Writing

Novel Revision: How to Fix the Big Stuff (Without the Woeful Cries) — 3 Steps

Revising a novel gives me the same dread I felt when writing the saggy middle of my story. I was standing at the beginning of an unending cracked desert and had no idea how to get to the other side. Mouth goes dry. As does every impulse. But in order to get from a crappy first draft to a polished manuscript, you have to go through the storm—the parts that hold your story together, the big stuff. Luckily, I've pieced this process into three steps that keep me sane.

On Writing Romance: The Real Secret to Fixing Your Novel (Hint: It’s Not the Grammar)

Maybe you have the meet-cute down, but struggled with the climax (ooh-la-la). Maybe your characters have wit but lack chemistry. Maybe the chemistry is hot, but the plot is lukewarm. Maybe you’re incredibly frustrated with not knowing what to revise. Or maybe you’re the opposite: You have a solid novel with just a few kinks. Whatever your writing woes entail, one thing is certain...

3 Types of Protagonists That Can Sustain a Story –Which Type Do You Have?

If you read my previous blog post on how to create your cast of characters, then you're ready to concentrate more on what type of protagonist you’re dealing with.

How to Build Characters in Fiction Writing – The Starting Point

When I think about good stories, stories that last with me long after the last page was turned, it’s often the characters that stick with me. I feel I could know them inside and out as much as the people in my life. What they like and hate, how they would react to any situation, and the key to their happiness.

The Difference Between Mystery and Suspense (and How to Use Them in Writing)

Have you ever been confused by these two writing techniques? Although mystery and suspense often work together, knowing the difference can help us understand which strategy we want to achieve in our story.

Mind Mapping Tools for Writers and Story Editors

Mind mapping can be a useful technique for writers to add to their writing process. What it comes down to is- how do we grasp information? How do we organize our thoughts and ideas? Do we need to?

Story Openings: Should We Start With Showing or Telling?

How do we start a story that’s been consuming us for weeks, maybe even months? Do we begin describing some backstory to give readers immediate context or do we throw readers directly in the middle of an action-packed moment?

On Writing: Showing vs. Telling and Why Writers Need Both

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the mantra “show, don’t tell” and I always want to shake my fist and say “not always.”

How to Come Up With Fresh Writing Ideas #365grateful

Once a day you take a photo of something you’re grateful for and write about it. This is a daily mental exercise, a personal journey, that forces us to observe and appreciate what happens around us and to us.

A Writer’s (and Editor’s) Tool: A Subconscious Mind

Stephen King had it right when he referred to “the boys in the basement” as a mode of creative process. The “boys” are the muse, the background noise of our consciousness, and a place where our imagination simmers.