by Ryan Lanz
Has anyone ever told you that you have an architect or gardener style of plotting?
There are all sorts of names for styles of plotting. Another set is pantser/plotter, although those terms never seemed to feel right for me. Both styles have various pros and cons, neither being right or wrong. Each method also has certain strengths and weaknesses, which we’ll go over later in this post.
So which are you? Let’s dive in.
Continue reading Discover Your Story Plotting Style
by Diane Laney Fitzpatrick
We writers all have our heroes. Depending on your genre, personal taste, and even reading experiences that go back as far as grade school, your writing hero might be Edgar Allen Poe or Tolkien, Hemingway or Jane Austen, Mark Twain or James Patterson.
But ask a humor writer to list his role models and you’ll almost certainly find Erma Bombeck.
Continue reading The 3 Steps to Writing Humor: Channeling Erma
by Doug Lewars
Book reviews are a fact of life. If it’s your book being reviewed, they’re nice if they’re positive and decidedly unpleasant if they’re negative. Every book is going to have a few negative reviews. That’s a fact of life because people are different, have different interests, enjoy different things, and will relate to your work in different ways.
Continue reading This Criteria Makes For a Good Book Review
by Meg Dowell
Sometimes, writing less leads to deeper, more creative thinking.
Have you ever wondered how some writers manage to write thousands of words every day — while you can barely squeeze out 500 words after an hour of trying (and failing) to focus? How do so many successful writers publish so much — even though one success could carry their careers for years?
These are the habits of writers who cannot stop, who refuse to stop, who somehow do this writing thing and don’t suffer creative burnout in the process.
Continue reading 13 Habits of Ridiculously Prolific Writers
by Michael Mohr
One of the toughest things to do in fiction or creative nonfiction writing, in my professional opinion, is to create strong, believable tension. Without tension—between the protagonist and a villain, the protagonist and him/herself, the protagonist and the environment, etc—you really don’t have much of a story. And it’s unlikely readers will want to follow you far through the jungle of your narrative.
Continue reading Creating Tension in Fiction and Memoir
by Ryan Lanz
For some writers, editing strikes fear into their hearts. Okay, perhaps not fear, but some discomfort. At least a stomach ache, right?
Before you reach for the antacids, let’s discuss the different methods of editing and introduce some ways that might make it less intimidating.
Continue reading What’s Missing From Your Self-Editing
by Allison Maruska
A subgroup of writers (myself included) proclaim they are pantsers, meaning they write by the seat of their pants with little planning beforehand. But even pantsters have to do some planning. In fact, it would be more accurate to call ourselves plantsers.
Planning is taking an initial idea and developing it into a cohesive premise that makes a story. Plot points, conflict, and characters have to be decided. You pretty much have to know the beginning, middle, and end of a story before the draft starts. The difference between planners and plantsers is how many smaller details are decided beforehand.
Continue reading Where Writers Get Stuck: Planning
by Lauren Sapala
In order to be a successful writer in today’s online world there are certain things you have to do.
If you want to get your name out there then you have to play the game in a certain way.
The internet offers limitless possibilities and it is up to you to choose which ones work for you.
One of the statements above is true, and the other two are false. Can you tell which is which? I’ll give you a hint: look for the words “have to.” Whenever you hear the words “have to” your red flag radar should start bleeping at you that something is off.
Continue reading Are You a Writer Who Hates to Blog? You’re Not Alone (And How It’s Not the End of the World)
by Andrea Lundgren
Personally, I like fitting endings even more than happy ones. Sure, it’s nice to know that the characters you’ve read about succeed. When you’ve invested time and emotional energy, you enjoy it when they make it out of their troubles and gain the victory they’ve sought for so long, but I don’t like false endings. I don’t like endings that feel fake, as though the author pulled some strings with the fictional higher powers to give the characters the ending they wanted, rather than what they deserved.
Continue reading How to Write an Ending That Fits Your Story
There’s only two more days (almost one day now) left to participate in the current creative writing contest.
I know there are many of you finishing up your story to submit tomorrow. Even if it’s not perfect, I encourage you to submit. You can’t win if you don’t enter.
Keep in mind that the prizes total $250 in cash and over $3,200 in prizes. Check the link here for more information:
Good luck everyone!