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    How to Improve Writing Skills

    You have the drive, you have the passion, and you’re more than willing to put in the time it takes to finish a manuscript. But you also want to make sure your work is clean, compelling, and perfectly structured. Help for doing just that can be found right here.

    Create Your Own Bad Guys and Sleazy Protagonists

    The following is a guest post by our WD intern, Laura Wooffitt. When writing any genre, the character that takes center stage, and often most of the beginning writer’s attention, is a … Read more

    Tighten the Tension in Your Novel

    “Your novel is lacking tension.” “I understand the reason for this scene, but my mind kept wandering while I was reading.” “This chapter is missing a hook … I’m just not interested.” … Read more

    5 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Fiction Series

    One of the main concerns writers should have when planning and writing a series is consistency. But what does it mean to be consistent? It’s more than just keeping track of the … Read more

    Knowing When to Stop: Expectations for a Satisfying Ending

    Creating Plot

    Everyone struggles with how to write an ending, regardless of whether it’s a novel or a short story. Sometimes our perfect endings come to us in a dream-like vision, and other times … Read more

    Creating Emotional Frustration in Your Characters

    Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint

    Using emotion to create strong, emotional characters and move a plot is critical for any writer in any type of genre. Knowing what kind of emotion to use and how to use it … Read more

    Writing Gender-Specific Dialogue

    On Writing Romance

    Writing dialogue to suit the gender of your characters is important in any genre, but it becomes even more essential in romance writing. In a romance novel, characters of opposite sexes are … Read more

    5 New Year’s Resolutions for Writers

    A new year, a new writerly you. New Year’s Day is a time for reflecting on the past year while thinking about the goals, wishes, and hopes for the new year ahead. … Read more

    Writing for the Young Adult Audience

    There’s no question about it: The young adult (YA) audience is a hot market, one that is steadily growing in popularity and garnering attention from young readers as well as literary critics. … Read more

    Write Fiction that Grabs Readers from Page One

    In your novel, the inciting incident is the first sign of trouble for your protagonist: it’s the catalyst, the chemical reaction, that sets the plot into motion. But the inciting incident isn’t … Read more

    Namedropping: Finding Solid Names for Your Unique Characters

    What’s in a character’s name? Everything. Here’s how you, the writer, can master the neglected art of moniker-making. Read more

    Writing 21st Century Fiction: A Sneak Peek

    Donald Maass, bestselling author of Writing the Breakout Novel and The Fire in Fiction, now takes an in-depth, comprehensive look at the craft and method of writing 21st century fiction. You might … Read more

    Questions to Ask (& Strengthen) Your Minor Characters

    If your supporting characters aren’t working toward an understanding of the main character or situation in some way, you might ask yourself what they’re really doing there, hogging time and space in your book. Here are questions to ask about your minor characters to make sure they have a purpose. Read more

    4 Ways to Improve Plot/Climax in Your Writing

    Many beginning novelists think of the climax of their story as one single, explosive event. While that’s true to a degree, the climax of a novel actually has four components. Here’s what they are and how to get them right. Read more

    4 Techniques For Improving Your Writing Style

    grammatically correct the essential guide | how to improve your writing skills

    Today’s tip of the day comes from Grammatically Correct and describes some techniques for improving your writing style and for assessing how well your efforts are succeeding. Not all these strategies will … Read more

    Create Structure in Your Fiction Using Index Cards

    I was reading through some of our older science fiction titles, and I came upon Worlds of Wonder by David Gerrold (published in 2001). As I was flipping through the book, I … Read more

    Thriller Writing Made Easy: 4 Steps to Starting a Thriller

    Want to write a thriller, but stuck on the beginning? Novelist Daniel Palmer uses his own experience and that of his father (bestseller Michael Palmer) and lays out the essentials to get you on your way. Read more

    Catherine Coulter: 9 Simple Ways To Be a Better Writer

    Catherine Coulter—who has had a stunning 62 New York Times bestsellers—shared her wisdom on the basics you must master before you worry about finding an agent, or dive too deeply into your book. Read more

    Create Powerful Imagery in Your Writing

    We’ve heard the old montage “Show, don’t tell” so many times that it’s become stale–and what does it mean, anyway? It’s an easy phrase to utter, but how do you achieve resonant, … Read more

    The 13 Trickiest Grammar Hang-Ups

    Even the best of us can stumble over rough grammar patches now and then. Grammar Girl shows you how to navigate 13 top trouble spots. Read more

    The Rules of Storytelling, Pixar Style

    Anyone whose ever seen a screening of a Pixar movie (Finding Nemo, Up, and the Toy Story trio come to mind for me) knows that the writers of these charming, funny and … Read more

    7 Simple Ways to Make a Good Story Great

    To stand out to the gatekeepers who hold the keys to publication, it’s not enough for your story to be good. Use these techniques to take your fiction to new heights. Read more

    5 Story Mistakes Even Good Writers Make

    Sometimes it’s too easy to get caught up in the so-called rules of writing and forget what’s really important. Here’s how to avoid the traps that can steer your story off-course.
    Read more

    7 Things That Will Doom Your Novel (& How to Avoid Them)

    You can doom your debut from the start with these 7 (tongue-in-cheek) strategies for flailing, and failing—or, you can do just the opposite. Read more

    4 Editing & Proofreading Techniques For Your Novel

    The Nighttime Novelist | writing plot

    Joseph Bates, author of The Nighttime Novelist, shares tips for editing and proofreading a novel or book. Creating A System For Editing & Proofreading Revision is really about seeing your book as … Read more

    What is a Minor Character: Understanding the Minor Characters’ Role

    So where is the dividing line between major and minor charactors? There isn’t one. The different levels shade into each other, and as you master the techniques appropriate to each level, you’ll be able to create each character at exactly the level of importance the story requires. Here’s how to master the techniques. Read more

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