10 Killer Chapter Breaks

10 Killer Chapter Breaks

Chapter breaks are do-or-die territory for novelists. You may be spinning a grand ol’ tale, full of fascinating characters, but if your chapter endings leave readers no reason to turn the page to find out what happens next, all your hard work on the other aspects of your story will be wasted. Not every chapter […]

10 Methods to Find More Time to Write

10 Methods to Find More Time to Write

Time is a precious commodity in the life of a writer. Demands on our time come at us from every direction these days. We’re expected to market our work, hobnob on the Internet, maintain an active web presence, research, edit, clean the house, make meals, keep up with family and friends, buy groceries… and, oh, […]

Are Your Characters Talking Heads?

Dialogue Mistakes: Are Your Characters Talking Heads?

Good dialogue is one of the most enjoyable parts of any story—both for the reader and the author. But dialogue alone isn’t enough to make a scene. Perhaps you’ll recognize the following dialogue mistakes from your own reading—or maybe even (gasp) your work-in-progress: “John, where have you been?” “Oh, just… out.” “Out where?” “You know, […]

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 […]