What Every Writer Needs to Know About Finding Your "Voice"

What Every Writer Needs to Know About Finding Your Writing Voice

Voice is one of the most ambiguous, confusing, and highly sought after elements of writing. “How do go about finding your voice?” is a common question of young writers. It’s one even experienced authors aren’t always quite sure how to answer. Everyone seems to have his own opinion on just what voice is. Is it our […]

How Writing Music Will Make You a Better Writer

How to Hijack Mind-Blowing Inspiration: Music for Writers

Music is arguably the purest art form. It’s a breathing of the soul, a perfect embodiment of emotion, a story without words. For the most part, we lowly writers can barely hope to tell as complete a story in 300 pages as can be found in almost any collection of musical notes. If you’re a […]

Why You Should Write More Than One Genre

Think of a well-known author. Who’d you pick? Maybe you chose Stephen King, Janet Evanovich, John Grisham, or Nora Roberts? Whomever you chose, I’m willing to bet that when the name popped to mind so did a very definite sense of genre. Why Are Book Genres So Important? Each of the authors I mentioned is […]

4 Reasons I Quit Writing Exercises

4 Reasons I Quit Writing Exercises

Creative writing exercises are a staple of workshops and a beloved tool of many authors, but are they really an effective use of time and energy? Writers are encouraged to keep writing journals where they spend at least fifteen minutes every day writing whatever pops to mind: story ideas, essays, stream-of-consciousness paragraphs, writing-prompt brain stretchers, […]

How to Kill a Character—And Avoid Hate Mail

How to Kill a Character—And Avoid Hate Mail

Some of the most powerful stories in literature and cinema have a surprising common element: The death of a main character. At first glance, this would seem to be an instant turnoff. Why hang with a character for 300+ pages only to watch him get knocked off in the end? But the truth is, when […]

Top 7 Reasons Readers Stop Reading

Top 6 Reasons Readers Stop Reading

Ever wonder what a novel’s nightmares would look like, if it could dream? Naturally, I can only guess. But I’d say the spine-tingling fear of being put down is probably at the top of the list. When reader stop reading, poke their bookmark in between the pages, stretch, yawn, and drop the novel back on […]

6 Reasons Not to Listen to Your Critique Partner

6 Reasons Not to Listen to Your Critique Partners

Your critique partners, critters, alpha readers, beta readers, proofreaders, editors, loyal slaves and subjects—whatever you want to call them, they’re a vital part of any author’s arsenal. No matter how talented and studied we may be, we’re always going to need an objective pair of eyes to look at our work and point out the […]

11 Dichotomous Characters–and Why You Should Be Copying Them

Fiction writing doesn’t offer many shortcuts or magic formulas. But today I am going to give you a secret ingredient in that coveted recipe for memorable and realistic characters. What is this ingredient? Dichotomy. If we expect our characters to jump off the page into three-dimensional living color, we have to give them multi-faceted personalities. […]

Punch Your Readers in the Gut!

Want to Take Your Story to the Next Level? Punch Readers in the Gut!

Writing is not only an intellectual endeavor for me, it’s also very much a physical one. When I’m on to the right story, the right location, the right situation, the right theme, my body tells me. I feel a surge of excitement in my solar plexus that literally sends the message Yes yes yes! to […]

Should You Outline Backwards?

Should You Outline Your Book Backwards?

When you think of outlines, you generally think organization, right? The whole point of outlining, versus the seat-of-the-pants method, is to give the writer a road map, a set of guidelines, a plan. It only makes sense that an outline should be simple, streamlined, and linear. An outline should put things in order. So you’re […]