Category: Blog

How to Write a Novel: A 12-Step Guide

You’ve always wanted to write a novel. But something’s stopped you. Maybe you’ve tried before, only to get thirty pages in and lose steam because: Your story idea didn’t hold up You couldn’t You feared your writing wasn’t good enough You ran out of ideas and had no idea what to do next You may be surprised to know that even after writing over 190 books (two-thirds of those novels)…

A Writer’s Guide to Point of View

Budding writers often ask me: “How do I master Point of View?” The inability to grasp this concept is the most common problem I see in aspiring novelists. Veteran editor Dave Lambert says, “No decision you make will impact the shape and texture of your story more than your choice of Point of View.” So let’s straighten it out, shall we? After you read this post, you’ll know the crucial…

Book Writing Software to Help You Create, Organize, and Edit Your Manuscript

is no cakewalk. I ought to know—I’ve done it nearly 200 times. But plenty of quality tools now exist to help make this challenging process easier. The right book writing software can help you: Organize your writing Gain self-confidence Write more crisply Software writing programs you may want to check out: (Full disclosure: If you buy any of these, I get a small commission at no cost to you. But…

Personalizing Your Character’s Emotional Wound

Guest blog by: Becca Puglisi are tricky to write about. Abuse, betrayal, victimization, and the death of a loved one may exist in our characters’ pasts and so must be explored. But these are also real life events that cause damage to real people. So as I talk today about personalizing wounds for our characters, please know that I’m aware of the pain they cause in our world, and I…

4 Steps to a Writing Routine You Won’t Want to Break

Guest post by Emmanuel Nataf You’ve wanted to write a novel for ages, but can’t seem to ever find the time to start writing. Or maybe you’ve started and just keep hitting walls. Why? For most of us, the answer is that commitments like family, jobs, and life keep getting in the way. Or, it might be , and these obstacles are what you tell yourself are the issue. All…

How to Format Your Manuscript (Even If You Hate Computers)

Before an Acquisitions Editor or an Agent reads a word of your manuscript, they can tell if it’s properly formatted. That’s crucial. Why? It’s about more than looks. Sure, they’re going to decide on buying your work largely on the writing and market potential. So why is formatting so important? Any errors will have to be fixed before printing — which adds costs on their end. Poor formatting indicates that…

The Writer’s Guide to Creating the Plot of a Story

Great page-turning stories live or die by their plots. “I took the dog to the park” doesn’t interest me. “You won’t believe what happened when I took the dog to the park” interests me. I want to know what happened, so I’ll stick with you as long as your story holds me. To keep me turning the pages of , you need a plot that grabs me by the throat…

How to Get a Literary Agent (And Why You Need One)

Book publishing can be… Confusing Complicated Stressful Especially when you face it alone. But even I don’t try to by myself, despite having been an author, an editor, a publisher, and a writing coach over the last 45 years. That’s why I have an agent. To land a traditional publishing deal—where the publishing house pays you and takes 100% of the financial risk, you’ll need an agent, too. But know…

How To Publish a Book: My Ultimate Guide From 40+ Years of Experience

So you’ve finished writing your book—perhaps a lifelong dream—and now you want to get it published. Where do you go from here? You poured your heart and soul into the writing, and I hope you also spent countless hours editing and revising. Any seasoned expert will tell you: All writing is rewriting. Certainly the writing alone took months, maybe years. But you did something few people ever do: You finished…

Writing Groups: How To Find the Right One

When we writers spend hours alone at the keyboard, that isolation can get to even us introverts. The solution is to find a writers group—populated by like-minded fellow strugglers. I belong to three—one that meets in person and two that interact online, and I encourage members to find one or form their own. If you’re serious about your writing dreams, a writers group can help you fulfill them. Why? Writers…