One Thing Readers Hate

One thing readers hate are coincidences. Sure, coincidences occur in our lives every day, but in a story, they are generally a problem. Readers lose interest when coincidence leans in...

Take Risks

Writing your first novel is sort of like, well — there’s a first time for everything. It’s scary and exciting, and you’re not quite sure if you’re doing it right....

Third Acts are a Bitch: Reframing the Protagonist’s Goal

“Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we...

How to Become a First-Time Author

The journey to becoming a first-time author is different for everyone. For me, it involved letting go of the idea that I’d ever get published. I know this sounds counter-intuitive,...

Conventional Wisdom

If you’re not at least a little scared writing your first novel, you’re probably nuts. Every writing project involves surrendering what we thought we knew. It’s a humbling process. The...

Banishing Redundancies

redundant: 1 a: exceeding what is necessary or normal : superfluous b : characterized by or containing an excess; specif : using more words than necessary. Redundancy is not only...

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...