Excuses for not reading, a busy schedule, and even sleep can go by the wayside when a reader finds a good novel. What makes a book this compelling, how does this jive with writing to market, and what can you learn that will keep readers engaged with your own books? Continue Reading>>
Woohoo! You’ve found an agent, publisher, or learned to self-publish. That’s wonderful. Now brace yourself for a tougher test. Those accomplishments, while important, pale in contrast to the task of keeping readers engaged with your book. Continue Reading>>
I’ll confess. I've stayed up past my bedtime reading on more than one occasion. What’s more, I’ll probably do it again. Reading a book in one sitting gives better immersion in its storyworld, a closer connection with the characters, and an easier grasp on its themes. This isn’t something I plan to do. I never … Continue Reading ››
Your job as a novel writer is to structure its many elements into a cohesive whole that will transport your readers. You want to pace your story well. The plot must unfold at the right pace, progressing in a logical order. Continue Reading>>
Writing descriptions within a story can be a lot like painting a picture. You labor over the process, but the end result never quite matches the scene you envisioned. In my view, the ability to speak a world into existence comes as a gift from the Author of Creation, who did it first and best. Continue Reading>>
You don’t know what you don’t know, but a good editor will teach you. That’s why I’m the first to recommend letting one save you from yourself. The topic of edits is much on my mind lately. One of the challenges of having two publishers is back-to-back edits on multiple book projects. That’s been my situation since January. I’m probably feeling a little rebellious after all that toeing the line, hence this article. Continue Reading>>
Ever read a well-plotted book with engaging characters and exquisite execution that just couldn't grab you? Something was missing that you couldn't quite identify. This frustrating scenario happens for a number of reasons, not all of them in the author's control. For our purposes here, we'll focus on one common dialogue-writing mistake … Continue Reading ››
Ever been trapped at a party by someone who spoke in cliches? I'm willing to bet that the offending person came off as smarmy, cheesy, or maybe a little less intelligent than expected. This is also how cliched dialogue in fiction 'sounds' to a reader.
Even the best writers find that … Continue Reading ››
When you were a child, did you color outside the lines? Or maybe you were like me and kept your crayons within bounds. You might even have outlined the picture so your shading would more readily stay where it should. Welcome to the world of the meticulous.
When it comes to writing rules, you … Continue Reading ››