Three Steps to an Outline That Works for You

In a blog post dated April 2013, about a month before his New York Times bestseller The Fifth Wave hit shelves, Rick Yancey listed four reasons not to be a writer. His second was “Failure is guaranteed.” Here’s what he had to say: “You have to come to terms with your own loser-ness. I do this by looking at… Read more »

Ask Becca: Three Ways To Pump Up Your Word Count

“How do you write so much? I can’t seem to get much more than 20,000 words on my novel so far!” – Devon A. H. If you had to choose between quantity and quality, I’m guessing most of you would choose quality. So, you spend about a year writing, angsting and revising—and that’s all just… Read more »

Plotter or Pantser? Can’t We All Just Get Along?

I think we all have a romantic notion of the author springing from his bed, crying “Eureka!” and scribbling furiously some wonderful new idea that has just been beamed into his head like an alien. I like this idea. I like to exploit this idea. I carry around a Moleksine notebook. Who doesn’t, these days?… Read more »

What Makes a Good Setting for a Story?

The end of May, the tenth book in my AGAINST series, AGAINST THE WILD, is being released.  This is the first of three books about the rugged Brodie brothers of Alaska. Being plot-oriented, I usually work through the story from start to finish, then figure out where the best place is going to be for… Read more »

DIY MFA Weekend Writing Sprint — May 2014

Have you been talking about finishing that draft but never seem to find the time to do it? Is there a story you’ve been dying to write but somehow life always gets in the way? Don’t worry, we’ve been there and we totally get how you feel. This is why DIY MFA is hosting another Writing… Read more »

Ask Becca: So What is High Concept, Anyway?

I recently got a rejection saying that the agent was looking for a more “high-concept” story. What the heck does that mean, and how can I get a high concept of my very own?                                 -Out of Ideas Here are some explanations of high concept that I’ve heard: “High concept is an old story with… Read more »

Image in the World Around You

The world around you is a busy place, but as a writer you might also think of it as a feast. Your senses awake to a buffet of images every morning. Just take breakfast, for example: the steaming scrambled eggs awash with butter lounging on a bed of toast like fluffy yellow gods. These indignant… Read more »

What Does Your Right Brain Want You To Know?

As creative people, we look at the way our right brains work, and think we’re alone in that. We think we’re the only people who have certain ways of working or certain problems in our work. Believing you’re alone,that it’s “just you” and “just the way you work” can hold you back. When you understand what’s… Read more »

Ask Becca: The 3 Deadly Symptoms of Self-Doubt

“How can I gain confidence as a writer?” – Wendy L. Your parents have been lying to you. There is a monster under the bed. And its name is Self-Doubt. Self-Doubt is sneaky. It starts out like a small, niggling sticky note with a week-old due date: I really should submit to that writing contest…. Read more »