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The Power of Positive Thinking in Your Writing

As much as we all love to write, there can be times when it feels like a chore. I think we’ve all had days when nothing in your writing seems to be working well together or times when everything else in life is a little nuts and it’s difficult to fit writing into your day.…

How to Write Strong Female Characters | 15 Writing Tips

Every book I’ve written has had a strong female lead, so it seems like high time I write a post about it! These are things I personally like to see in a female lead, so this is the list I pull from when I write. In my experience, these tips create characters that people really…

Rising Actions | Elements of a Novel – Part 6

Welcome to Part Six of the Elements of a Novel Series! Today we’re talking about Rising Actions! (ICYMI, here are the links to Part One: Creating Characters, Part Two: Choosing a Plot Structure, Part Three: Setting and World Building, Part Four: The Beginning, and Part Five: The Inciting Incident.) Rising actions are how you keep…

How to Satisfy Your Reader: 6 Writing Tips

If you want readers to truly love your story, it’s important to ensure they are satisfied. This isn’t the same as making them happy, and it’s doesn’t necessarily mean giving them what they want. To satisfy your reader, you need to tell a complete story that makes logical sense, and gives your readers what you’ve…

6 Conflicts to Use in Your Novel | Writing Tips

Let’s talk about conflict! It probably isn’t news to you that conflict is essential to writing an effective story. (And if it is news to you, now you know! 😉 But including conflict consistently isn’t always as easy as it sounds. There may be times where you know a scene is lacking conflict, but aren’t…

The Inciting Incident | Elements of a Novel – Part 5

Welcome to Part Five of the Elements of a Novel Series! Today is all about the Inciting Incident! (ICYMI, here are the links to Part One: Creating Characters, Part Two: Choosing a Plot Structure, Part Three: Setting and World Building, and Part Four: The Beginning.) The inciting incident is one of the most important elements…

How to Build a Writing Life: 12 Writing Tips

This post is for anyone looking to prioritize living a writing life above all else. Maybe you want to be published, or maybe you’ve just realized that you’re a happier, better person when you’re writing. Whatever your reasons, if you want to build a life that prioritizes writing, I’m here to help! First, a quick…

How to Find Character Motivation: 7 Writing Tips

Character motivation is the driving force behind a story. If your character doesn’t have a reason to take a step forward, your entire story comes to a grinding halt. But it’s important to develop motivation that is both believable and realistic to the character. In this post, we’re going to take a look at the…

The Beginning | Elements of a Novel – Part 4

Welcome to Part Four of the Elements of a Novel Series! It’s time to finally dig into the novel itself and explore the beginning! (ICYMI, here are the links to Part One: Creating Characters, Part Two: Choosing a Plot Structure, and Part Three: Setting and World Building.) The main goal for the beginning of a…

How to Write a First Draft: 15 Writing Tips

Every stage of the writing process is challenging for different reasons. But in a lot of ways, first drafts are the most challenging.  This is when your story goes from an idea in your head, to becoming an actual book. It’s the first major hurdle to clear if you have a goal of publication. Because…

The Hero’s Jourey Plot Structure Breakdown

The Hero’s Journey Plot was first described by Joseph Campbell. It’s a character-centric plot structure that’s popularly used when the main protagonist of a story is intended to become a true hero.  Today, we’re to take an in-depth look at each of the twelve stages in the Hero’s Journey Plot structure. Here’s a rundown of…

Setting and World Building | Elements of a Novel – Part 3

Welcome to Part Three of the Elements of a Novel Series! Today we’re focusing on setting and world building! (ICYMI, here are the links to Part One: Creating Characters and Part Two: Choosing a Plot Structure.) This is the last element we’re going to talk about before we start moving through the general structure of a…

15 Writing Tips to Create Awesome Characters

If you’re like most writers, it’s a priority to create awesome characters for your novels. Creating awesome characters means your readers will connect with the people you’re writing about, which ultimately means they will connect with your story. With that in mind, here are fifteen tips to think about on your quest to create awesome…

How to Write Your Book This Year: 10 Writing Tips

So many people talk about writing a book but never actually sit down and do it. If this sounds like you, make this the year that changes. Make this year you finally write your book! (Or if you’re already working on it, make this the year you finish!) This post is going live in December, so…

