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Craft. Inspiration. Process.

Reframe the Protagonist's Goal

Reframing Your 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 must be saved by...
How to Become a First-Time Author

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. The temptation to...
How to Write Your First Novel

How to Write Your First Novel

Writing your first book 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 on a Portland commune, that fear is just...
Narrative Drive

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 you can ask yourself: 1) What...
Ten Signs of a Good Writing Instructor

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) Qualifications: Do they...
Writers The Time is Now

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 distractions come along. They put it in a drawer, fish it out a few years later...
Dealing with Fear

First-Time Novelists: Dealing with Fear

Many first-time writers 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? What will my...
Opportunities in Self-Publishing

Opportunities in Self-Publishing

  The goal of every first-time novelist or memoirist is to see their book between covers. The paradox is that when we make this goal more important than the story, we tend to find ourselves...
The Internet: A Writer's Worst Distraction

The Internet: A Writer’s Worst Distraction

Sometimes the deeper we get into our story, the more we seek distraction. The internet will suck the life out of any writer. It will turn the most disciplined among us into bug-eyed addicts. Not only...
The Theme of the Story

The Theme of the Story

  Shakespearean plays begin with the chorus telling us what we are about to see. They don’t tell us the whole plot but rather provide a context for the events that are about to follow. That is...
Making Time to Write

Making Time to Write

  If you’re writing your first novel, you’re probably wondering how other writers ever make the time to write. We’re all busy. We have day jobs, families, therapists, that plumbing issue that...
Overcoming Writer's Block

Overcoming Writer’s Block

It’s not just first-time writers that get stuck. Every writer, except Stephen King, experiences writer’s block. Writer’s block is often an absence of information. The information can be related to...
What is My Title?

What is My Title?

Those scant few words on the cover of our book or screenplay can be the most labor-intensive work of our entire manuscript. Coming up with a good title can be a bitch. We may have a working title, a...
Writing Fiction: Letting Go of Our Story

Writing Fiction: Letting Go of Our Story

“Danger lies in the writer becoming the victim of his own exaggeration, losing the exact notion of sincerity, and in the end coming to despise truth itself as something too cold, too blunt for his...
The Rewrite

The Rewrite

  The first draft is about diving into the unknown, invoking the muse, and writing from our right brains. The next step, the rewrite, is about switching gears. Basically, it is about becoming...

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