How many drafts does it take before your novel is finished? When should you start line editing? When do you put in your subplots? How much planning should you do before you start your first draft? The answers to each of these questions will be different for every...
9 Writing Tips For Novelists
Nine tips to help you polish your writing once you already have the plot structure in place.
Is your writing ready for publication?
7 Essential Features That Every Villain Must Have
Cruella De Vil, Darth Vader, Thanos, Lord Voldemort, the White Witch, Bellatrix Lestrange, the Joker, Hannibal Lecter, Shere Khan, Nurse Ratched—what do all these characters have in common? Not only are they the villains of the stories in which they appear, in...
How to Write in Someone Else’s Shoes
Creating believable science fiction and fantasy characters
Long ago in a universe far far away, I left my job at Macmillan Books in NYC to go to Seattle and attend the Clarion West Workshop for writers of science fiction and fantasy. The workshop is transformative, but listening to hours of peer review is tough…so the day’s...
9 Rules of Writing to Break, 1 to Obey
Rules are meant to be broken, right? I asked some of our editors to weigh in on rules of writing and not be negative, but we ended up with a great list of rules to break. In the end there really is only one rule to keep. 1. Write/meditate on what you know. If all...
13 Alternatives to Microsoft Word (Some are Free)
Microsoft Word has been a reliable computer program for as long as most of us can probably remember—starting way back when computers first came onto the mainstream scene. Word is a great program, but has it become more of a habit rather than the most efficient...
Tips for Writing Memoirs
Memoir is one of the most popular genres among first-time writers. What story does one know more intimately than one’s own life? Still, writers who tackle memoirs often do so on the mistaken assumption that such a text might be straightforward and simple because it...
Best Book-to-Screen Adaptations of 2019
One editor’s take on what makes novels-to-film engaging, with top new picks for literary movie fans. Her picks for best book-to-screeen (big or small) adaptations:
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (Netflix 2019)
Native Son by Richard Wright (HBO 2019)
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (Hulu 2019)
A Dog’s Journey by Bruce Cameron (In theaters 2019)
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (In theaters 2019)
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz (In theaters 2019)
It: Chapter 2 by Stephen King (In theaters 2019)
Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem (In theaters Nov. 2019)
A Million Little Pieces by James Frey (In theaters Dec. 2019)
Top 10 YA Paranormal Romance Tropes of 2019
In the YA paranormal, sci-fi, and fantasy romance arenas, the books selling the most share a number of things in common. Here is a breakdown of the top 10 tropes:
How to Write a Historical Romance Novel
How do you write a novel that feels fresh and contains all the elements of a bestselling historical romance? This guide will help you make sure you know the keys to success.
Writing Mentally Ill Characters
If you are researching “sensitivity readers,” it’s likely that you have written into your novel a mentally ill character and you’re concerned about portraying that character accurately and humanely.