Choosing a Plot Structure | Elements of a Novel – Part 2

Welcome to Part Two of the Elements of a Novel Series! Today we’re going talk about plot structure and how to choose the best one for your novel. (ICYMI, here’s the link to Part One: Creating Characters.) Before you start writing your novel, it’s a good idea to have some idea of the story you…

How to Create a Fictional or Fantasy World: 21 Writing Tips

Sometimes our stories don’t fit in the world we currently live in. When that happens, we need to create worlds of our own. But world building can be pretty involved! If you’re creating your own fictional or fantasy world, it’s important to consider it from all angles and create a world that feels as real…

Creating Characters | Elements of a Novel – Part 1

I’m kicking off a new series all about the elements of a novel. In this series, I’m going to break down the elements you might want to consider while you work on your book. First up, we’re going to take a look at what goes into creating characters! We’re talking about characters first because, if…

My Writing Process-Part 5: Editing and Polishing

We’ve reached the final post of my writing process series: editing and polishing. ICYMI: in this series, I break down my writing process and share what I’ve found works best for me in the hopes that some of my process might help you too! (Missed the first four parts? Find them here: Part 1 – Brainstorming,…

How to Commit to Writing Your Novel

Truly committing to your writing can be an exciting yet intimidating thing to do. But if you ever hope to reach your writing goals, commitment is important! So with that in mind, today we’re going to talk about why you need to commit to your writing and how to make it happen! Why you need…

How to Make Your Character’s Life Difficult: 10 Writing Tips

Let’s face it, stories are better when a character’s life is difficult. It gives your characters something to overcome and your audience something to root for. And not only does it make for a more interesting story, but if your characters have it too easy, they may also be harder for your audience to related…

My Writing Process – Part 4: Revision

Welcome to Part 4 of My Writing Process series! In this series, I break down my writing process and share what I’ve found works best for me in the hopes that some of my process might help you too! (Missed the first three parts? Find them here: Part 1 – Brainstorming, Part 2 – Outlining, Part…

How to Evaluate Writing Advice: 7 Writing Tips

There is a ton of writing advice out there! From books to one sentence nuggets to blogs just like this one, it seems like everyone has thoughts and opinions on how to write. And while there is plenty of great advice, there’s also a fair amount that’s not that great. So how do you tell…

How to Track Time in Your Novel: 6 Writing Tips

Time will happen in your novel. Your characters will go to sleep and wake up. They will make plans for the future. The pressure of a ticking clock may add some tension. But time, and consistency of time, can be a detail that’s easy to overlook when you’re writing. This means you have to make it…

My Writing Process – Part 3: Drafting

Welcome to Part 3 of My Writing Process series! In this series, I break down my writing process and share what I’ve found works best for me in the hopes that some of my process might help you too! (Missed the first two parts? Find them here: Part 1 – Brainstorming, Part 2 – Outlining.) At…

Writing Tips: The Importance of Strong Character Arcs

Character arcs are an important part of even the most plot-driven novels. If you’ve ever had a hard time getting into or connecting with a book, it’s possible that the character arcs are part of the problem. Character arcs give your characters direction and growth. They give your reader something to root for while making your story significantly…

How to Write a Good Plot Twist: 5 Writing Tips

This post was inspired by a conversation I had with a friend about a plot twist in a TV show we both watch. This twist felt a little unnecessary and, honestly, kind of lazy. I won’t get into the show because I have a policy against trash-talking art on the internet, but it got me…

My Writing Process-Part 2: Outlining

Last month I started a series on my writing process! I started this series largely because a lot of you asked for it! The first post was all about brainstorming. If you’ve read that post, you know most of my brainstorming happens in the form of freewriting. Once I’ve freewritten the story to death and I have…

Writing Tips: 20 Places to Find Awesome Character Names

You will likely need hundreds, if not thousands, of character names in your writing career. This includes everything from main characters, to secondary characters, to a character’s third cousin who’s mentioned only once. They all need names! Sometimes finding the right name can be both challenging and time-consuming. It’s made even harder if you don’t…

