Category Archives: Craft

More Questions To Ask After That First Draft Is Done

Your first draft is done! And trust me when I say this, it is not ready to be published!  How do you know this? No one writes a perfect first draft. You don’t either. Before you let your mom, your best buddy or the pizza guy read this draft, make sure it’s the best you can … Continue reading More Questions To Ask After That First Draft Is Done

Twelve Questions To Ask Yourself After That First Draft Is Done

You’ve finished your first draft! You are so, so, so proud. This is an accomplishment worth celebrating! And in the midst of your hard work, you’ve fought all kinds of self-doubt and torment. The quoted author was right, you really did just open a vein and bleed.  But you’re not done. Please, for the love … Continue reading Twelve Questions To Ask Yourself After That First Draft Is Done

How The “There Are No Rules” Rule Can Set You Up For Failure & Mockery

I’m not sure who started the “there are no rules in writing” rule. It certainly wasn’t an English teacher. There ARE rules. Rules for grammar, spelling, and punctuation bring order and dignity to our language. There are also rules for storytelling, rules for submissions, rules of common sense, rules of general communication that YOU MUST … Continue reading How The “There Are No Rules” Rule Can Set You Up For Failure & Mockery

Top 10 Ways To Improve Your Writing

You want to improve your writing? It’s oh, so easy and oh, so hard. I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that if you are reading this blog then you are a writer. Even if you don’t think you can call yourself that, you probably have aspirations for literary greatness, fame, or fortune. … Continue reading Top 10 Ways To Improve Your Writing

Why Mutually Exclusive Desires Make Great Conflicts

  Your story should be jammed packed with conflicts. You should have conflicts about the setting, like the tropical storm that’s been seen down south is heading north and could turn into a hurricane. Or, you could have conflicts about every day life, like maybe the cat is missing and he has a history of … Continue reading Why Mutually Exclusive Desires Make Great Conflicts

Why Your Spell Checker Is A Shifty-Eyed Hack

You can’t trust your spell checker. Generally speaking, a spell checking feature on a word processing program will do a fair job in finding words that are misspelled. That’s all it’s capable of doing. If you think that an automatic spell check will do enough work to make you a good writer, then you are … Continue reading Why Your Spell Checker Is A Shifty-Eyed Hack

Eight Reasons You Should Write Every Day

  Did you write today? Are you going to? In the book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg said, “Most of the choices we make each day may feel like the products of well-considered decision making, but they’re not. They’re habits. And though each habit means relatively little on its own, over time, the meals we order, … Continue reading Eight Reasons You Should Write Every Day

Never Say Never: Writing “Rules” That Beg to Be Broken

By Jennifer Worrell How many of you have heard the old saw, “Write it your way!” or “Write the story you want to read!” And so you do. And then you’re told…you can’t do that. Only {insert bestselling author names here} can do that. But no one explains why. How did successful writers get that … Continue reading Never Say Never: Writing “Rules” That Beg to Be Broken

Seven Reasons Why You Should Read Your Manuscript Out Loud

  Have you ever read your work out loud? Long before you submit your work to your beta readers, before you assume that you’re done, before you start thinking about renting that billboard to advertise your latest literary genius, you should read your manuscript out loud. Start at page one. Finish at “The End.” And listen. And … Continue reading Seven Reasons Why You Should Read Your Manuscript Out Loud

Eight Ways You May Be Bungling Your Dialogue In Your Novel

  “I’m not bungling my dialogue,” you say to yourself. But you’ve had a few complaints from your beta readers about how they don’t like the characters. You’ve been told the story feels dead. While your plot is tight and your pacing is perfect, the characters themselves feel off. The trouble could be your dialogue. … Continue reading Eight Ways You May Be Bungling Your Dialogue In Your Novel

Ten Questions To Ask Before Writing An Interesting Scene

In a novel, what is a scene? A scene is a small increment of the story that progresses the story forward. A novel is full of them. And while this may seem obvious, they ain’t easy to write. Have you written a scene and not known where to start? Ask yourself these ten questions! The … Continue reading Ten Questions To Ask Before Writing An Interesting Scene

Eighteen Ways To Write An Emotionally Abusive Villain

    Let’s say you want to write a villain who doesn’t wear black, doesn’t have a weapon and doesn’t do all the things that typical baddies do.You want an emotionally abusive villain. Emotionally abusive villains are scarier than the Darth Vader types, in my humble opinion. They can play with a person’s mind, trick … Continue reading Eighteen Ways To Write An Emotionally Abusive Villain

Does Your Backstory Make Your Readers Stabby?

Backstory? Oh yes, you’ve been working on that character’s backstory for months! You’ve written thousands of words of backstory! You know how his parents met, how he got that scar on his pasty white tuckus, and why he gets all shaky and whiny when he’s served enchiladas. This is all important stuff you told yourself as … Continue reading Does Your Backstory Make Your Readers Stabby?

Four Reasons Why Authors Shouldn’t Be Nice In Their Stories

Nice authors can be dull ones. I think that authors should be well-behaved and respectful. They should have great ethics and never be undignified or rude in public where their readers can see them. I fully believe that an author’s brand is far too fragile (especially in this competitive market) to risk alienation by their … Continue reading Four Reasons Why Authors Shouldn’t Be Nice In Their Stories