How to Write Your First Novel

Writing your first novel might actually be fun. I’m serious. I know you’re terrified. It’s a scary thing to do. But, at the risk of sounding like I was raised...

Narrative Drive

“The purpose of narrative is to present us with complexity and ambiguity.” — Scott Turow If you’re rewriting and a point in your story feels flat, here are some questions...

Ten Signs of a Good Writing Instructor

Choosing a writing instructor is a big decision. They are not all created equal. Here are some guidelines and suggestions that may help you in making your decision.   1)...

Writing Tip: Ignore Conventional Wisdom

Many of you 90-day novelists are writing your first novel. If you’re not at least a little scared, you’re probably nuts. Every writing project involves surrendering what we thought we...

The Dilemma at the Heart of Your Story

The Dilemma at the Heart of Your Story

“Nothing is more desirable than to be released from an affliction, but nothing is more frightening than to be divested of a crutch.” -James Baldwin OK. We want to write...

Writers, The Time is Now

I know writers who have struggled for decades to complete their first novel. They work on their novel for a while, then get distracted, put it in a drawer, fish it out...

character suggests plot

Character Suggests Plot

“The beginning of a plot is the prompting of desire.” – Christopher Lehmann-Haupt Our idea of our screenplay or novel is never the whole story. As we inquire into the...

Getting Started On Writing Your First Novel

3 Secrets for Getting Started On Writing Your First Novel

Every writer struggles with getting the story from imagination to the page. The first-time novelist confronts the special challenge of having never done this before. Here are three quick tips...

act one: maintaining tension in your writing

Act One: Maintaining Tension

“A writer writes not because he is educated but because he is driven by the need to communicate. Behind the need to communicate is the need to share. Behind the...

dealing with fear

First-Time Novelists: Dealing with Fear

Many first-time novelists share a similar fear: “What will people think?” It looks slightly different for each writer. What will my parents think when they find out I have these thoughts?...