How to Create an Effective Writing Schedule: 8 Writing Tips

If you’ve read other posts on this site, you may have noticed that balance is a big theme. I think it’s important for us as writers to be dedicated to our writing, but I don’t believe we should run ourselves into the ground trying to make our dreams come true. Instead, I think that we should…

When to Submit Your Book Series/Trilogy: Publishing Tips

Today’s post is for all of my book series and trilogy writers out there! I’ve always been a series girl. I love both reading them and writing them. If you ask me, there’s nothing like getting to know a group of wonderful characters and then spending multiple books with them. But if you’re writing a series,…

My Writing Process-Part 1: Brainstorming

Last month I sent out a survey to my newsletter subscribers (you can sign up in the sidebar or at the end of this post) asking what types of posts they’d like to see more of. A lot of people asked for more process posts and for more about my own writing process. So with…

How to Write Backstory: When & How Much to Reveal

Backstory is important because it tells you, the writer, what your characters have been through before you start your story. It also helps to inform how your characters will handle and react to problems when they pop up in your book. In order to write your novel, you need to know everything there is to…

How to Create A Functional Sidekick: Novel Writing Tips

It’s always good for our main character to have friends. They often provide support and humor in trying situations. Plus, going on an adventure or even just navigating a “normal” life can be long and lonely if we leave our characters without anyone. But it’s really not enough for the sidekick to simply be a…

How to Write a Tight Novel & Make Every Scene Count

If you want to write a page-turning novel, then you want to make sure your book is as tight as it can possibly be. The tighter a book is written, the more engaging it is, and the more of a page-turner it becomes. If you want to write a tight novel, one key is to make every…

How to Tackle Impostor Syndrome as a Writer

Impostor Syndrome can be found in pretty much every field, but I’ve noticed it seems particularly common in writers. In case you’ve never heard of impostor syndrome before, it’s essentially when you feel like a fraud in any particular aspect of your life. According to the article linked above, it typically surfaces after a major accomplishment. However,…

How to Craft Key Character Relationships: Writing Tips

When it comes to creating killer characters, one crucial area to develop is their key relationships. The character relationships they’ve had will shape them and play a key role in who they are coming into your story. This will dictate how they behave, what they believe, and how they interact with your other characters. The…

The Pros and Cons of Traditional Publishing

In 2014, I sold my YA book series to Philomel, which is an imprint of Penguin Books for Young Readers. I knew pretty early on my writing life that I didn’t have the skillset for self-publishing, so it was traditional or bust for me. Four years and two books later, I’ve seen the traditional publishing…

How to Write in Any Environment: 5 Writing Tips

We all have our ideal writing environments. Maybe it’s a space in the house or in a busy cafe. But what happens when we can’t get to an ideal environment and we need (or want) to write? Often times, one of two things happens. Either we can use our poor environment as an excuse not…

How to Build a Successful Writing Life

When I explain my writing process and writing life to others, it sounds like a finely honed process. So much so that I’ve had seasoned writers tell me how impressed they are. I don’t say this to brag. My process and writing life don’t feel all that impressive to me, but they really are as finely…

How to Build a Fictional World Within Our Own: Writing Tips

I see tons of articles about creating a fictional fantasy world, but not too many about creating a fictional world within our own. Luckily, this is something I have experience with! I wrote some spy books with a fictional spy agency (and spy world) built into the functioning world and society we live in today.…

How to Have a Happy Writing Life

Books are often labors of love. We work on them never knowing if they’ll see the light of day. Ultimately, it’s up to us to make those books happen. We have to make time for them and we have to take on the responsibility of completing them. And in the end, no matter how hard we…

Why Writing Doesn’t Have to be “Hard”

“Writing is hard.” At least, that’s what a lot of writers like to say. I used to say this too. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying writing is easy or that it’s never hard, but I do think if writing is “hard” it’s your writerly instincts trying to tell you something, and listening…

Why Typing Second Drafts from Scratch is Helpful

I’ve taken A LOT of writing classes in my life and I’ve only had two bad ones. Yet, I got one very valuable lesson out of each of those less-than-awesome classes. One of those classes introduced me to the idea of typing my second drafts completely from scratch. I’ll admit, I was super skeptical of…

