Getting the Details of Your Dream World Story Right An early dream world we witness in the movie Inception flops because its architect failed to get the carpet right; when the dreamer is pushed to the floor, his cheek touches the carpet and his attention is then locked on the difference between it and the […]
In my previous article, I introduced the idea of the character-driven vs. the plot-driven story, arguing that if the plot drives the story, that’s tantamount to the writer driving the story. And if the writer is driving the story, that means the characters aren’t. As a result, such stories feel flat, cold, and unconvincing. As […]
One of the most common problems with the fantasy and science fiction manuscripts I read is that they are plot-driven rather than character-driven. This approach is exactly the opposite of how things should happen.
Your author website is the hub of your online presence. Get the most out of it with these five tips.
When writing horror fiction, you’re basically inviting strangers to listen as, for hours, you try to scare the hell out of them.
Caroline Hiley Writing one novel is hard enough. But how about 50, 100, even 500–all of them published, and with more to come? We asked six super-prolific writers for their secret and were unsurprised to learn that there is none. It’s all about work and passion. For each of these authors, writing is a calling […]
Every so often, a novelist should make it a point to remember that most readers have about 54,000 other things they could be doing instead of reading a book. A novel will only hold your reader’s attention ahead of all those other things if it’s truly worth reading. Aside from all the various mechanics and […]
Fellow writer William Shunn provides the classic format for short story formatting here (ignore at your peril). Eventually, this will become such a habitual format that you won’t have to think about it, and any other will look odd to you. Well, suppose you’ve finished your epic story “Wrecker of Ten Million Galaxies,” it’s in the proper format, […]
These are the primary facts of life about writing and publishing a novel: ---It’s your story, your voice, your work. ---Writing is a craft as well as an art. ---Once your book leaves your hands, it becomes a product. Remember these facts, and you will have little...
What do stories have in common with a pair of pants? Structure! To be recognizable as a story, a narrative must obey a few conventions, but like pants, infinite variety can be layered upon that. The concept of story structure is anathema to some writers, a restriction...
Why should you spend your time, money, and energy on attending a writers conference? I can think of a number of good reasons, but for now here are two:
Often I’m asked, “How do I come up with a good idea for a historical novel?” The answer is: “Ideas are all around you.”