Writing Fiction: The Big Question — Characters First, Or Plot First?

When you’re writing fiction, should you begin by creating characters, or should you concentrate on your plot? Authors tend to go back and forth on this. You can do either one: Perhaps you’re inspired by a character, or… You’re intrigued by something and want to write about it. I’ve been coaching a self-publishing author. She’s upset because she received unkind … Read more

From Dud To Fiction Bestseller: 3 Strategies To Get You There

You’re writing fiction. Sooner or later, during your first draft, you’ll realize “this isn’t the book that’s in my head. WHY can’t I write what I can see and feel so clearly in my imagination?” Although you’re tempted to stop writing because you’re convinced you’re writing garbage — keep writing. Chances are that you’ll hit this painful psychological wall with … Read more

Plotting Fiction: Novellas And The Story Question (Novella Series 3)

When you’re plotting fiction, here’s the essence: your plot is what your characters DO. We discussed developing characters in our second article in this novella-writing series, Writing Short Fiction: How To Develop Characters (Novella Series 2). When you focus on what your characters do, and WHY they do it, plotting your novella is simple, even if you’re a dedicated pantser, … Read more

Short Story Beginner? 3 Ways To Start A Story

Short Story Beginner? 3 Ways To Start A Story

One of the questions I receive most often about short fiction is: “How can I sell my short story?” Sadly, the days when magazines provided a market for your stories is long gone. The simplest and easiest way to sell a short story is to self-publish it. You’ve written a short story. How do you sell it? FWIW, here’s what … Read more

Novella Series: Thinking Of Writing A Novella?

Are you thinking of writing a novella? Your questions about short fiction in general, and novellas in particular, inspired me to create the novella series of articles; the articles are free reads. Novella series: current articles You can read the first two articles in the novella series now. Read now: Write A Novella: Want To Write Short Fiction? (Novella Series … Read more