How to Find Exactly the Right Story Hook Header 2

How to Find Exactly the Right Story Hook

What is your story hook? That can be one of the most frustrating questions for any author—for two reasons. Either you have no idea what your hook is, or you have no idea how to describe it. The good news is both of these scenarios are quite common. The bad news is they’re both deep doo-doo […]

7 essentials for your book launch header 1

7 Essentials for Your Book Launch

Congratulations, it’s a book! You accomplished something rare and impressive just by completing your masterpiece, not to mention surviving blood-boiling revisions and the agony of the publishing process. Now, the book launch date has been set and—surprise!—you have more work to do! Orchestrating a book launch sounds daunting, but people need your book. Take a long […]

6 Bits of Common Writing Advice You're Misusing

6 Bits of Common Writing Advice You’re Misusing

Recently, I found myself reminiscing about some of the early books on writing advice that transformed and molded my understanding of storytelling and writing. They opened my eyes, honed my craft, and changed my life. I wouldn’t be the writer I am today without the solid writing advice I’ve received from the writers who have gone […]

The Most Common Manuscript Malfunctions (and How to Avoid Them)

Editors see hundreds of manuscripts every year, from new and veteran writers alike. Almost all of them fall down on the same points. To help you avoid the common pitfalls of fiction writing, here are the manuscript malfunctions editors see most often, with tips on how you can avoid them! Manuscript Malfunction #1: Clichés Clichés are at top […]

How To Outline Your Book Series

How to Outline a Series of Bestselling Books

Every good series has to start somewhere. If you’re of the mindset (as I am) that a problem as complicated as the novel is best approached from the big-picture view of an outline, then it only makes sense that the even greater complexities of serial fiction will benefit even more when their authors understand how […]

Boba Fett’s Guide to Writing Cool Characters

Boba Fett is one of the most beloved scourges of the Star Wars universe. Yet, he says only 27 words (28 if you add the Wilhelm Scream), and is on screen for a mere 6 minutes and 32 seconds. He even gets defeated in a pathetic way by being knocked into the Sarlacc pit by […]

Top 3 Ways to Rivet Readers with Plot Twists

Top 10 Ways to Rivet Readers with Plot Reveals

Today, I’m going to show you how to make stuff happen in your story. Duh, right? What could be easier? You put characters on the page, they dance around, stuff happens. Mission accomplished. Except if you’re not using plot reveals to execute all this happenin’ stuff, your readers may end up bored anyway. What are plot reveals? […]

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 […]

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 55

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 55: Beginning Your Story Too Late

Story beginnings are fraught with important decisions. But perhaps none of those decisions is more important than the question of when to begin your story. Too early or too late—either one can prevent readers from engaging with the story and obsessively reading on to find out what happens. Perhaps the more common mistake is beginning your story […]

Top Books of 2016

My Top Books of 2016

The one thing that’s almost as fun as looking back on the writing I accomplished during the year is looking back on reading my top books of 2016. Ironically, the one year I decide to host a “Read 100 Books in a Year” challenge on Goodreads is also the first year in recent memory when I […]