7 Ways to Decide Which Story Idea You Should Write Next

The most important decision a writer will ever make is which story to write. Sometimes that will be an easy decision: the “right” story will be staring us in the face. But sometimes the choices can be overwhelming. If you’re like me, then you probably have enough story ideas to last you the rest of […]

Why Readers May Put Down Your Book - Even if They Love It

Why Readers Might Put Down Your Book—Even if They Love It

This week’s video cautions against failing to identify and utilize the part of your book readers will like best.   Video Transcript: I’m going to start off today’s video with a really important question, and that is: What is the best part of your book? I’m not necessarily talking about the best scene; I’m talking […]

How to Make Your Readers’ Heads Explode

This week’s video offers Lesson #4 from Pacific Rim, an encouragement to writers to pursue story ideas that will inspire rabid fandom among their readers. Video Transcript: Today, we’re going to feature the last of our lessons from Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim, which, if you haven’t already figured out, I absolutely loved. In our […]

Learn from Pacific Rim how to make your story live up to every last bit of its potential

How to Make Sure Your Book Lives Up to Every Last Bit of Its Potential

As you may have read in this month’s e-letter or on Facebook and Twitter, Helping Writers Become Authors is about to get a complete makeover. I’m really excited about optimizing both the design and functionality of the site and can’t wait to share the new-and-improved version with you all. The switch to the new design (as well […]

How to Write a Novel in Two Sentences

All right, fine—you’ll need more than two sentences, most likely. But the title of this post does actually have some merit, as I am in the process of finishing my second novel using an approach I like to call “The Two Sentence Method.” There are already some spectacular methods out there for plotting and planning […]

Do You Know Why You're Writing This Story

Why Are You Writing This Story?

Pretend you and I are face to face. Pretend I’ve asked you what you’re writing right now, and you’re telling me the title and the plot and maybe a little about the characters. When you’re done, I look you in the eye and ask, “Why are you writing this story?” What’s your answer? Probably, you […]

6 Reasons a Premise Sentence Strengthens Your Story

6 Reasons a Premise Sentence Strengthens Your Story

All stories begin with a premise (a battle in space, two people falling in love, a dog getting lost). But, often, the original conceptions are hazy and unformed. Sometimes, they’re not even a premise sentence, so much as the what-if question that will lead to a premise. What if a little boy’s brain grew too […]

Does Your Story Have the Extraordinary Factor?

Does Your Story Have the Extraordinary Factor?

Readers want fiction to be extraordinary enough to thrill them with its strangeness and excitement. But they also want it be ordinary enough for them to find aspects they can relate to. How’s a writer supposed to pull off this apparent paradox? How do you make your stories both ordinary and extraordinary? Is Your Hero Ordinary […]