How To Write About Family in Creative Nonfiction

In Hunger, Roxane Gay faces a litany of uncomfortable truths: the way we body shame, dismiss rape victims, and look to families who can sometimes increase the weight of our most private suffering when they don’t understand the entirety of the situation. Sometimes oversimplified as a memoir about gaining and losing weight, Hunger is so… Read more »

Five Movies About Master Writers

If you could ask Charles Dickens one question about writing, what would it be? Would you ask him how he thought up memorable character names such as Scrooge and Miss Havisham? Or, would you simply request to look over his shoulder, quill in hand, as he plots out “David Copperfield?” Thanks to filmmakers, who are… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Ways to Break the Rules and Make it Work

Writing a book is both exhilarating and terrifying. There will be times of blissful creative abundance and periods of deep wordless frustration. Surrounding yourself with a support network of family, friends, and other writers is vital to weathering the emotional storm of novel crafting. But what happens when our cheerleaders become hecklers? Kind words of… Read more »

Ask the Editor: How Do You End a Book?

I’m nearing the end of a novel–or, I’ve been nearing the end of a novel for some time–and each time I hit the 90k mark, I have an uncontrollable urge to throw the whole thing out and start over. (Uncontrollable as in, I already have. Several times.) Basically, I look back through the draft under… Read more »

Signpost Scenes — The Care Package

In my article last month, we discussed the first of James Scott Bell’s signpost scenes in his plotting masterpiece Super Structure: The Key To Unleashing The Power of Story. We went through how first chapters must incorporate some sort of disturbance that upsets the routine of the protagonist’s ordinary world. But readers won’t care about… Read more »

The Structure of Romance

There’s no one way to plot a romance. Everyone has their own system of structuring. Romancing the Beat by Gwen Hayes is a popular one many romance writers swear by. I’m not great at following anyone else’s mold. The way I work is making things up for myself, and finding the way I need to… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Types of Non-Fiction Freelancers Should Master

As a freelance writer, I have written for and on behalf of celebrities, CEOs, public companies, private businesses, newspapers, print magazines, online publications, startups, and regular Janes and Joes. One day my writing was voicing a C-level recruitment agency’s, the next I wrote for an online publication for professionals. Being a Jill-of-All-Trades is an understatement,… Read more »

Exploring Essay Writing: An Interview With Jayne English

I love to read essays. In my job as reference librarian, I sneak titles of single author essay collections or essay anthologies into as many reader’s advisory (RA) recommendations as I can. However, most readers choose the fiction I offer over the essays. Nobody ever seems to willingly admit they read essays. Doesn’t inspire us… Read more »

Six Ways To Know You’re Writing For The Long Haul

Confession time: I hit some potholes in my writing life this past year. Last spring, the novel I worked on for years went out on submission and wasn’t picked up, so my agent shelved it. In the fall, my agent read the novel I slaved over for most of 2017 and found some serious issues… Read more »