Category Archives: Craft

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

7 Ways To Keep Your Buzz & Write Drunk — By Elaine Bayless

  “Write drunk. Edit sober.” Easy enough, right? It means to write without boundaries, loose and wild and out of control. Thoughtful word selection and complex grammatical decisions belong in the world of editing. And yet, how often do you “lose your buzz” and start editing right in the middle of writing? How do you … Continue reading 7 Ways To Keep Your Buzz & Write Drunk — By Elaine Bayless

5 Super Powers & 5 Sources of Kryptonite for Abused Characters

  Super powers always come from somewhere. Does your main character have super powers? If your main character has a history of abuse then you may have a super hero on your hands. This isn’t just the stuff of Marvel Comics. In real life, victims of abuse — at least those that have sought therapy, … Continue reading 5 Super Powers & 5 Sources of Kryptonite for Abused Characters

Eleven Requirements For The First Pages of Your Bestseller

The first pages of a book are like opening a door. I let myself go at the beginning and write with an easy mind, but by the time I get to the middle I begin to grow timid and to fear my story will be too long…That is why the beginning of my stories is … Continue reading Eleven Requirements For The First Pages of Your Bestseller

Nine Strategies to Make Your Scenes Feel More Cinemagraphic

Have you ever read a book whose scenes felt movie-like? You’ve read the books that flowed seamlessly from one scene to another. You’ve read over the descriptions of the settings that were rich and details. As you turned the pages, you may have had a sense of action and tension that felt exactly right. As … Continue reading Nine Strategies to Make Your Scenes Feel More Cinemagraphic

The Diary of A Beta Reader: A Guest Post by Sara Marschand

Guest blogger Sara Marschand explains her thought processes while she beta reads. A beta reader is often the first or second set of eyes a manuscript gets. Their purpose is to spot holes in a manuscript and communicate to a writer, who maybe a little myopic, that changes need to be made.  For the last … Continue reading The Diary of A Beta Reader: A Guest Post by Sara Marschand

Description: Six Ways To Tone It Down And Make Your Story Stronger

Description can be overdone like Girl Scout cookies, sunny days and reality television. In our fiction writing, description can play a key role. It can make the details of the story come alive vividly. Good description engrosses the reader in the story. But like fine wine, news in an election year, and most pork products, … Continue reading Description: Six Ways To Tone It Down And Make Your Story Stronger

Six Big Reasons No One Is Laughing At Your Comedy

Is this thing on? Why aren’t readers laughing? Why isn’t your comedy working? You get a ton of likes and LOLs on your Facebook posts. Your tweets have been re-tweeted dozens of times. People are always picking themselves up off the floor when they are with you, but when it comes to writing comedy, you … Continue reading Six Big Reasons No One Is Laughing At Your Comedy