Tag Archive - novel writing

5 Tips to Writing Secondary Characters That Pop

Today’s guest post is by author Jennifer Probst.

Secondary characters have always been important to readers in fiction and serve an important purpose for the writer.

I’ve always been a fan of the sassy best friend; the sarcastic sidekick to the hero creating a perfect bromance; the wise, funny matriarch bestowing valued advice. These characters add depth and dimension to story, hook readers, and lead them to do the most important task of all: buy your next book.

Introducing a secondary character who has no purpose and fails to win readers’ hearts is a missed opportunity to grow your readership. But how do you create these vibrant characters without watching them become flimsy paper dolls with no real personality or pop?

I’ve sketched out some important steps to make sure your secondary characters are rich, diverse, and have readers coming back for more. Continue Reading…

5 Strategies to Help Writers Get the Writing Done

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we’re looking at an excerpt from a previous post titled How to be a First-Time Novelist (without Going Insane) by Jenny Bravo.

When I first decided to tackle English as a major, I was starry-eyed and hopeful, thinking to myself, “I’m going to write a novel; I just know it.” I loved my classes, adored my teachers, and lived in a collegiate bubble where everyone had potential. For every bad critique, a good one followed close behind. No writer was left behind.

Sound familiar?

Now, almost a year out of graduation, I’m living in a new, less structured writer bubble. It’s called “The First Time Novelist” bubble. There are days when I feel I have it all together, when the writing flows and I think to myself, “This is too easy.” Then there are days when I sit in front of the computer screen, staring at the keyboard with nothing in my brain but a recap of last night’s New Girl. Continue Reading…

Your First 50 Pages—Pass or Fail?

The first fifty pages of your novel carry the heaviest burden for your story. The opening chapters are all about setup. Setup of characters, premise, tone, writing style, conflict, stakes, world/setting, and so much more.

Thousands of writers across the US are finishing a novel today—or at least trying to. For some committed to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), this was a first effort. Others have participated many times and have cranked out the semblance of a novel each of those years.

I imagine a lot of writers who signed up didn’t reach the finish line of 50,000 words. I recall how hard it was, writing my first novel thirty years ago. It took me almost a year, and I thought it was a masterpiece.

How wrong I was. Continue Reading…

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