Writing Advice That Saves You in 5 Years

Janis Hubschman

I just discovered this wonderful article, “Steal This List,” by Janis Hubschman (featured in the latest Glimmer Train bulletin). It features advice that’s worth saving over a period of years—the kind of advice that’s critical to planning, writing, and revision. Here’s a taste:

When the story stalls, ask: what is the character thinking now? Is she thinking anything? If not, why not? Characters need to learn something about themselves, about their values and assumptions.

To gain insight into a character, consider her history: Think about what happened before the story, what tortuous path led the character to this particular moment?

Allow the character to misinterpret another character’s words or actions. In life, we often misread a situation, jump to conclusions. Interesting things can happen when characters make presumptions or project their own hang-ups onto others.

Read more wonderful gems from Hubschman right here. Or go browse other articles in the latest Glimmer Train bulletin.

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Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has more than 15 years of experience in the book and magazine publishing industry, with expertise in digital media and the future of authorship. She speaks around the world at events such as BookExpo America, Frankfurt Book Fair, and Digital Book World, and has keynoted writing conferences such as The Muse & The Marketplace. She currently teaches digital media and publishing at the University of Virginia. Find out more.
Posted in Writing Advice.


  1. Thanks for sharing the Hubschman Blog containing writing gems,  I’ll be spending some time there.  Wishing you a great weekend!

  2. This can be a tricky area in writing but something I love doing.  It’s easy to overdo it but, if done right, can really enrich characters.  

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