4 Questions to Ask When Writing Flashbacks
Writing & Speaking

4 Questions to Ask When Writing Flashbacks

by Tiffany Yates Martin Two commonly misinterpreted canons of story can make rampantly using flashbacks in your story deceptively seductive: “Backstory is the story” and “Show, don’t tell.” Flashback seems to fit the bill perfectly, doesn’t it? Dramatizing your main characters’ past in a “real-time” scene from it surely handily addresses both issues. But used Read more

Guess Who’s in the Driver’s Seat of Your Creativity?
Writing & Speaking

Guess Who’s in the Driver’s Seat of Your Creativity?

by Holly Lasky The path to understanding and having creative flow is about knowing the origin of and what to do when you don’t have creative flow. Guess who’s in the driver’s seat of your creativity? What do you do when you’re blocked, staring at an empty page waiting to be filled with your brilliance and Read more

4 Essential Elements You Need to Create a Workable Novel
Writing & Speaking

4 Essential Elements You Need to Create a Workable Novel

by Sandy Vaile Every second person I speak to believes they’ve “got a novel in them”. It’s getting it out and onto the page that’s the tricky part! Only about 3% of people who actually start writing a book, will ever finish it. Fewer still end up with a story that works because they don’t Read more

Writers: Pantser, Plotter … Roadster?
Writing & Speaking

Writers: Pantser, Plotter … Roadster?

By William F. Wu I have known a lot of professional, much-published writers over the years and the pantser/plotter descriptions fit everybody to some degree. The pantser, of course, writes with minimal advance plotting by the seat of the proverbial pants and the plotter prefers to have a detailed outline while writing. I started out Read more

5 Secret Ingredients for Writing a Killer Teen Novel
Writing & Speaking

5 Secret Ingredients for Writing a Killer Teen Novel

by Kathleen Baldwin Today I will give you 5 secret ingredients that will inspire teens to shell out their allowance money to buy your super-cool teen novel. And not just teens… Scary Halloween laboratory If you are writing Young Adult fiction, nearly 50% of your audience may be adults. Yep, and some of them might Read more

Book Cover 101: Mystery/Thriller
Writing & Speaking

Book Cover 101: Mystery/Thriller

by Melinda VanLone Last time here at Book Cover 101 we talked about how romance cover trends are changing in a huge way toward more illustrations instead of photography, but they aren’t the only covers that are shifting with the times. Today let’s take a look at another huge genre category: Mystery/Thriller. While that’s really Read more

Share Your Work on Podcasts (and Get Asked Back)
Writing & Speaking

Share Your Work on Podcasts (and Get Asked Back)

by J. Alexander Greenwood Self-promotion is one of the most challenging aspects of being a writer. As a writer and public relations consultant, I know it’s tough to get booked on TV, radio, or elsewhere to talk about books. But there is good news: podcasts about writing and books are abundant, and if you find Read more

Discovering Story Magic: The X-Factor
Writing & Speaking

Discovering Story Magic: The X-Factor

by Laura Baker There are two parts to a story: story and character.  They depend on each other to make the story whole.  But let’s depart from the usual and take a different look at the story and the character. At the heart of every story is a character who faces a struggle and makes Read more

Creative Ways to Brainstorm Story Ideas
Writing & Speaking

Creative Ways to Brainstorm Story Ideas

By Becca Puglisi Inspiration is a fickle beast. She strikes at inopportune times (3 AM, anyone?) then disappears for months on end. She doesn’t call, she doesn’t write. Or maybe she treats you differently, pouring on so many ideas that you can’t tell the golden nuggets from the stinky ones. Finding and prioritizing story options Read more