Plot Twisting Techniques for Horror and Thriller Novels

Plot Twisting Techniques for Horror and Thriller Novels

Well-crafted plot twists have the power to leave readers breathless, reeling with shock and excitement, their impact lingering long after the story’s been read. And nowhere are they more important than in horror and thriller fiction. Keeping our genre readers guessing and on the edge of their seats is absolutely crucial to our success. A… Read more »

Is Your Romance Novel Circling the Drain?

Is Your Romance Novel Circling the Drain?

You wrote an amazing romance novel. Your book cover is dy-no-mite, and your back cover blurb is jump-up-and-slap-your-Pappy enticing! You hooked up with IngramSpark to give your book global distribution, plus, it’s available on Amazon. But you have near ZERO sales. What went wrong? I’m guessing you failed to promote your book. Promoting your book… Read more »

A Template for Asking for an Editor

A Template for Asking for an Editor

I’m in a few writers’ groups on Facebook, and at least once a day, I see someone posting that they need an editor. Social media is a powerful tool for connecting writers with qualified editors. And I’m totally an advocate for using it—correctly. Unfortunately, most of the posts asking for editors get bombarded with responses… Read more »

Leisure Learning, August 2023: Keeping It Old School

Leisure Learning, August 2023: Keeping It Old School

Happy Sunday, Leisure Learners!! While school is literally always open here at DIY MFA, September has a special feel for passionate learners like ourselves. That sparkle filled with notebooks and pens and elevated thoughts enters the ether as we put aside the beachy reads and fall in love once again with our most substantial literary… Read more »

A Down and Dirty Guide to Short Fiction

A Down and Dirty Guide to Short Fiction

What Is A Short Story?  For the most part, a short story is most often defined by word count (1,000 – 7,500 words) and the complexity of the story. It’s easiest to define a short story by comparing it to longer forms of fiction, such as novels. Short stories generally have a fewer number of… Read more »

When Publishing Drives You Batty

When Publishing Drives You Batty

One of the definite downsides to living in the boonies is the wildlife. I mean, it’s great and all, but not when it’s totally batty, winging through my house emitting sonic shrieks. Yep. We’ve got actual, real-life bats, and despite having an exterminator tamp down every possible access point, somehow it’s a common occurrence. My… Read more »

Cozy to Cold-Blooded: Puzzle Mysteries

Cozy to Cold-Blooded: Puzzle Mysteries

I find it very difficult to name a favorite type of mystery, but it just might be puzzle mysteries. They scratch a cognitive itch. Solving them, whether in a book, an app, or a video game, feels so satisfying. Plus, they’re just fun.  In the past, some leveled the criticism that puzzle mysteries lacked in… Read more »

Book Coach Corner: Plan Your Novel with the Pitch in Mind

Book Coach Corner: Plan Your Novel with the Pitch in Mind

Regardless of how good your story idea is, how great your writing is, or how powerful your manuscript is, you must get past the gatekeepers of traditional publishing before an agent will read a single page of your manuscript… and hopefully fall in love with your story. Two of those gatekeepers are the query and… Read more »

Hey, Writer, Do You Really Need All that World Building?

Hey, Writer, Do You Really Need All that World Building?

There is nothing more fun than building a world from scratch. Entire magic systems, new technology, alternate timelines, fascinating characters… And you, and only you, make the rules for your world: what creatures exist there? How does physics work (or not work)? Where in time does your world take place? We introverts are stuck in… Read more »