The Conscious Writer: Taking back your creative power

When a manuscript isn’t firing on all cylinders, there are so many ways to shift responsibility: Characters that run away with a life of their own. Plotting systems that strip nuance and meaning. Agents who press for writing to market. It’s not my fault, writers think; the characters (or this dumb outline, or my annoying Read more about The Conscious Writer: Taking back your creative power[…]

Publishing Options

Publishing options: Which one is right for you?

Today’s publishing options have changed since you first dreamed about getting your book into print. Most authors arrive on my editorial doorstep declaring their intentions of finding literary representation, with the caveat that “I’m open to self-publishing, I guess, if nothing else comes along.” Please don’t handicap yourself with such an indecisive start. Waffling over publishing options Read more about Publishing options: Which one is right for you?[…]

Half dozen

Prewriting: 6 parts of the writing process that aren’t writing

This article is about the parts of writing a novel that don’t involve writing. It’s not about the business side of being an author. It’s not about book design and production. It’s also not about book marketing or promotion. This article is about the process of getting your story onto the page, and a lot Read more about Prewriting: 6 parts of the writing process that aren’t writing[…]

Memoir

How to Begin Writing Memoir

Many authors are first called to writing by the lure of memoir. Exploring the interior of one’s own life is heady stuff. And in a world held at arm’s length by Covid-19, bestselling memoirs (Wild, Becoming, Educated …) have captured the imaginations of readers eager to bridge gaps and slip into someone else’s shoes. New Read more about How to Begin Writing Memoir[…]

Productivity for authors

Productivity for Fiction Writers: Small strategies to keep you inching along

Stories demand so much from us. Taking apart the engine of a story and putting it together—that’s hard work, my friends. Much as your brain tugs at the knots of your story while you’re in the shower, or at the kitchen sink, or in the car, I too worry and fret over your stories. That Read more about Productivity for Fiction Writers: Small strategies to keep you inching along[…]

Keep the flame burning: Querying your novel

How long should you query your manuscript?

The decision on how long to query your manuscript can’t be determined by a formula. There’s always the chance that your very next query will knock at the right door at the right time to generate that singular confluence of fortunate events resulting in emails and phone calls and contracts and publication. But let’s face Read more about How long should you query your manuscript?[…]

Momentum for writers

Keep It Rolling: Writing momentum hacks for authors

We’re all familiar with the idea of getting the ideas on the page first, then revising and polishing later. You’ll spin your wheels endlessly if you indulge your desire to polish every chapter, every scene, and every line before moving on the next. Finish first, fiddle later. There’s more to succeeding at this than Herculean Read more about Keep It Rolling: Writing momentum hacks for authors[…]

Build your writing habit

Productivity for Fiction Writers: Giving yourself the opportunity to write

When writing is a habit and not merely a goal, tackling a creative project as large as a novel becomes manageable. Despite everything happening in the world today, writing can serve as your refuge if it’s something you’re used to turning to in your daily routine. Build your writing habit When writing is a habit Read more about Productivity for Fiction Writers: Giving yourself the opportunity to write[…]

The Editing Podcast

The Editing Podcast’s 18 writing blogs for editors and authors

Just look at this lineup of writing craft blogs and resources for authors and editors from Louise Harnby and Denise Cowle of The Editing Podcast. Denise and Louise are two pro editors in the UK who help authors publish better books. I’m honored to be listed among these leading resources for writers and editors. Among Read more about The Editing Podcast’s 18 writing blogs for editors and authors[…]

Best books for writers

Updated for 2020: Best books for writers

Updated for 2020: Best books for writers of fiction It’s been a stressful year to try to write a novel. It feels easier for many authors to step back from their own pages and reframe their thinking. How do experienced authors go about developing a concept into a novel? What are turning points and what Read more about Updated for 2020: Best books for writers[…]