What are horror tropes, and how can you avoid them?
Are you a tortoise or a hare? NaNoWriMo isn't the only writing marathon, and participating in different challenges can help you discover more about your own habits.
I go into several methods for outlining longer pieces, including free-write summary, skeletal summaries, "snowflake" summaries, visual outlines, and more.
This column explores the art of editing by providing detailed edits of reader-submitted paragraphs.
A 2013 poll showed that 28 percent of adults asked had not read a book in the past year. What are some of the reasons behind a continuing aversion to reading, and what can readers do to help?
Who doesn’t love a good heist story? Markus Zusak may have popularized the idea in his YA novel, 'The Book Thief,' but literary theft isn’t exclusive to the realm of fiction.
In the second installment of So You Want To Write a Book, we talk about the actual mechanics of getting started. Where will you write? How will you format? What else should you do?
Got your three acts, your hero's journey and your turning points sorted? Good. But, what's holding them all together? Take your screenplay to the next level by addressing the emotional spine.
Everything you need to know about cloning, genetic modification, and SCIENCE!
This column explores the art of editing by carefully analyzing paragraphs submitted by readers.
Whenever a source of authority grows too powerful and begins to usurp the common people, Robin Hood-like characters start to appear in film and literature.
Does weed help the writing process? Let's find out.
Every novel is a special snowflake, sure, but many go wrong in the same ways. An editor breaks down known issues at the level of plot, structure, and characterization she sees over and over again.
Tips on how to write a novel without plotting it out.
Differing studies have found that the average U.S. student spends between $600 and $1,200 a year on textbooks and supplies. What exactly makes textbooks so expensive?
In this, the first in a new series of columns about the mechanics of writing a book, we'll talk about the prep work that should occur before you even sit down at your computer/notebook/typewriter.
As if the rules of punctuation weren’t confusing enough, what do you do when you have more than one punctuation mark to contend with?
Perhaps our fondness stems from that image in the collective cultural imagination: a man with his typewriter, clacking away in a lonely hotel room, bottle of cognac at his side.
Every living person on the planet has experienced childhood, but the same can’t be said for old age. Older characters have more history, so creating such a person takes considerable imagination.
Sitting in a classroom or wandering through a sterile museum, we often feel estranged from history. But history is really about people, and that’s what makes it such fertile ground for writers.
When writing about taboo subjects, be careful how you do it.
In late June, I survived my first ever live, public reading event....and you can too! Here's how I did it.
You want to make your characters realistic? Think of everybody as the protagonist.
Sometimes the best way to tackle a revision is to just start over.
Typos are a part of everyday life, but sometimes they can be downright dangerous. Here are three types, from the innocent to the egregious!