How to Regroup When Writing Plans Get Derailed

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I’m a big believer in writing plans and writing goals. Writing plans and goals are important. It’s how we can stay motivated and move our projects forward. But sometimes, things don’t always go as planned. If one day gets off track, it might be…

How to Use Google Maps to Help Your Setting: Writing Tips

Writing a book can be pretty tricky on the best of days, but if you’re writing a book that takes you to a setting you’ve either never been or haven’t been for a while, it can become infinitely harder. As nice as it would be to visit all your settings, that often costs time and…

Writing Tips: Breaking Down the Basics of Point-of-View

A few weeks ago, I did a post on choosing the right point-of-view for your novel. Why I choose to write that post first instead of doing a POV basics post, I really couldn’t tell you, but I did. So, now I’m going to tackle the basics of point-of-view that I probably should have written…

When Writing Your Novel Feels Overwhelming: 7 Tips

Writing a novel can unquestionably be overwhelming at times. It’s a massive undertaking, and there’s a ton of work that goes into writing a book, with no guarantees of a positive outcome. Some things that may cause your project to feel overwhelming include feeling lost in your story, getting behind on your goals, realizing you…

Writing Tips: What to Do When You Finish the First Draft

I was incredibly excited after I finished my first first draft! I still remember texting my friend up at midnight to see if she was up because I had to tell someone! But I also remember having no idea what to do next. I had put so much energy into writing and the only thing I…

How to Choose the Right Point-of-View: 6 Writing Tips

Choosing a point-of-view of your novel is one of the most fundamental decisions you will make. This choice will be the bridge between your readers and your story and dictate how your book sounds and feels to your reader. But it’s not always an easy decision. This post isn’t a break down of each type of…

5 Reasons Why Your Best Writing is Good Enough

This post is inspired by two of my favorite people on the internet: Erin Motz and Courtney Carver. One of the reasons I like them both so much is because they both preach a similar belief that your best is good enough. This philosophy can absolutely apply to writing. Your best writing is good enough! There…

7 Habits for a Successful Writing Session: Writing Tips

Staying consistently productive isn’t easy, but it’s a key component to building a happy writing life. So, how can we have a productive writing session day after day? Today I’m sharing seven habits that help me have consistently successful writing sessions. Ultimately, like most things in writing, you’re going to have to take the time…

How to Write Your First Novel: Where to Start

Writing your first novel is awesome and exciting! But if you haven’t written a book before, you might be wondering where to start. (And maybe even a little overwhelmed.) To help, I put together my top six tips to help you get your very first project off the ground. 1) Run with your idea When…

How to Find the Best Title for Your Novel: 8 Writing Tips

Book titles! They’re such a small part of the overall product and word count, but they carry so much weight! A good title can pull your readers in and make them want to pick up your book, while a bad title will do the opposite. But finding the perfect title for your novel can be…

How to Handle Writing Criticism: 6 Writing Tips

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you may have noticed that I do my best to avoid concrete statements. Things like, “X will definitely happen to you,” or “You need to do Y to be successful.” This is largely because so much of writing is going to be unique to the writer. But today…

How to Create a Strong Villain: 7 Awesome Writing Tips

Creating a good villain can be a key element in telling a compelling story. While it’s always important to have strong characters, bad guys also often play a major role in moving your book forward. So if your character is cardboard or cookie-cutter, it can be challenging to get your reader to buy into the…

7 Things to Do When You’re too Drained to Write

I think all writers get too drained to write from time to time. Sometimes life happens and we don’t seem to have the bandwidth for our work. Or sometimes, we just don’t have *it*, if you know what I’m mean. Maybe it’s not quite at a level of burnout, but burnout isn’t too far away.…

Why “Good” Writing Shouldn’t Be Your Priority

Okay, sure. At some point, we have to ask ourselves, is what I’m writing any good?  But that shouldn’t be your priority through most of the writing process. The problem is, “good” really only happens towards the end of the process. The time in between the first and final draft is either “not there yet”…

