Writing Tips

6 Ways to Open a Novel

One of the most important sentences in every novel is the first one. It hooks the reader in and tempts them with the story to come. There are multiple ways to open your novel, but here are the six most common and where they're most effective: 1. Give a general statement Seventy percent of the… Continue reading 6 Ways to Open a Novel

Writing Tips

How to Make Your Readers Care

Conflict. Or, more importantly, conflict that matters.  One of the most common critiques you hear about a work of literature is a variation of, "I liked parts, but the story didn't grab me." You might at first puzzle over what that could mean—were the characters not compelling enough? Was the setting drab? Was it too thematic… Continue reading How to Make Your Readers Care

Writing Tips

4 Things to Do for Your Book (Besides Write It)

Writers in the twenty-first century have to be more than just writers. Depending on your work and how you want to reach readers, you also have to act as an editor, marketer, spokesperson, advocate, or even entrepreneur for your work. As you complete and finesse your latest manuscript, here are four side To-Dos to keep… Continue reading 4 Things to Do for Your Book (Besides Write It)

Short Stories

A Night at Pinetop’s Tavern

Somewhere in the back alleys of the city's older section there was a crumbling brick building that had been around since before ragtime music was popular. Hanging above a faded green door that led down to the building's cellar was a wooden sign, and despite the peeling paint, you could still make out the bar's… Continue reading A Night at Pinetop’s Tavern

What I'm Up To, Writing Tips

How do I get a literary agent to like me? And other writer’s conference questions

Forced socialization never ceases to freak me out, even when it might benefit my career. Networking events and conferences can be nerve-wracking when you're just starting out, and writer's conferences are no exception. I spent last weekend at the Atlanta Writer's Conference, pouring over my manuscript and practicing my pitch in the lobby of a… Continue reading How do I get a literary agent to like me? And other writer’s conference questions

What I'm Up To

(Jittery) Thoughts Before the AWC Writer’s Conference

I love writer's conferences. I've got a manuscript critique and one (possibly two) agent pitches scheduled. I get to meet writers from all over and agents and editors from New York. I get to sip drinks and chat about upcoming projects, both mine and others, at a lovely hotel near the Atlanta airport. I also… Continue reading (Jittery) Thoughts Before the AWC Writer’s Conference

What I'm Up To, Writing Tips

Balancing Writing with a Day Job

College students across all majors have a mantra: "You have enough time for great grades, a social life, or sleep; pick two." Most first-time writers start out with a day job and write on the side with the hope of eventually turning a hobby into a full-blown career. My day job is currently a design… Continue reading Balancing Writing with a Day Job

Writing Tips

How to Use Marketing 101 to Write Great Characters

Most writers don't think about marketing unless it's about how to sell your book, and even then they associate it with social media and getting the word out. But the crux of marketing delves into psychology and why we make the decisions we do. Writers can use marketing principles surrounding motivation, needs, and wants to… Continue reading How to Use Marketing 101 to Write Great Characters

Writing Tips

What To Do When You Have Writer’s Block

Sometimes you sit down and you just. Can't. Write. Maybe you've got ideas in your head, but for some reason you can't figure out how to put those into words. Or maybe those ideas aren't coming at all. Either way, writer's block can be a very annoying obstacle to finishing a draft or manuscript. Here… Continue reading What To Do When You Have Writer’s Block