Own Your Work

Just because you might be a first-time novelist, it doesn’t mean you’re not the authority over your work. No agent, publisher, or film producer knows more about the inner workings...

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)...