How a Creative Shift Can Help You: 5 Great Writing Tips

I’ve talked a lot on Instagram about how I often have two writing projects going at the same time. I’ve found this creative shift to be an incredibly helpful way to keep my creativity fresh. And while this approach is definitely not for everyone, it’s become an essential part of my writing process. If you’ve never…

How to Determine the Genre of Your Novel

If you want to publish your book or attempt to sell it in any capacity, you need to know your book’s genre. A genre is essentially the type of book you’re writing. Is it a comedy, a contemporary, a fantasy, a science fiction, etc? You don’t have to worry too much about your genre while…

How to Talk to Writers about Writing: A Guide for Non-Writers

This is a post I hesitated to write. I don’t want it to come off wrong or condescending to non-writers, but I (obviously) decided to write it because I have been stuck in far too many conversations with non-writers who just say the wrong things. They often don’t mean to, but that doesn’t change the…

How to Tell When Your Book is Done: 6 Great Writing Tips

There is a triumphant moment at the end of every first draft when you finally get to type “the end.” If you’ve ever finished a draft, you know it can be pretty amazing. But you also know it’s just the start of the revision process. Because the reality is, your book still has a long…

Why Writers Should Be Less Critical of Art: Writing Life Tips

Social media has made it really easy (and popular) to share our opinions as we experience them. It’s become instinctive to post our immediate thoughts on whatever book/movie/show/etc we’ve recently taken in. The plus side it that it’s a great way to find people who like the same things you do. The downside is that…

How to Create a Writing Process that Works: Revision

Welcome to part three of the How to Create a Writing Process That Works series! (ICYMI: In order to help you discover your own process, I created a writing process series with tips for developing a process that works best for you!) Today we’re going to talk about revision. You can find the post on brainstorming…

Writing Tools: Whiteboard Paint (Uses and Review)

For about ten years now, I’ve been using a semi-unconventional brainstorming technique. I write directly on my wall. I can’t tell you why it helps so much with my brainstorming process, but it does. This all started when I learned that chalkboard paint existed. At the time, I had two whiteboards that I used for…

How to Create a Writing Process that Works: Drafting

Welcome to part two of the Create Your Writing Process series! (ICYMI: In order to help you discover your own process, I created a writing process series with tips for developing a process that works best for you!) Today we’re going to talk about drafting. You can find the post on brainstorming here! Keep an eye…

How to Find More Writing Time: Writing Life Tip

One of the biggest deterrents from writing is how much time it takes. Not just how long it takes to write a book, but the amount of time it takes on a daily basis. I’ve talked about finding time to write in the past, specifically about how to make do with any 10-20 minute windows…

How to Prep Your Writing for the Year: 6 Writing Tips

The new year is just a few weeks away, which makes it the perfect time to get your writing life in order for next year! Of course, there’s no bad time to decide to prioritize your writing, but the new year gives us a blank slate and a clear start date to take advantage of. So…

How to Create a Writing Process That Works: Brainstorming

I’m kicking off a writing process series with tips for developing a writing process that works best for you! Today we’re going to talk about Brainstorming. If you want to skip ahead, here is Part Two: Drafting, and Part Three: Revision and Editing. At this point, I have a pretty finely honed writing process. Does it…

How to Be A Healthy Writer: 5 Writing Life Tips

Being a healthy writer can be challenging. After all, it’s pretty common for writers to sacrifice their health for their art. We stay up too late, hunched over our computer, and because our time is limited, it can be easy to grab a granola bar and call it dinner. We also live in a world that…

How to Create Characters with the MBTI: 5 Writing Tips

Confession time: I love the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. And as much as I enjoy learning about my own personality type, I appreciate how the MBTI can help create and develop characters. If you’ve never heard of the MBTI, it’s essentially a personality theory (and test) that says there are sixteen personality types. It looks at…

How to Keep Writing During the Holiday Season

This time of year is typically a busy one. There are parties, family gatherings, and SO MUCH to prep and eat! This can make writing during the holiday season a challenge! No matter what you celebrate (or even if you don’t), the world tends to feel much busier than usual. I wrote this post with…

