Participating in NaNoWriMo? Start Planning Now!

I stepped into Starbucks this morning and saw a sign for Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Although the weather isn’t exactly Autumn-crisp just yet, it was a stark reminder that Fall–with its themed drinks, sweaters and fantastic foliage–is upon us. For writers, that means NaNoWriMo is just around the corner. Are you participating this year? Here are… Read more »

Developing Themes In Your Stories: Part 8 – The Act I Choice

Shortly after a story’s inciting incident, the protagonist must make an important decision: either keep living as she always has, or become involved in the story’s main conflict. This choice, in terms of the three-act story structure, marks the transition between Act I and Act II. Some writers also call it the “point of no… Read more »

#5OnFri: Five Obsessions of Highly Effective Writers

In the three years since I started writing, I’ve written six novels, signed book contracts for two of them and published my first one this month. I’m contracted for two more books to be written in the next six months. I have no degrees in writing. I took one literature class in college (which is… Read more »

DIY MFA Street Team Roundup: Weeks 9-14

It’s July! Summer is in full swing, and the DIY MFA Street Team has been hard at work reading The Book and posting their reviews out into the world. If you were wondering what others think of The Book, make sure you check Goodreads, Amazon, B&, and iBooks. You won’t be disappointed. These past few… Read more »

#5OnFri: 5 Reasons to Write That Project Now

Recently I pitched an editor a blog post idea. When her acceptance popped into my email I did my usual cheer and happy dance. Ideas for the piece filled my brain. I plopped back in my chair and fired off my next question, “When would you like the piece?” The editor responded with a generous… Read more »

Twelve Lessons from The DIY MFA BOOK

I knew I was a devotee of Gabriela’s DIY MFA philosophy, but I didn’t know by how much until I read her book. I joined the team and started writing columns for the site a year and a half ago. My writing has gone a wild ride since then. When I started, I was a lowly… Read more »

#5OnFri: Five Reasons My Street Team is Amazing!

As writers, there’s a specific moment we all dream about. It’s the moment that motivates us and drives us to write our book in the first place. No, it’s not first holding a copy of our books in our own hands, though that’s a pretty great moment. It’s also not seeing our books on store… Read more »

How To Use Story Archetypes To Subvert Expectations

A few weeks ago while I browsed through the YA aisle in Barnes and Noble, I flipped through the Q&A section in the back of one of Lauren Oliver’s books. One of the things Oliver cited as inspiration for her popular Delirium trilogy was something she’d read that said all stories are either about love… Read more »