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.

Chang Kim of Tapas Media

A New Platform for Serialized Work: Tapas Media

For years, serialization has been discussed as a significant area of opportunity for reading and publishing in the digital age. (And note to the sticklers out there: I’m using the terms serial and serialization interchangeably to refer to any situation where content is parceled out in small bites and delivered on a specific schedule, whether the […]

Image of colorful typewriter by Ralph Aichinger / via Flickr

Begin Your Novel with Action: A Good Rule?

You’ve probably heard the adage that you must begin your novel with action—even if it’s not the main action of the book. While this rule is fairly well-accepted in fiction teaching circles, not everyone agrees with it.

How to Plot and Outline Without Using a Formula

When we talk about plot as separate from the characters, the symbols, the locales, the dialogue, and the philosophical introspection, what we are doing is privileging events over everything else. But nothing exists in a vacuum.

How to Tell If Your Story Idea Is Mediocre—And How to Improve It

Note from Jane: Today’s guest post is adapted from The Writer’s Advantage: A Toolkit for Mastering Your Genre by Laurie Scheer (@mediagoddess213). So you think your idea for a new vampire novel is a good one? Think again. Nine times out of ten, your idea is really quite mediocre and has been done before, actually a […]

Page One

Why Editors Focus on Page One

Editors can tell within a couple pages if a manuscript will be acceptable to them. How? What makes this decision so clear to an editor and so muddy to an author?

Wired for Story by Lisa Cron

The Reader Must Want to Know What Happens Next

Today’s post is excerpted from Wired for Story by Lisa Cron, just released from Ten Speed Press. We think in story. It’s hardwired in our brain. It’s how we make strategic sense of the otherwise overwhelming world around us. Simply put, the brain constantly seeks meaning from all the input thrown at it, yanks out […]