Articles

The Easiest Writing Tip Ever

by Rainy Kaye - This writing tip will take about two minutes of your time. Ready? Write your sentences in chronological order. Read here...

10 Problems with Story Endings

by Marg McAlister - Here's a subject that is bound to generate plenty of discussion in any group of writers: "What kind of endings do you hate?" We've all been there. We've read a book that engages us all the way through...until we get to the end. Unbelievably, the author has let us down. Let's examine 10 causes of 'reader deflation' at the end of a book. Read here...

Characters With Personality

by Marg McAlister - Characters are so important to the success of a novel that I am sometimes amazed by the lack of thought writers give to (a) character creation and (b) the way they introduce those characters. Read here...

Effective Character Description

by Marg McAlister - Why is it that, despite our best efforts, sometimes our characters STILL don't come to life? If you're having difficulty, part of the problem could be the way you describe your character. Read here...

Creative Nonfiction - Opportunities Abound

by Kerri Lane - What most authors don't realise is that it is easier to get non-fiction published than it is to get fiction published. Non-fiction also outsells fiction by almost two to one. Take a look around your local bookstore. Check out how much space is devoted to fiction and compare that to non-fiction. Read here...

Suspending Disbelief

by Vicki Hinze - What does a writer do when a novel contains an element that requires a serious suspension of disbelief? How exactly does the writer incorporate that element so that the reader buys into the premise?
Read here...

What Can I Add?

by Jenna Glatzer - After brainstorming a great new idea for a nonfiction book, one of the most important questions to ask yourself is "What can I add to this topic?" Read here...

Writing is Revising

by Samantha Hunter - I forget who said this, but they were spot on. If you want to be a writer, you will find revision is one of the major processes you'll have to get used to. Nothing ever gets written perfectly the first time, and something can always be tweaked or re-organized, focused or elaborated. Read here...

Handling Multiple POVs

by Vicki Hinze - Consider this: When you are in a character's point of view, the reader is inside that character's head. Every time you change point of view, the reader has to get inside another character's head. That generates psychic distance between the characters and the reader. Too much distance, or too many point of view changes, and the reader doesn't attach to the character. Read here...

Ten Common Mistakes of Beginners

by Rita Herron - Are you making these common writing mistakes of beginners? Not enough conflict, cardboard characters, too much narrative, head hopping...?
Read here...

Elements of a Scene

by Vicki Hinze - Every scene carries the burden and blessing of advancing the story. If it doesn't, then it shouldn't be there. Read here...

40+ Ways to Make Your Next Book Signing an EVENT!!

by Larry James - If you have a book and make special appearances at book stores you "must" read this article. Read here...

Sagging Middles

by Vicki Hinze - When you start writing a story, you begin in this fireball burst of enthusiasm. You usually know the beginning and end. Itís how to get from beginning to end that stumps you—what actually happens. Thatís the middle. And if youíre not careful, itíll sag under the weight of the story. Read here...

Scenes and Structure

by Marg McAlister - Beginning writers often tend to think of a book as a series of chapters. It's actually more useful to regard it as a series of linked scenes. Why? Because it makes it a lot easier to control the pace of your story. Read here...

Plotting & Characterization: Always Ask "Why?"

by Marg McAlister - Iíve seen hundreds of plots, thousands of scenes, millions of words. And if I had to give writers one piece of advice after seeing all those millions of words, it would be this: always ask "WHY?" Read here...

Stepping Out of Character - Point of View Made Simple

by Marg Gilks - You don't have to tell your entire tale from the POV of only one character, but each character who takes up the mantle of POV should have their very own scene or scene segment--not merely one paragraph or one sentence within a scene, but a scene devoted wholly to that character's POV.
Read here...

Point of View

by Pam McCutcheon - Switching POVs (called head hopping) is done far too frequently. It feels like watching a tennis match--with the reader's head as the ball. In my opinion, it's lazy writing. A good writer can show the other character's feelings by their actions, facial expressions, tone of voice, and dialogue. Read here...

Back Story: Too Much, Too Soon?

by Cynthia VanRooy - You have three pages to interest the editor/reader in your novel. Donít waste them on backstory. Throw the reader right into the action. Read here...

Common Writing Mistakes - Are These Holding You Back From Writing Success?

by Marg McAlister - There are writers who may never see their work in print. The reason? They are making one or more writing mistakes that will cause an editor to toss their writing aside. Here are some of the most common writing mistakes. Read through them to see if there's a clue here about what might be stopping you from getting a 'yes'!
Read here...

