What Fiction Classifications Can Tell You About Your Readers

You can't always tell who's going to pick up your story and read it. Sometimes, readers are unpredictable. Those who don't read your genre may stumble upon it and read it anyways, and what speaks to one person won't to another. But you can tell some things about your own story based on the fiction … Continue reading What Fiction Classifications Can Tell You About Your Readers

The Power of Good Verbs

Writers are told to make their verbs work for them--which means picking verbs powerful enough to stand without modifiers and adverbs like "very," "slowly," "quickly," and the like. But sometimes this can lead to distracting the reader, where the verb used is so particular, so unique, and so unusual as to send them to the … Continue reading The Power of Good Verbs

How to Make an Old Plot New

Plots have been recycled ever since stories have been told, reusing themes like sacrificial death, the poor becoming rich, the ugly becoming beautiful, and other archetypes. Even great works like those of Shakespeare or Jane Austen can be traced to other influences, ideas, and concepts, but how do you make an old plot new? How … Continue reading How to Make an Old Plot New

4 Ways to Make a Scene Matter

In writing, we're told to "kill our darlings" and get rid of the bits of writing we love if they don't serve the story. But what if we could those little scenes and transform them into something useful, incorporating the elements that are near and dear to our heart with the plot? It won't always … Continue reading 4 Ways to Make a Scene Matter

Under the Microscope is Back at A Writer’s Path

If you ever wanted a free critique to a beginning of one of your stories--if something is nagging you and you want a second pair of eyes, or if you just wanted to flex your writing muscles and help out another writer--then you'll be happy to know that the Under the Microscope feature on A … Continue reading Under the Microscope is Back at A Writer’s Path

Introducing Blurb and Summary Coaching!

Today a new service joins the Book Coaching portfolio--Blurb and Summary Coaching. It's designed to give authors feedback on their blurbs (the paragraph or two that goes on the back cover) or their full page summaries (used primarily for agents and publishers), and for this month, both services will be half off. So if your … Continue reading Introducing Blurb and Summary Coaching!

Plotting a Novel is Like Playing a Game of Rummy

I've been thinking a lot about plotting lately (as my works-in-progress have been at that stage), and it occurred to me that it's kind of like a game, played between reader and writer. In some ways, it reminds me of the game of rummy, where the goal is to collect a certain group of cards--so … Continue reading Plotting a Novel is Like Playing a Game of Rummy

Relational Inequalities in Fiction Writing

So today I wanted to talk about relationships. No, this isn't just for Romance books. This is about all relationships--your antagonist and his second-in-command, your hero and her best friend, and even the protagonist and the antagonist (chances are, if they're fighting each other for any length of time, they have a relationship, albeit a … Continue reading Relational Inequalities in Fiction Writing

Guest Post: The Dos and Don’ts of Dialogue Tags

Not so long ago, I came across narration in which the dialogue tags were all but gone, reminding me of the format for plays. It went a bit like this: Bob: Do you really think that's necessary? Jane: It's high time we did something. Bob: So... Jane: We act now. And it reminded me how … Continue reading Guest Post: The Dos and Don’ts of Dialogue Tags

The Secret Schedules of Great Authors

As I writer, I'm always curious about how other writers write. And much of what I've read on this subject is daunting: write every day, write even when you don't feel like it, write first thing in the morning when your energies are at their peak, etc. Hemingway was a great proponent of early morning … Continue reading The Secret Schedules of Great Authors