‘Writing’ Articles


Writer’s Digest Conference 2015: Top Quotes from Authors, Agents, and Industry Leaders

It’s impossible to sum up the 2015 Writer’s Digest Conference in a few words. This three-day event in New York City was jam-packed with presentations, panels, networking opportunities, and the sold-out Pitch Slam. The range of topics was staggering as well: character development, genre literature, query letters, publishing industry insights… In short, you’re guaranteed an… Continue Reading »

Writing for Kids: The Low-Down on Lexile Levels

Writing for Kids: The Low-Down on Lexile Levels

Some people imagine writing for kids and immediately picture Dr. Suess or baby board books. But the good news is you don’t have to use simple words to write for elementary kids if that’s not your style.  Go ahead and use rich, succulent vocabulary and varied sentence structure—please! There are plenty of kids who are… Continue Reading »


ThrillerFest: Bestselling Authors Talk Character Development

Character development was widely (if unsurprisingly) regarded as one of the foundational pillars of writing a good story among the many top-selling authors present at this year’s ThrillerFest. In fact, “character” was the first of Steve Berry’s “6 C’s of Story Structure.” As Dale Brown said, “What is character? The motivations that drive the story …… Continue Reading »


Developing Themes In Your Stories: Part 4 – Dialogue

So far in Developing Themes In Your Stories, we’ve covered character arcs, the story premise, and external conflict, which are all important building blocks for stories. Dialogue, however, is more of an interior design element. It adds color and life to a story and aids in the overall delivery. It’s also an excellent method for… Continue Reading »


#5OnFri: 5 Suggestions for Becoming an Excellent Writer

The blogosphere is full of advice for writers about self-promotion, building online relationships, self-branding, creating a platform, and more. But the truth is, if you ask most agents and editors what they’d most like to see from a new writer, the answer is almost always, “Great writing.” With that in mind, here are five ways to pursue excellence. 1…. Continue Reading »


ThrillerFest: The Writer’s Life

Over the course of this year’s ThrillerFest, the highs and lows of the writer’s life—both as a craft and as a business—were discussed at length. In one-on-one interviews with genre titans Mark Billingham, Charlaine Harris, and Thrillermaster Nelson DeMille, as well as in a number of breakout panels, many of the participating authors shared about… Continue Reading »


Writing Full Time: When Writing Is Your Life

Writing full time. Every writer’s fantasy, right? It’s our ultimate goal, isn’t it? Selling enough books to quit the day job. I’ve been testing the theory over the last four weeks on an extended break from my day job, and I have to confess, I’m not sure if it’s my ultimate fantasy anymore. I know…. Continue Reading »


Selling Short Stories, Part 1: Know Your Value

I just read Playing the Short Game, by Doug Smith.  It had some very valuable insight about the short story market.  Over the next few articles, I’ll be distilling some of his insights about short stories, as well as adding a few of my own.  This week I’ll be preparing the soil, so to speak,… Continue Reading »


#5OnFri: Five Reasons to Sign up NOW for #WICon2015

Happy almost Independence Day! I know it’s not Friday, but I was so excited to share this post, I couldn’t wait until tomorrow. Plus it’s a holiday week, so here’s our regular #5onFri column, this week on a Thursday. We’re deep into summer now, and everyone’s minds are on barbecues and beach trips. But here… Continue Reading »

amy bear

The Good News about “Bad Characters”

I have a confession to make.  My two daughters loved Junie B. Jones when they were little.  Adored that whole (giant) series by Barbara Park.  And I hated those books with a fiery passion. As a narrator, Junie B. was rude, impulsive and disobedient, with poor grammar and misspelled words to boot.  She was my… Continue Reading »

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