts of 2016

Top 10 Writing Posts of 2016

Did we really just wave goodbye to 2016 and enter that nebulous hinterland in which we frequently embarrass ourselves by putting the wrong year on our checks? Yep, looks like. 2016 was something of a landmark year for me. On a personal level, my life has changed in many ways I wasn’t expecting, and I […]

Why Writers Need To Make Way More Mistakes

6 Reasons You Need to Make Way More Writing Mistakes

Writing mistakes are frustrating—especially when that mistake is novel-sized and cost you months of work before you realized it was, indeed, a mistake. Because frustration is a negative emotion, we usually do everything in our power to, first, avoid making writing mistakes and, then, when we inevitably do make them, distance ourselves from them as […]