June 19th, 2017

The Art and Craft of Developing Characters

Aimie K. Runyan

As an author of historical fiction, my work must—almost by definition—begin with a concept. Am I going to write a gritty saga about the women who flew as combat pilots for Russia in the Second World War (I did and it was great fun)? Am I going to write a sweeping […]

June 16th, 2017

The Art of the Chapter

Greer Macallister

A few years ago, if you’d asked me about the building blocks of great novels, I would have yammered on endlessly about sentences. They can’t be too long or too short or all the same; they can’t be so complex or descriptive that they get in the way of the story; they […]

June 12th, 2017

The Art of Physical Surveillance

Piper Bayard 

One of the most commonly used tools in mystery, crime, and spy fiction is physical surveillance. However, it is an art that is not completely understood outside of law enforcement and espionage. As the partner of a 40+ year veteran field operative, I’d like to take you through a few of the basics.

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May 31st, 2017

Enhancing Your Story Through Macro & Micro Setting Descriptions

Tasha Seegmiller

At a recent conference, I attended a class taught by Ally Condie where she went over the nuances of setting in story. As someone who strives to make my settings rich, and even feel like another character, it was something I was very interested in. While there were many concepts that she discussed […]

May 19th, 2017

The Origin Scene: Where Your Story REALLY Starts

Lisa Cron

I had a lot of great questions this month, but Laura Drake’s question goes directly to the very heart – the foundation — of your novel. She asks:

“I’m stuck on The Origin Scene. Partially, I think, because it feels like if I get it wrong, the rest of my book is screwed. Any […]