Conflict

by Vicki Hinze - The best "author tip" on handling conflict I know: Find the main character's Achilles' heel (the root source of his/her internal conflict) and stomp it (external conflict). Read here...

Ten Mistakes Writers Don't See
(But Can Easily Fix When They Do)

by Patricia Holt - The list also could be called, "10 Common Problems That Dismiss You as an Amateur," because these mistakes are obvious to literary agents and editors, who may start wording their decline letter by page 5. What a tragedy that would be. Read here...

POV or: Whose Head Am I In Anyway?

by Cynthia VanRooy - Every time you shift the reader from one character to another, they are jarred out of their suspension of disbelief and reminded they arenít actually living in the fictional world youíve created; theyíre only reading a story. Do that often enough and theyíll stop reading your story. Read here...

Reasons Why Editors Reject Manuscripts

by Vicki Hinze - Did you receive another rejection letter? Here are the major reasons cited by industry professionals. Learn how to rid your work of those infractions or troublespots. Read here...

Eight Ways to Tighten Your Prose

by Michele R. Bardsley - Strengthen your writing by tightening your prose. Here are eight tips to help you do just that. Read here...

Titles That Sell

by Marg McAlister - Why is it that a good title is so hard to find? Here are some handy tips on how you might come up with the perfect title: one that will 'sell' your story to both the editor and your readers. Read here...

How To Avoid Viewpoint Slips

by Marg McAlister - Many writers don't really understand what it means to stay true to one character's viewpoint. They'll write a scene in which the point of view fluctuates wildly from one character to another. Some readers find this intensely annoying and toss the book aside. Others will merely have a sense that something isn't quite right, even though they can't specify why. Bottom line: if you slip out of viewpoint, you disturb your reader. Learn how you can prevent this... Read here...

The Prologue - When to Use One, How to Write One

by Marg McAlister - Let's face it: some prologues shouldn't be there at all. Does your novel need a prologue or not? And if it does... how do you write one? Read here...

Creating Unforgettable Characters

by Vicki Hinze - Has someone along the way in your writing career called your story people, "cardboard characters?" One-dimensional? Stick-people? Underdeveloped? Stereotypical? If so, and you didn't deliberately intend that they be, then you can see the benefit in refreshing or revising your approach to character development.
Read here...

Show Not Tell: What the Heck is That Anyway?

by Shirley Jump - We've all heard the phrase "Show, don't tell" but may not know what it means or how to do it. It's one of those elusive things that seem impossible to capture, even harder to get down on paper. However, there are a few tricks of the trade that can help.
Read here...

Narrative vs Exposition

by Vicki Hinze - If youíre confused about the difference between narrative and exposition, donít worry. Most writers use the terms synonymously. Both are portions of the work/scene that are engaging but non-active. The author's telling versus showing. Read here...

Punctuating Dialogue

by Marg Gilks - Punctuation in dialogue can be particularly intimidating. Now you're constructing sentences in which characters are speaking sentences of their own! Where do all those punctuation marks go? Read here...

What is Point of View (POV)?

by Vicki Hinze - It is the perspective through which readers will experience the story. From the inception of the story idea, the writer makes story-telling choices. She chooses characters, plot, setting, theme-and how best to depict them. The writer also chooses who is best to depict specific story elements. That 'who' defines the POV character. Read here...

Bullet-Proof Your Manuscript

by Vicki Hinze - When asked, a group of editors from top publishing houses responded that the following are the most often seen mechanical errors in works submitted by authors. Removing them from your work greatly enhances your potential for publication--and strengthens your writing skills. Read here...

Edit What You Write Else Trash It

by Bob McElwain - Copy that has not been edited is not going to be read. Before sending your work to anybody, either hire an editor or do it yourself. Here's my approach to the latter. Read here...

Ready, Set, Go Sell Your Book In The Real World!

by Mary Holzrichter - We hear a lot these days about more books actually being sold 'outside' the traditional bookstore. Get out of that chair; try some of these non-traditional ideas for selling your book. Start small, think big!
Read here...

Never, Ever Release Any Of Your Rights To Anyone

by Bob McElwain - Authors who do so may being making a great mistake. Here is the why of it. Read here...

How to Win the Grammar Game

by Judy Vorfeld - Are you one of the many bright people who speaks well but has trouble with the mechanics of writing? Does it matter? If you're speaking, perhaps not. If you're writing, it may matter. You can win the grammar game! Read here...

Note: Feel free to use these articles so long as the resource box is included.

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