RSSCategory: How To and Tips

How to write good, realistic dialogue

How to write good, realistic dialogue

Best-selling novelist Isabel Wolff offers her tips on how to write good, realistic dialogue. Dialogue is what happens when two or more characters talk to each other. We’ve all read novels in which that conversation is conveyed very awkwardly and this clumsiness pulls us out of the book. Good dialogue, on the other hand, is […]

February 1, 2015 | By | Reply More
What to do when the fire of your first draft has gone out

What to do when the fire of your first draft has gone out

“Writing is finally about one thing: going into a room alone and doing it. Putting words on paper that have never been there in quite that way before. And although you are physically by yourself, the haunting Demon never leaves you, that Demon being the knowledge of your own terrible limitations, your hopeless inadequacy, the […]

January 23, 2015 | By | 13 Replies More
How to Break Up with your Novel

How to Break Up with your Novel

To begin with, let me clarify: I don’t mean abandon your novel; I mean separate yourself from it. This has to happen eventually. For better or worse the novel you’ve written will come to term, and it will have to live (or not live) on its own, away from you. There may be any number […]

January 20, 2015 | By | 6 Replies More
The Unnoticed Writer

The Unnoticed Writer

Over the last couple of days there’s been fair amount of buzz around the fiction writer Edith Pearlman. Her “break-out” story collection, Honeydew, is forthcoming from Little, Brown & Company. Pearlman is 78, and has published a number of story collections with small presses. In 2011, her collection Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories earned […]

January 11, 2015 | By | 3 Replies More
How to be More Productive

How to be More Productive

I’ve been thinking a lot about my writing productivity and questioning my daily routine. I picked up Daily Rituals: How Artists Work from the library because like the author, Mason Currey, I want to know how great artists organize their days in order to be creative and productive. Currey does not pretend to offer certainties […]

December 18, 2014 | By | 6 Replies More
Mistakes to avoid in Short Story Writing

Mistakes to avoid in Short Story Writing

As the fiction editor for Eclectica Magazine, it’s been both a privilege and pleasure to read story submissions. Finding the handful of pieces that take my breath away is what it’s all about. The good ones shine through, those that are brilliant positively sparkle. That said, it’s too bad that so many stories that come […]

December 15, 2014 | By | 11 Replies More
Six top tips for writing historical fiction

Six top tips for writing historical fiction

I love writing fiction set in the Twentieth Century. My first book, The Separation, published by Penguin, takes place during the 1950s, the second The Tea Planter’s Wife, Penguin 2015, explores the 1920s and 1930s and the third kicks off in 1940s Vietnam when it was part of Indochina. Here I share the tips I’ve […]

December 13, 2014 | By | 7 Replies More
What Do You Mean I Have to Market My Writing?

What Do You Mean I Have to Market My Writing?

We all start with different decks. Some with no cards. Some with no money. Some not even at the table. It’s not fair. There’s nothing fair about it. Maybe it will never be fair. But if you want to play, if I want to play, whatever odds I was given, them’s the odds I got. […]

November 24, 2014 | By | 9 Replies More
How many Beta Readers do you need?

How many Beta Readers do you need?

Someone in my writing group recently sent his first chapters to five different people … and got five very different responses. The result: he’s more confused than ever. Beta readers—those readers you trust your manuscript to before sending it out to an agent, editor, or publishing house—can give valuable feedback. They read with more distance […]

November 21, 2014 | By | 37 Replies More
5 Ways to Spot and Avoid Sketchy Editors and Publications

5 Ways to Spot and Avoid Sketchy Editors and Publications

I still remember that summer afternoon when my mother came upstairs to find me weeping into my pillow. I was 20 years old, and I had just discovered that my boyfriend had been cheating on me. Of course, I told my mother the edited, sanitized version of the story, omitting that part about walking into […]

November 19, 2014 | By | 7 Replies More