#5OnFri: Five Books To Help You Craft a Stronger Narrative

It’s November and for thousands of writers across the globe, that means one thing: National Novel Writing Month. Also known as NaNoWriMo, the month of November sends novelists into a frenzy of story crafting, their aim a 50,000 word draft in 30 days. Fingers fly across keyboards, and characters magically come to life on the… Read more »

#5onFri – Five Spooky Picture Books

Whether it’s carving pumpkins, visiting haunted houses or planning your costume, the month of October is stuffed full of Halloween. Kids and adults alike get excited to dress up for trick or treating, parades and parties. In fact, Halloween is turning into a month-long celebration of everything spooky, creepy and fun. Here are five picture books we’ve… Read more »

#5onFri — Medical Narratives: Books for the Medical Mind

At the very thought of “medical books” or books about diseases and other health afflictions, we often think of probing, unemotional texts filled with technical verbiage and doctors studying sick humans as if they were machines with a few broken gears. And maybe some are like that. But there are also medical narratives that put medicine into… Read more »

#5onFri — Five Multiple Perspective Novels That “Work”

While in the process of nudging my first novel toward publication, I gave it to a bestselling nonfiction author to read. Although he gave me some excellent advice, he prefaced his list of edits with this: “You need to change your point of view. Multiple perspectives never work in novels.” It was like someone was… Read more »

#5onFri — Five Books to Read if You Loved Game of Thrones

For many readers, Game of Thrones is the first foray into the magical world of epic fantasy novels. It’s also the first introduction to the phrase: “The sequel is coming,” and the corresponding question: WHEN???? The Winds of Winter is, in fact, coming (or so Mr. Martin says), but as it’s likely it will be… Read more »

Ask Becca: So What is New Adult, Anyway?

“I just heard about this new thing called ‘New Adult.’ What is it and what’s the difference between NA and YA?” – Somewhere Between Young and New I remember in my day there was no such thing as New Adult. None of this transitional jibber-jabber. One day you’re an adolescent and the next day you’re… Read more »

#5onFri: Books That Challenged Me to Start DIY MFA

Welcome to our first official installment of #5onFri or “Five on Friday.” This is a weekly column by members of the DIY MFA community, showcasing books (and other writerly things) that we love. Got an idea for a #5onFri? Submit it as a guest post pitch. To kick off our #5onFri series, first I thought I’d share… Read more »

A Chinese Perspective on Western Books: Part II

As an American-born Chinese, I grew up in a small, southern town in North Carolina and spent my summers off in Shanghai, China. In our house, when my sister and I weren’t watching Nickelodeon, we were watching Chinese dramas like Huan Zhu Ge Ge, or “Return of the Pearl Princess.” Even though I couldn’t understand… Read more »

New Spin: Thumbs Up for “Fakebook”

What would you do if you followed updates on Facebook about a close friend who quit his job, traveled to the west and got tangled up in all sorts of mischief (including getting kidnapped by a religious cult and train hopping with a farmer’s daughter) – only to find out the whole thing was a… Read more »