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Top 10 Writing Posts of 2016

Top 10 Writing Posts of 2016

Did we really just wave goodbye to 2016 and enter that nebulous hinterland in which we frequently embarrass ourselves by putting the wrong year on our checks? Yep, looks like. 2016 was something of a landmark year for me. On a personal level, my life has changed in many ways I wasn’t expecting, and I […]

5 Important Ways Storytelling Is Different in Books vs. Movies

5 Important Ways Storytelling Is Different in Books vs. Movies

These days, everyone is writing movies. Including novelists. Not screenplays, mind you, but even if you’ve never touched a Celtx program and will never see your story on the big screen, you’re still writing movies. Our society is saturated by visual storytelling. It’s the cool kid on the block, da boss. Whether we’re talking Hollywood movies, TV shows, […]

Learn to Write: Top Posts of 2015

Learn to Write: Top Writing Posts of 2015

Time always blows by quickly, and this year seemed to blast past at record speed. For me, 2015 was mostly a year of keeping my head down and working on my fiction. Some of my highlights in 2015 included: Story Structure Database launch German translation of Outlining Your Novel (joining its Japanese and Korean brethren) A […]

Top Christmas Gifts for Writers in 2015

Top Christmas Gifts for Writers in 2015

Sometimes buying Christmas gifts is fun. Sometimes it’s hard. If you’re like me, you’re always on the watch for that perfect unique gift for all your favorite people on your list. In this year’s installment of our annual Christmas Gifts for Writers post, see if you can find just the right gift for the writers […]

Want to Know More About the Structure of Your Favorite Books and Movies? Announcing the Story Structure Database!

Want to Know More About the Structure of Your Favorite Books and Movies? Announcing the Story Structure Database!

Ready for the unveiling of the “Big Secret”? For months, I’ve been hinting at a secret project that’s been in the works just for you Wordplayers! You have all been very industrious with your guesses–everything from my opening up a moose farm, to a role for moi in the next Avengers movie, to a free year’s supply of […]

Why Do Bad Books Get Published?

One of the most common beefs among writers is that the industry is glutted with bad books. A common riff of encouragement in writing how-to books and blogs is that unpublished authors should take heart because all they have to do is open a recent bestseller and claim the mantra, I can write better than […]

How to Know When to Stop Writing This Book and Start a Different Story

There comes a time all writers’ lives when they will eventually have to learn how to know when to stop writing a book and start a different story instead. This is never an easy or simple decision. But consider the following riddle… Once upon a time, there were two writers. Both had been writing for […]

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 […]

5 Reasons Story Structure Is Important (Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 1 of 12)

What’s the single most overlooked, misunderstood—and yet important—part of storytelling? If you read the post title, you already know the answer is story structure. Twelve years ago, I shared the series “Secrets of Story Structure” on this site. That series became the basis of one of my best-known writing-craft books, Structuring Your Novel. That original […]

Juggling Life and Writing: 9 Tips for Maintaining Creative Focus

Balancing the pursuit of creative writing with the demands of daily life is a nuanced challenge. Juggling life and writing isn’t easy without strategies that can help us maintain creative focus amid life’s myriad distractions. Whether you’re dealing with the pressures of work, familial responsibilities, or the never-ending lure of digital devices, writers everywhere face […]