Jane Eyre: The Writer's Digest Annotated Classic by K.M. Weiland and Charlotte Brotne

10 Things Writers Can Learn From Jane Eyre

You are one lucky ducky. Know why? Because writers can learn about storytelling just about anywhere. Life itself is a story. All we have to do is sit back and watch! But one of the best specific places where writers can learn how to better their craft is by reading masterful books. As we approach the […]

5 Basic Literary Devices That Will Deepen Your Fiction

5 Basic Literary Devices That Will Deepen Your Fiction

We all know the basic elements of stories. First you have your characters, then you have places for those characters to go, and then you have things for the characters to do. Now let’s take a deeper look. How can you add depth to your characters, settings, and events? The answer is simple: develop literary […]

Announcing The Annotated Jane Eyre

Announcing Jane Eyre: The Writer’s Digest Annotated Classic

“Before I die, I’m going to read all the classics.” That was the resolution I made ten years ago. I started working through my local library’s shelves, alphabetically, looking for any book that fit my (very loose) definition of a classic: a title (or author) I recognized, written prior to 1950. For every “modern” book […]

9 writers who failed but we still love them

9 Writers Who Failed–But We Still Love Them

We all make mistakes, and we can all think of famous writers who failed in the little details. Authors often try to add as many descriptions and small details as possible to make their stories sound better and more realistic. But are they always accurate? As a rule, such small fails occur because of inattention, […]

Vacation Notice: See You in a Week!

If you’re hunting for the next post in the Creating Stunning Character Arcs series, it will be available next Sunday. I apologize for the break in scheduling, but I’m not too sorry, since as you’re reading this, I’m headed for a week in Honolulu. Thought I’d better mention my absence this time, since the last time I checked […]

sherlock holmes lessons for writers

Sherlock Holmes vs. C. Auguste Dupin: 4 Ways to Improve Your Writing

Sherlock Homes rose and lit his pipe. “No doubt you think that you are complimenting me in comparing me to Dupin,” he observed. “Now, in my opinion, Dupin was a very inferior fellow.–A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Fighting words—within the detective genre, anyway. Yet  the term “detective” had not yet been coined when […]

forget genre what kind of story are you writing

Forget Genre: What Kind of Story Do You Want to Write?

Today, I’m guest posting over on Suite T: The Author’s Blog of Southern Writers Magazine, with the post Forget Genre: What Kind of Story Do You Want to Write? Here’s an excerpt: When someone asks you what kind of story you’re writing, your answer is probably based on your book’s genre. Romance. Mystery. Fantasy. But genre is […]

The Super-Secret Way to Create Suspense in Your Story

The Super-Secret Way to Create Suspense in Your Story

If you’re a writer, or aspire to become one, you know part of your homework is to study suspense. After all, suspense is what readers (particularly mystery and thriller readers) look for in a book. The American Heritage Dictionary tells us such readers want “the condition of being suspended.” They want to experience the “anxiety […]

6 Ways to Strengthen Your Writing by Making Your Reader Your Co-Writer

6 Ways to Strengthen Your Writing by Making Your Reader Your Co-Writer

Today, I’m posting over on AuthorCulture, with the post “Why Your Reader Is Your Co-Writer.” Here’s an excerpt: Authors would save themselves a lot of work if they would just remember they have a partner in this storytelling game. Their readers. Literature, more than any other art form, is a collaboration between writer and reader. The writer […]

The 5 Secrets of Grabbing Your Readers' Emotions

The 5 Secrets of Grabbing Your Readers’ Emotions

Want to know the secrets of grabbing your readers’ emotions? For starters, let’s pretend I’m your reader–‘cuz I’m a hard sell. I’m not a very emotional person. Even when I feel deeply about something, it takes a lot to move me to tears. I can count on my fingers the stories that have made me […]