How to Stay Positive While You Write: Writing Life Tips

When it comes to writing (and a lot of things in life), attitude and perspective are everything. It is possible to stay positive while you write. You can let the hard parts get to you, or you can choose to celebrate the good things. This is something that’s as true before you’re published as it…

How to Evaluate Writing Feedback: 5 Writing Tips

Welcome to Part Four of the Feedback series! Today it’s time to talk about how to evaluate writing feedback! Be sure to check out Part One: Finding the Right Early Readers for Your Writing, Part Two: What You Should Ask for Writing Feedback in Stages, and Part Three: How to Give Helpful Feedback. Learning to evaluate…

How to Talk About Writing with Non-Writers: Writing Life

Let’s be real for a second. It can be HARD to talk about writing with people who don’t write. Even when people have the best intentions, they don’t always get it. Sometimes they ask the wrong questions, or their eyes glaze over, or they just can’t seem to wrap their minds around what it means…

How to Give Helpful Writing Feedback: 4 Writing Tips

Welcome to Part Three of the Feedback series! Today it’s time to talk about how to give helpful writing feedback! Be sure to check out Part One: Finding the Right Early Readers for Your Writing and Part Two: What You Should Ask for Writing Feedback in Stages. Giving feedback is an important skill for a writer…

How to Keep Writing When Your Life Blows Up

Life happens. People fight, get divorced, get fired, and lose loved ones. When these things like this happen in your life, writing can understandably become a much lower priority. It can also be much harder to write if a major source of stress is requiring so much of your mental energy. Life happens to all…

The Best Way to Get Writing Feedback: 4 Writing Tips

Welcome to Part Two of the Feedback series! Today we’re going to look at why you should ask for writing feedback in stages. Be sure to check out Part One: Finding the Right Early Readers for Your Writing! As we talked about in Part One of this series, getting writing feedback is important! And it’s…

The Importance of Writing for the Right Reasons

One thing I’ve heard a lot about over the years is writers talking about giving up. I’m sure you’ve heard it too. Sometimes it comes from a writer who’s been published sharing how close they came to giving up. Sometimes it’s someone who hasn’t been published yet and wondering how much longer they should keep…

How to Find the Right Early Readers for Your Writing

Feedback is an important aspect of the writing process, but it can also be a bit of process in and of itself. When I sat down to do a post on the subject, I realized how many levels to feedback back there actually are. Which is why this will be the first post in a…

4 Great Sources of Inspiration for Writers: Writing Tips

There are plenty of sayings about writing and inspiration. Most center around the idea that if you want to be productive, you can’t always wait for inspiration to strike. And while I think that’s mostly true, I also think you need inspiration to spark a story and get you started. Every story is inspired by…

How to Create an Awesome Writing Space: Writing Life

Creating a space to write in can be more beneficial to your writing than you may realize. Not only does it give you a designated place to get work done, but I’ve also found that creating the space can be a wonderful-yet-productive break from writing. It taps into a different kind of creativity while still…

4 MORE Awesome Writing Tips for Good Dialogue

Here’s the second half of my top ips for writing dialogue! ICYMI, last week I set out write about my top eight tips, but it turned out I had more to say about each tip than I realized. Instead of cramming everything into one post, I decided it would be better to split it into two.…

4 Awesome Writing Tips for Good Dialogue

I love writing dialogue. It’s always been one of my favorite craft elements. I’m fairly certain this is in some way connected to my deep love of television, but it’s hard to be sure. 😉 Whatever the reason, I’ve always paid a lot of attention to writing dialogue and it has a very special place in…

How to Write a Killer Action Scene: 7 Writing Tips

As a writer of spy thrillers, one question I get asked a lot is how to write a good action scene. Maybe this isn’t cool to admit, but I honestly didn’t realize it was something I did all that well until other people pointed it out to me. As a lover of action TV and…

Writing Tools: No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty

I first read No Plot? No Problem? by Chris Baty when I was working on my MFA. It was my first class in grad school, and the entire purpose of the class was to draft a complete novel from start to finish during a single semester. This book was our guide. I’ve found it so helpful that I’ve…

How to Treat Writing Like Your Job Before It Is

If one of your writing goals is to be published, the sooner you start to treat writing like your job, the better off you will be. I started treating writing like my job in grad school. To be fair, at that point, it kind of was my job since I was getting graded, but once I…

Writing Tips: Managing Multiple Plot and Character Arcs

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE when stories with a bunch of plot and character arcs. These stories have a lot going on, which keeps things exciting. It also feels more true to life. Sometimes we make things happen, sometimes things happen to us. Our lives are never linear, so your characters’ shouldn’t…

Do You Need an MFA to Get Published?

