Tag Archive - Novel Structure

How You Can Avoid Making Structural Mistakes in Your Novel

I’ve spent more than three decades writing novels. And at first I had no clue what I was doing.

Like many people, I think it would be a cinch to write a novel. I read voraciously, so why wouldn’t I just intuitively know how to construct a novel?

This is what a whole lot of people think. But perhaps you know the truth by now: writing a terrific novel is complex, like building a house. You have to have the “big picture” in mind the while time you are plotting and writing. And that’s like spinning a dozen plates at one time.

It’s doable, but it does take practice.

So after spending three decades dropping a lot of plates, I spent a ton of time tearing the novel-writing process apart. During those years I attended plenty of writing conferences and retreats and workshops. I read lots of books on the craft, and when the Internet became part of daily life, I started reading blog posts and listening to podcasts and doing all I could to get novel construction under my belt. Continue Reading…

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…

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…

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