Writing Fiction: Grow Your Characters (And Sell More Books)

If you’re writing fiction, you need to observe everything. Not only with your eyes, but with all your senses. Start training yourself to pay attention: use your journal, and write down what you see, hear, touch, taste and smell. Here’s why: the power of your fiction is in the details. When you use detail, via a viewpoint character, readers will … Read more

Plotting Fiction: 3 Tips To Help You To Plot Like Shakespeare

Hate plotting fiction? Me too, at times. Why not do what Shakespeare did? He “stole” plots, as many, many authors do. “Stealing” your plot takes the pressure off. You can focus on building your characters and setting, and developing conflict. Plotting fiction: plots you can steal In Plotting Made Simple: The One-Hour Plotting Strategy, I outlined my usual strategy: Over … Read more

Writing Fiction: 3 Savvy Tips To Power Through First Drafts

Do you find writing fiction challenging? First drafts can be chaotic. If you manage to find your way through your first draft, you need to organize your revision and edits, while maintaining your inspiration. Many authors fear chaos, including my writing students, until they become aware that chaos is inevitable when you’re writing a first draft. Your initial draft is … Read more

Your Imagination: Use Your Most Powerful (& Dangerous) Writing Tool

How’s your imagination? Everyone is creative and imaginative. However, writers tend to be more imaginative than most. As we discussed in this article on creative strategy, anxiety is a normal part of the creative process. Unfortunately, your imaginative faculties may make your anxiety worse: Here’s the thing about sudden unexplained anxiety: we tend to ascribe reasons to it to justify … Read more

Sensory Writing: How To Pull Readers Into Your Fiction

Want to write so that readers “can’t put it down”? Sensory writing is a way to drag readers right into your novels and short stories. Moreover, sensory writing is a simple strategy; so simple that many new authors overlook it. In a recent fiction writing class, all the exercises I gave students focused on sensory writing. It came as a … Read more