magnetic attraction

How to Attract a Readership Based on Concept Alone

Ultimately, concept is far less important than character when it comes to determining the overall quality of your story, but your audience is attracted to your story based on your concept alone. Does your concept have what it takes to draw people in?

multiple viewpoints

Using Multiple Points of View: When and How Is It Most Effective?

Some stories require greater scope, more voices, or a different context than can be delivered through the eyes of one protagonist. When you find this to be the case, consider using multiple viewpoints. However, you must think about several factors before launching into this greater undertaking.

hiring a pro editor

Should You Hire a Professional Editor?

But being able to truly see if you’ve been successful in writing a compelling work requires objectivity and distance than can be hard to achieve on your own—and this is where a professional editor comes in.

how to find publishers and agents

How to Find Publishers

If you have a book idea or manuscript, one of your first questions is probably: How do I find a publisher? Here are the most popular, essential resources.

keys to great writing

A Key to Great Writing: Make Every Word Count

If I could teach only one key to great writing, it would be this: Make every word count. Recognize the power of a single, well-chosen word. Trust it to do its work. As a rule, the more economically you use language, the more powerfully you will deliver your message.

believable chain of events

Building a Believable Chain of Events in Your Novel

Every action in your novel should be justified by the intersection of setting, context, pursuit, and characterization. They all need to make sense. They all need to fit. If you have to explain why something just happened, you’re telling the story backward.

The Complete Guide to Query Letters

This post was originally published in 2014; it is regularly updated with new information. If you’re seeking one-on-one help with queries, I offer a critique service. The stand-alone query letter has one purpose, and one purpose only: to seduce the agent or editor into reading or requesting your work. The query letter is so much of a […]

Deliberate practice

If You Just Keep Writing, Will You Get Better?

Author and writing expert Barbara Baig discusses the lessons about deliberate practice that writers might take away from Anders Ericsson’s book Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise.

How to Use a Plot Planner

A plot planner enables you to keep the larger picture of your story in full view as you concentrate on writing individual scenes.

A time-lapse photo of peopl milling about an interior with stairs and an escalator.

How Writers Can Craft an Effective Setting

Setting is often an afterthought when writing a scene, but it can affect characterization, tension, pacing—and more. Bestselling author Mary Buckham shows how to create effective descriptions for any type of narrative.

A portrait of Heather Hale with the quote: "Some writing is therapy. And probably doesn't ever need to be read by anyone but you."

5 On: Heather Hale

Heather Hale discusses the top five mistakes screenwriters make, the usefulness of online script databases, and how to approach a first screenwriting contract.

E-Book Publishing 101

How to Publish an Ebook: Resources for Authors

About the only thing that remains constant in ebook publishing is that it changes—everything from the services to marketing strategies. Here, I’ve attempted to round-up all the good resources I know of related to (1) learning to publish an ebook, (2) finding the right e-publishing services, and (3) staying on top of changes in the industry. […]