The Essential Ingredient in Your Novel’s Concept

I want to talk about concept a bit today.

I believe a lot of novels fail at the concept stage.

I talk at length about this on my blog Live Write Thrive as well as in many of my books in The Writer’s Toolbox Series.

This is truth: if you have a weak concept for your novel, you shouldn’t waste time writing it.

Now, it’s possible to tweak the concept you have—and I detail many ways you can do that in my book—and come up with a killer concept.

But it’s crucial you take a look at your concept and make sure it will hold up. Continue Reading…

Checklists Are Good for Your (Novel-Writing) Health!

Are you a “list” person? I sure am. Even though I have software programs like Sticky Notes to help me make my many (countless) lists, I still find myself scribbling notes to myself: Things to do today (before I breathe) . . .

Those of us who depend on lists as if they’re lifelines to sanity understand the “list mentality.”

Life is busy and distracting, especially in this tech age in which a gazillion things are vying for our attention. It’s hard to keep track of our schedules, kids, keys, glasses—you name it.

In order to write a terrific novel, we have to organize so many things. Novels aren’t just a compilation of characters, plot elements, and themes.

Those are just a few of the many components making up a novel. And, as I mentioned in an earlier blast, novels aren’t a result of throwing a bunch of ingredients in a bowl and stirring.

It’s so important to have a blueprint, some framework to use to direct our efforts in a logical manner. Continue Reading…

Tips for Building a Riveting Main Character

Today’s post is by Natasha Lane.

As writers, our main characters are usually some manifestation of ourselves. These beings that run around our heads, tossing story ideas at us in rapid succession, are miniature versions of ourselves. Sometimes they only partially represent us, symbolic of specific aspects of our personality. Other times, they are everything we are at the moment we write them into existence, or, in some cases, they are what we hope to be.

Still, despite being their creators, we sometimes just don’t know what to do with them! Our minds fill up so quickly and our characters can be sporadic—it’s enough to make a writer toss her laptop out the window and become an accountant.

Well, not really. Let’s not do anything too drastic here. The point I’m trying to make is characters can be hard to get a hold of, especially if you’re trying to write at a professional level. Readers need to be able to connect with your main character, they need to be able to identify his purpose, how he helps the story, etc. Continue Reading…

Recent Posts

Create the Storm, Then Tame It!

Create the Storm, Then Tame It!

Today, I want to talk about brainstorming. I love that word. It succinctly describes what goes on in[...]
How Pinterest Can Help Writers Write Better

How Pinterest Can Help Writers Write Better

Today's guest post is by Piers Golden. As you are contemplating writing a book, the thought of us[...]
What Writers Can Learn from Fred the One-Eyed Cat

What Writers Can Learn from Fred the One-Eyed Cat

Today I want to talk about a one-eyed orange tabby cat named Fred. Some of you are saying, "Oh, yeah[...]
Write Your Story Synopsis with a Plug-and-Play Tool

Write Your Story Synopsis with a Plug-and-Play Tool

Todays' guest post is by Beth Barany. There are brainstorming exercises you can take to plan your[...]
Writers, What Are You Missing?

Writers, What Are You Missing?

Here's the truth about missing things. Sometimes we have no clue what we're missing. Something's jus[...]
Yes—you CAN make a comfortable living as a writer. But you need a clear plan!
Enter your email to grab my proven 4-step system for mapping out your career (and you'll also get my useful twice-monthly updates!).

Yes—you CAN make a comfortable living as a writer. But you need a clear plan!

Enter your email to grab my proven 4-step system for mapping out your career (and you'll also get my useful twice-monthly updates!).

Awesome! Check your email for your free guide.