The Hilarious 2-Step Plan for Writing Humor in Fiction

This week’s video talks about the successful premise of comedy in any book—and the two crucial steps to writing humor in your story. Video Transcript: Somebody once said the key to writing humor is realizing comedy is just tragedy turned on its head. In fiction, the success or failure of this technique largely comes down […]

How Much Realism Does Your Novel Really Need

How Much Realism Does Your Novel REALLY Need?

Ever had a critique partner or editor tell you, “This isn’t realistic”? It’s a valid complaint. Novels are facsimiles of real life. They must mimic that life with enough realism to allow readers to suspend their disbelief and invest themselves in characters and plot scenarios that far exceed their own personal experiences. In order to connect […]

Trouble With Your Latest Story? 10 Ways to Reinvent Your Writing Style

Trouble With Your Latest Story? 10 Ways to Reinvent Your Writing Style

Are you stuck in the writing doldrums? Has your prose become lackluster and stale? If so, it might be time to change up your writing style and infuse some fresh life into your words and stories. Every writer has his own writing style–a particular combination of skills, techniques, characteristics, and practices that develops into his unique voice. […]

3 Reasons You Should Consider Writing a Novella Right Now

3 Reasons You Should Consider Writing a Novella Right Now

When I first took to creative writing, all I ever heard about writing a novella was how I shouldn’t. Houses won’t publish them. Agents don’t represent them. All of this caused me to think it was because readers won’t read them. I know the first two are correct. The third point? Not so much. Publishers […]

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 […]

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 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 […]