Articles about writing fiction
Writing is a business like any other. You’re creating a product you hope customers will buy and fall in love with. That way, you can continue creating new products people want. Regardless if you’re a fiction writer or a copywriter, you run your own business. And you must approach it like a business if you want to be successful.
Fiction writers who understand the publishing industry and what readers want will thrive. Copywriters who can engage and compel readers to act will succeed. Both must become master marketers to promote their business and make money.
Here are the building blocks of a solid business that will help you create your best writer’s life.Read More »
As an author, don’t you want to create the mind-blowing plot twist that leaves readers begging you to write more books? Maybe the kind that result in big movie deals…
Wait. If your writing is a means to an end, it’s doubtful your plot twist will make the big bang needed to get on the big screen. Because you can’t force a plot twist; readers will smell it a mile away.
Do it authentically and you’ll create a feverish tension that keeps readers turning the pages to see how this new twist will play out next. Or you’ll end on a final piece of information that changes everything, resonating with readers long after the last page. Here’s how it works.Read More »
We're putting together a team of writers for the ProWritingAid Blog. Team members will be diverse in their knowledge and specialities, but all share a love of writing.Read More »
Start with a real-life person—yourself. Plumb all your deep, dark places and put yourself in the shoes of your main character. You are a well of inspiration. Make this your jumping-off point to create truly believable characters.Read More »
Variety, as we all know, is the spice of life. It’s also the spice of good writing. There’s an easy way to find out if your sentences have variety. Take a paragraph you’ve written—one of eight or so sentences. Then, write down the first word in each sentence. Next, identify the part of speech for each word. If most of your sentences begin with the same part of speech, you don’t have variety. It’s as simple as that.Read More »
Whether you are a planner or a pants-er, if you haven’t checked out the Outline Your Novel program, you’re missing out. I spent hours with this software and have never felt a more powerful urge to create.Read More »
If you are an HF writer, hats off to you! I learned haters will find the smallest discrepancy in your writing and crow it from the rooftops. Perhaps HF writers have extra thick skin. Whatever their impetus, they don’t necessarily have a love of history per se—and certainly don’t need a degree. They find either a period, an event, or historical person thoroughly interesting and decide to dig deeper.Read More »
We’re continuing our monthly installment series on creating amazing characters using Orson Scott Card’s seminal book, Elements of Fiction Writing: Characters & Viewpoint. This month, we cover the three elements every characters needs and why you must deliver.Read More »
If you are anything like us, your favorite way to learn about history is by immersing yourself in a fictional world shaped by actual events. For this list, we specifically chose works covering events or time periods over 30 years before the time of writing.Read More »
“Why isn’t anyone buying my book? Is it not good enough? Am I a terrible writer? "Should I give up forever?"
Of course not. It's just that you didn't launch your book. You didn't ceremoniously rocket it out into the world so that everyone noticed it.
It's not too late! Here's what you need to know:Read More »
Characters in books give us insight into the human condition. We learn how people behave and what’s in human nature from our favorite characters in books and on the big screen.
Orson Scott Card says out of the multiple ways to get to know someone, the most powerful and the ones that make the strongest impression are:
- What your character does
- What his or her motives are
- What they’ve done in the past
Let’s look at these and a few other ways of getting to know your characters.Read More »
Have you noticed how many rules you must follow when writing your novel? Some of them, like having a strong beginning, engaging middle, and exciting conclusion, are good advice. Then other rules, like how to format your novel for submission and checking submission guidelines first, are pretty strict. Finally, there are rules meant to be broken.Read More »
Shifting back and forth in time creates suspense. Your readers can unravel the past and understand the ramifications in the present a little at a time. It creates a tension that makes your books hard to put down.Read More »
Having a relationship with an editor you can trust, one who is flexible enough to work around your tight schedule is one way to do it. But even then, you need to ensure the that your editor is spending most of her time on the meat of your story like plot and character development, and less time on the technical stuff like sentence construction and word choice. Ideally, you want your text to be as tight as possible BEFORE you send it to your editor.Read More »
Cursed exclamation points! What purpose do they serve in modern literature? They’re still taught as basic punctuation, but their existence is frowned upon. Last I heard, no more than two should be used in an entire novel. Two? That’s it? Even for thrillers and horror?! This topic outrages me to the point of using them after every sentence, even the questions.Read More »
A finished manuscript is not a polished manuscript, and editors, agents, and readers want a polished manuscript—a finished product that lives up to the quality standards we’ve come to expect.
Whether you’re writing fiction, nonfiction, a blog post, a magazine article, or any other piece of professional writing, you need to edit your work.
And you need to edit it multiple times!Read More »
Learning how to write a book is a many-stepped process – finding a story idea you love, outlining, drafting, rewriting and editing. Although you will encounter challenges during your first draft, asking good questions and acting on your answers will help you keep focused and finish:Read More »
I have known my cowriter for six years. It’s a long story full of coincidences and serendipity, but it completely changed my writing process. I rely on her in so many ways.
We both wrote on an anonymous writing website where we worked on stories under pseudonyms. My cowriter and I met in the typical way: she reviewed my chapter, and out of common courtesy, I reviewed hers in return. We liked each other’s work, so we continued to follow and review, and we eventually started private messaging. Even then, we mostly talked about our writing, but over time, we started getting to know each other beyond our pseudonyms.Read More »
Having an author platform will get you nowhere if you don't have an actual book to promote.Read More »
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- List of Cliches
- 10 Free Writing Apps and Tools
- 10 Websites to Help Improve Your Grammar
- Why Writers Must Use the Toilet Paper Test on Professional Content Topics
- Belief, Emotional Involvement, Clarity: What Every Character Needs
- The Best Historical Fiction Books of All Time
- The Perfect Grammar Cheat Sheet [infographic]
- How to Write Historical Fiction (without a history degree)
- Writing Characters: Digging Beyond Life
- ProWritingAid is Hiring: Marketing and Customer Support Assistant
- If Your Client is Any of These Five Types, You’re Better Off with None
- Recruiting: The ProWritingAid Blogging Team
- Does Your Writing Need a Paramedic?
- When it’s Right to be Wrong
- Nonfiction Rules! 8 Reasons Why You Should Write Nonfiction Books
- How to Write a Mind-Blowing Plot Twist Like Gone Girl
- How to Create Your Best Writer’s Life
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