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Is Your Novel Staying on the Tracks or Derailing?

What do I mean?

If you’re like many fiction writers, you often have no clue if you are on the right track. If your characters are terrific. If your conflict and stakes are big and explosive. If your scenes are sturdily built and in the right places.

If you’ve been following my blog and reading my Writer’s Toolbox books, you know that novel writing is complex and challenging.

And you really have to nail structure.

I hope my posts and books have helped you not just tackle but conquer the many challenges inherent in this pursuit of excellence.

However, even with piles of books and countless instructional posts, writers can’t always be sure they’re on track. And that’s why it’s so helpful to get professional feedback.

I WISH I had help when I started writing novels more than thirty years ago. I thought I knew enough about writing. But I didn’t know squat. Seriously. Continue Reading…

How to Wow Your Readers with Your Novel

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been talking about the importance of mastering how to “show” effectively in your writing. This is one of the key things that will make or break your novel.

Meaning: if you don’t master this technique, it’s likely your novels will never see success.

Readers just don’t want to mull through pages of explanation, boring detail, lengthy narrative, excessive backstory.

They want to “watch” the story unfold before their very eyes. And the best way to do this is by using cinematic technique.

Let me share one last excerpt with you, and I’ll get off my soapbox:

Haven’t you read scenes in which two people are sitting somewhere (and you’ve probably not been told where) and just talking? The dialog goes on for pages, and maybe some of it is interesting, but you can’t picture where these people are, what the setting is like, what they look like. Or maybe you have more description than you want—of the restaurant and their clothes and hair and the noise and smells inside. But still . . . nothing happens. Continue Reading…

The Innovative, Intuitive Way to Organize Your Novel’s Scenes

If you write novels, you know how hard it is to do. You have to pull all your ideas, your scenes, your characters, and your themes together into a coherent, solid story. And while there are lots of books and blogs that teach novel writing, none take this innovative, practical step-by-step approach.

I’m thrilled to announce the release of my latest writing craft book, Layer Your Novel.

I say “thrilled” because this one was not just a long time in coming but is also, I feel, one of the most helpful books on crafting a novel that you’ll come across.

I don’t say this to brag—honestly!

Everything I write in my blog, newsletter, and writing craft books is a compilation of decades of learning AND frustration.

My biggest motivation for putting millions of words into these channels is to help YOU love your writing journey. But how can you love it if you are continually confused, frustrated, and unsure how to plot your course?

Continue Reading…