5 Ways to Write A Near-Perfect First Draft

5 Ways to Write a Perfect First Draft (or Nearly)

“The first draft.” Is there any phrase more likely to evoke such a poignant mix of anticipation and dread? Anticipation, of course, because we get to write—we get to tell our story! And dread, of course, because we’re about to subject ourselves to months, even years, of agony and frustration as we blindly slog toward a finish […]

How to Use the Outlining Your Novel Workbook Software

How to Use the Outlining Your Novel Workbook Software

Today, I’m pleased to get to share with you a special guest post from Bob Miller, the developer of our new Outlining Your Novel Workbook software. I’ve asked him to give you a tour of the program, his own process for using it, and what inspired him to create it in the first place. Here’s Bob… […]

What's The Difference Between Writing And Storytelling?

Are You a Writer or a Storyteller?

“I am a writer!” This is one of the most important and freeing statements any of us ever makes. It’s almost a rite of passage. The moment you can look your banker/hairdresser/pastor/aunt in the eye and tell them (without mumbling) that you are writer, hear you type—well, then, congratulations, you’ve crossed an important threshold in claiming […]

Before You Outline: How To Discover Your Story’s Big Moments

Before You Outline: How to Discover Your Story’s Big Moments

Too often, writers maintain a limiting viewpoint of outlines as “a list of scenes.” But outlining can (and should) be so much more. For starters, there’s all that good stuff in the outline before you outline. Before you ever get to the scene list, there are a gabillion important questions for you to ask about your […]

Big News! Introducing the Outlining Your Novel Workbook Software

The various approaches authors bring to outlining their novels are vast. But the one thing we all have in common is the desire for an effective, streamlined process that helps us create a solid foundation for our stories—as painlessly as possible. I have long been a proponent of outlining, through my many resources both here […]

How To Writing Meaningful Comedy

4 Ways to Write Meaningful Comedy

Notoriously, comedy is one of the most difficult forms of writing. This isn’t because it’s so hard to write a gag or a line that’s funny. Life’s a pretty hilarious place, after all. No, it’s difficult because translating goofiness into meaning is vastly more difficult. These days, we tend to think of comedy as fluff—silly people […]

5 Misconceptions About Writing That I Used to Believe

5 Misconceptions About Writing That I Used to Believe

Are we modern-day writers lucky or what? We enjoy unprecedented access to the wisdom of all the writers who have gone before us. I’m not kidding. the wealth of excellent information at our fingertips is insane. But you don’t get nothing for nothing, and the something we’re exchanging for all this great advice is a pretty hefty load […]

How To Take Advantage of Your 4 Most Important Characters

How to Take Advantage of Your 4 Most Important Characters

Your story may or may not have a cast of a thousand, but even if it does, 996 of those characters are going to be primarily background. They provide the context for the four most important characters in a story. Who are these characters? 1. Your protagonist (of course). 2. The antagonist. 3. The reflection. 4. The […]

Good News! Writing Does Get Easier!

When Does Writing Get Easier? The 4 Steps to Mastery

“When does writing get easier?” This is one of the most common questions writers have asked me throughout my career. The bad news is that, all these years, I’ve been giving the wrong answer. The good news is that the right answer is pretty fantastic. In years past, when people asked me this question, I was as […]

How To Write In An Authentic Historical Voice

How to Write in an Authentic Historical Voice

Let’s say you’re writing a book set in the 14th Century. Naturally, as a diligent and conscientious writer, you want to do your research and write with an authentic historical voice. In fact, you’re so good and so authentic that what you end up with is something like this: Whilom, as olde stories tellen us, ther […]