Writing Tip: For Hassle-Free Fiction, Word Counts Matter

Here’s a quick writing tip: if you’re writing fiction, start by deciding how many words your novel, novella, or serial needs. For efficient writing, deciding on a word count eliminates many uncertainties. As you may know, I mentor authors. Last week, an author contacted me about her romantic mystery. After writing a few thousand words, she was ready to give … Read more

More Fiction Exercises To Try If You’re Not In The Mood To Write

Inspiration and motivation are short-lived. Fiction exercises help when you’re unmotivated, or think everything you’ve written is pure junk. Perhaps you’ve developed a resistance to writing: you may be avoiding a scene you know will be emotionally challenging; or you’re doubting your plot. Try the two exercises below, but consider creating your own exercises too—create your own collection. Fiction exercises: … Read more

Writing Fiction: Start (And Finish) Your Next Novel The Easy Way

You may love writing fiction, but chances are that you have challenges. Perhaps you begin many more novels and stories than you finish. It’s a common challenge—your hard drives may be packed with unfinished fiction. Although that’s fine—you can begin stories just for fun—it’s unwise to make it a habit. Recently a frustrated writing student who’s starting her self-publishing career … Read more

Serial Fiction: 5 Reasons To Write A Serial And Publish Faster

A popular question: is it hard to write serial fiction? In a word… No. In many ways, it’s much easier to write a serial than it is to write a novel. For example: we’ve discussed hitting the dreaded wall in fiction—you’ll be pleased that there’s no wall with serials. Overall, serials tend to cause far less stress and confusion than … Read more

Writing Fiction Using Characterization Tricks: Killer, Saint, Idiot?

When you’re writing fiction, your characters are everything. “Plot” is what your characters do. Since characterization is so vital, let’s look at simple ways to get characters clear in your own mind… So you can make them real to readers. I’ve been rereading Anthony Trollope, just for his characters. He’s masterful at characterization. Not only do you believe in his … Read more