Resolving to Draw More

It’s a new year and maybe you made a resolution to draw more. Or to start drawing. Then, like most new year’s resolutions, the task overwhelmed you and you’ve already begun to dial back your expectations and replace your efforts at self-improvement with guilt and shame. Take a moment from beating yourself up to read/look… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Cutthroat Tips for Writing Killer Action

Scenes depicting violence may prove difficult for some writers, since our artistic medium lacks a visual component. We must work doubly hard to keep the audience invested through vivid descriptions and sharp pacing. Smart authors also aim for techniques that channel tension and elicit emotion. In this post, we’ll outline five tips to help achieve… Read more »

Ten Rules for Writing Killer Romance: Part Two

Hello Readers! If you missed the first article of this three-part series, check it out right here. The romance genre is unique in that writers follow a set of plot points and deep characterization to deliver an enticing story with an emotionally satisfying, happily ever after (HEA) ending. Let’s talk about how that is accomplished…. Read more »

Ask the Editor: Beat Sheet FTW!

Dear Editor, There’s something missing in my manuscript, and I can’t quite figure out what it is. But I know it’s missing. My beta-readers know it, too. I keep getting feedback that the pacing is off. I have tried outlining my story so that I know what’s there, but that’s not helping. What do I… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Ways to Create Writing Magic

Fiction writers have been called many things, but to me “magician” seems the best description. They dip into the black hat of their imagination and produce an endless variety of characters, situations, images, genres, events, and styles. The effect on readers is nothing less than magical, the reader also becoming a magician and an important… Read more »

Midpoints: Signpost Scene 7 and The Mirror Moment

Halfway through our stories (literally, the 50% mark), something absolutely remarkable happens. As we read through Act II, we’re moving along, enjoying the new obstacles that challenge your protagonist when *cue whipping sound* something BIG happens. In his book Super Structure, multi-bestselling author James Scott Bell questioned if there really was anything “unique” about the… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Tips on Writing Strong Plot Twists

From Agatha Christie to Alfred Hitchcock, plot twists have long been used to amuse and amaze us. But they’ve become so pervasive in recent fiction—especially in crime, thriller, and mystery novels—that readers have come not just to expect plot twists, but tire of them. Indeed, many twists these days are predictable, poorly structured, or simply… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Lessons from Legendary Writers

“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” — Isaac Newton I’m a big believer that there is no need to reinvent the wheel, and there is no need to blaze your own trail when many others have successfully walked the path before you. That’s not to… Read more »