Tag Archive - novel writing

Writers, What Are You Missing?

Here’s the truth about missing things. Sometimes we have no clue what we’re missing. Something’s just not right. We feel a bit perplexed because we know something’s off but we have no idea how to identify what it is.

I’m talking about our writing, in particular. Though, we might feel this same way in other endeavors—building a piece of furniture, painting a picture, composing a song, decorating our living room.

Have you ever had that niggling feeling that you just haven’t nailed it?

This is a very common feeling among writers. There’s nothing less helpful that giving a friend a chapter you’ve written and he tells you it’s pretty good. But you can tell by the tone of his voice (or email) or the look on his face that he wasn’t all that moved by what he read.

And it only confirms your sneaky suspicion—you already knew, in your soul, that the writing wasn’t spot-on. Continue Reading…

Why Identifying Your Reading Audience Age Is Crucial

You’re writing an intense novel about vampires. You’re exploring deep themes of family loyalty and courage. You believe adult readers will love this high-action somewhat violent novel.

But your protagonist is an eight-year-old boy who is struggling to deal with his new life in this not-so-brave new world.

This is a big problem.

And it’s similar to what I see week after week as I critique novels by aspiring writers.

I get that you have a killer idea and you’ve worked hard to come up with a great, compelling plot with lots of action and twists and complications. But before you began, did you even consider who your target audience might be? Continue Reading…

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…

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