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Haven’t Written Anything Yet, Writing for Beginners

If you’ve only just begun to develop your writing talent, whether for fiction or nonfiction, you’ll find invaluable guidance on writing for beginners right here. You’ll learn how to start thinking like a writer, examine your work with a more critical eye, and turn it into something others will pay to read. You’ll also find resources to help you learn how to write a novel in three months or fewer.

The 5 Essential Story Ingredients

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Forget three-act structures, formulas for plot, and even beginnings, middles and ends. Write better stories by propelling your protagonist through a transformation your readers will never forget. Read more

The Setback: How to Successfully Start Writing Again

If you’re anything like me, part of your New Year’s Resolution (that’s still a thing, right?) was to write more. It might’ve been to hit a certain word or page count in … Read more

Essential Advice for Beginning Writers: An Interview with Kerri Majors

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Kerri Majors is the editor and founder of YARN, the Young Adult Review Network, an online literary journal of YA short stories, essays, and poetry. As if this role doesn’t keep her … 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

Make More Time for Your Writing

It’s a common lament: I could finish my novel, if only I had more hours in the day! In fact, the universal chorus of complaint from writers of all stripes seems to be … 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

Don’t Let Worry Drag You Down

Writers are often worriers. We’re plagued with indecision about the choices we make for our stories. We doubt the quality of our writing. We wonder if we’ll ever break through into the … 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

How to Write a Reader-Friendly Essay

Powerful, surprising, and fascinating personal essays are also “reader-friendly essays” that keep the reader squarely in focus. So how do you go about writing one? In this excerpt from Crafting the Personal … 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

8 Simple Tips to Write Better

Great writing begins with an appetite for life. Try these 8 approaches to get out of your comfort zone, break rules and reap rewards. Read more

4 Ways to Revise as You Write

Writers differ in their opinions of the revision process. Some balk at it–they see it as the “no fun” part of writing, and much prefer drafting and creation to fixing and rethinking. … 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

The Ideas that Inspired The Hobbit, Animal Farm & 8 Other Famous Books

Ideas often percolate and simmer over time, but every once in a while lightning strikes—and a sudden flash of creativity can alter a writer’s career forever. Take, for example, these 10 famous works inspired by unexpected bolts of inspiration. 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

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

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

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.
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5 Wrong Ways to Start A Story

how to write fiction | hooked on fiction writing

Your story’s opener is your one opportunity to capture an editor’s or agent’s attention. Learn how to avoid the critical mistakes (such as providing too much backstory) that lead to rejection and … Read more

How to Write Effective Supporting Characters

Your cast of supporting characters should reflect what your protagonist needs. Here’s how to craft strong supporting characters to make your novel jump off the page. Read more

How to Write a Manuscript: 5 Key Tips

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So you have a great idea for a novel or nonfiction book but you just don’t know where to begin? Have no fear: I’ve devised a pretty simple plan that will help guide you. Read more

How to End a Novel With a Punch

Your closer is the most important incident in the novel, which is why you must know it inside and out so you know how to end a novel that agents want to rep. Read more

Writing Rules: 10 Experts Take on the Writer’s Rulebook

Is it always better to show than tell? Do you really have to write every day? Experts prove there’s merit in both playing by the book and staging a writing rebellion. Read more

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