Complete 1st Draft

One of the hardest things about being a writer is actually finishing that first draft. We often linger on the details, editing as we go, which in many cases causes us to run out of steam and quit. In this section, you’ll get the help you need for completing that first draft once and for all.

It’s Never Too Late: On Becoming a Writer at 50

The year I turned 20 I sat down and made out my bucket list, jotting down the decade birthdays—30th, 40th, 50th, and so on—and beneath each entry what I hoped to have accomplished by that date. Longevity not being a strong family trait, I figured I had maybe five decades to...

7 Strategies for Revising Your Novel

The rewrite is tougher than the draft. But the right rewrite strengthens your fiction into something that lasts to publication and gains a significant readership. Boost your novel-polishing skills with these seven strategies.

5 Tips for Writing Historical Fiction

BY VICTORIA PATTERSON The Peerless Four, based on the historical precedent of the first women allowed to compete in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics in track and field on a trial basis, was a departure from my previous story collection and novel, Drift and This Vacant Paradise, both set at the end...

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.” You might have received this or similar feedback from your writing buddy, critique group, or even an agent or...

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 “not enough time.” In this excerpt from The Productive Writer by Sage Cohen, you’ll learn how your relationship with...

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 realm of publication, recognition, and even celebration. We sometimes fret that we’re wasting our efforts entirely in a profession...

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. What does this mean for your writing goals? Maybe 2013 is the year you finish your novel. Maybe it’s...

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. This means that this market is healthier than ever–and so is the competition for getting published. So what are...

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 only important for your main character. Understanding how to harness it is also crucial to hooking your reader from...

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 be asking, “What exactly is 21st century fiction?” Read this exclusive sneak peek from Writing 21st Century Fiction to...

The Nighttime Novelist | writing plot

4 Editing & Proofreading Techniques For Your Novel

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 a whole–recognizing patterns you didn’t notice before, and reconciling any disparate parts into a unified whole. The best way...

The Dos and Don’ts of Novel Endings

In learning how to end your novel with a punch, it's important to know what you can and can't do to write success novel endings that attract agents, publishers and, most important, readers. Here are the dos and don'ts of writing a strong closer.