First, the million dollar question. Do you need an MFA (Master of Fine Arts degree) to get published? No. You absolutely do not. MFAs are not cheap and there are a lot of affordable resources that can help you hone your craft and become a better writer. I personally know plenty of published authors who do not…

4 Great Reasons Writing Out Can Help Writers

Being a continually productive writer is always a challenge. However, one of the many benefits of writing is that it can be done anywhere, including the comfort of our own homes. Which can be good because it means we should have no excuse not to get our words in. But I think we all know, that’s not exactly…

3 Overlooked Sources for Novel Research: Writing Tips

Novel research has gotten so much easier since the invention of the internet. A quick Google search can either answer your questions or point you in the direction of someone who can. But there are a few areas of both the internet and the real world that I’ve seen underutilized lately. Here are three overlooked…

How to Write a Book Synopsis: 5 Awesome Writing Tips

The dreaded book synopsis! It seems like this is the least favorite part of the submission package for so many writers. I have a few tips to help, but first, let’s talk about what exactly a book synopsis is. A book synopsis is a brief summary of your story from start to finish. It tells…

Stop Talking Bad About Your Writing: 4 Writing Tips

Self-doubt is pretty common among writers. We may think our books aren’t good enough. We may get frustrated because they’re not what we want them to be. Or we may just feel like our writing is bad. But no matter how bad you might be feeling, I would encourage you not to talk bad about…

How to Write an Unlikable Character: 3 Writing Tips

First, what is an unlikable character? There are probably a few similar definitions out there, but I’ve always thought of them as characters I wouldn’t want to be friends with or invite over for dinner. Maybe they’re the “mean girl,” destructive, or self-destructive–whatever the case may be. The bottom line is, they’re not someone the…

Stop Editing While You Write: 5 Great Writing Tips

The mantra for every writer in the first or early drafting stages should be, “I’ll fix it later.”  It can be a challenge to keep that in mind, but it’s SO important. If you’re editing while you write, you’re ultimately getting in your own way. It’s hard to edit a book in progress because you…

The Importance of Setting Reasonable Writing Goals

I’ve talked about how to set manageable writing goals before, but I never really got into why setting reasonable writing goals is so important. Setting reasonable writing goals has been really helpful for balancing my writing life. When I aim too high and don’t meet my goals, I have a harder time functioning outside of…

How to Create a Novel Revision Plan: 5 Writing Tips

You finished the first draft of your novel! (Yay!!) And it’s probably a hot mess. The good news is, it’s supposed to be–so you’re doing things right! As exciting as it is to finish a draft, I know first hand how overwhelming it can be to tackle revision. Here are some tips that have helped me…

3 Reasons Time Off From Writing Can Help Your Novel

I talk a lot on this blog about the importance of making time to write and protecting your writing time. But equally as important is taking the time to not write. Most writers I know fit writing into a busy life. Maybe you get up early to write before anyone in your house is awake,…

How to Write When Your Writing Process Fails You

This post was inspired by my latest WIP, which I really struggled with a couple of months ago. I had characters I loved and an idea I was excited about, but I had a terrible time getting everything to come together. I have a pretty reliable writing process. (You can read more about my writing…

How to Draft Faster by Timing Your Writing: Writing Tips

Staying on task and motivated to write can be a struggle–especially when you’re in the thick of the drafting process. One thing that has been revolutionary for me when I draft is writing on the clock. It keeps me focused on production not quality, which is vital at this stage of a book. I’ve seen a couple…

How to Use Character and Plot Together in Your Novel

I’m sure it’s not news to you that character development and plot are two of the most important elements of your novel. The best stories are able to find a good balance between the two, but that doesn’t always come easy. For me, the biggest game changer came when I was introduced to this character-centric,…