But That is What Really Happened

“Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson In writing fiction we inevitably come to that moment that is lifted directly from our real life. Fidelity to real...

How Do I Begin?

“A novel’s whole pattern is rarely apparent at the outset of writing or even at the end; that is when the writer finds out what a novel is about and...

The True Nature of Our Characters

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin Good writing is a...

Backstory

“The past is prologue.” – William Shakespeare   When we are feeling stuck, it is inevitably because some part of our backstory is unclear. Backstory refers to what happened before...

Staying Connected to the Source

“To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination.” – Albert Einstein The rewrite uses the left and right brain simultaneously. We’re...

Humor in Tragedy

If you’re going to write a tragedy, infuse your story with humor. Humor pulls us towards the characters and makes us care. It also ensures that your ending will resonate....

Conflating Characters

  Sometimes we’ve written characters that don’t belong in our story because their function is redundant. The character may be engaged in conflict that doesn’t add anything new to the...

Building Sentences

“You become a good writer just as you become a good joiner: by planing down your sentences.” – Anatole France   There are no rules that limit the length of...

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...

The Great American Novel

Every American writer secretly dreams of writing the “Great American Novel.” What is the Great American Novel? It’s a book that captures the zeitgeist, that taps into something intrinsic to...