January 9th, 2017

Crafting a Powerful Set-Up

Becca Puglisi

As authors, we all know the importance of engaging our audience within a book’s first few pages. It’s called grabbing the reader: captivating them in a way that makes them want to stick with the story to its end.

Michael Hauge prefers the term seducing:

“Everybody likes to be seduced; it’s a […]

December 23rd, 2016

Advanced Craft Tips

I do a lot of critiquing. As I get better at craft, I’m starting to catch the nuances of good writing; things beyond the basics of POV, show don’t tell, etc. They’re subtler and harder to spot, but I believe they can be the difference between a ‘good writer’ and a popular author. And […]

November 11th, 2016

The First Draft Jungle

Christina Delay

In case you didn’t know, there’s a little thing called NaNoWriMo going on this month. It’s basically a month in which writers lose sleep, stop talking to their families, give up binge watching Netflix, and forget how to spell without Word’s autocorrect feature, all to meet a challenging word count of 50,000 words […]

September 23rd, 2016

Nail That First Line!

Darynda Jones’ First Grave on the Right (click on the photo to check out this amazing book)

I just taught a class on Beginning Pages recently, so I’ve been thinking a lot about first lines.

Stephen King had something to say about the magnitude of a novel’s first line:

[…]

June 24th, 2016

Motifs and Symbols and Themes – Oh My!

I love almost all literary devices, but the three in this post’s title are my favorites. I’m sure you heard of them, and have probably used them in your writing, but you may not know the definitions, so here they are:

Motif is any recurring element that has symbolic significance in a story. Through its […]