How to Write a Novel in Six Months

How to Write a Novel in Six Months

I finished the first draft of my 300-page novel in six months. I’m just a regular person. Therefore, if I can do it, you can do too.

Want to start—and finish—writing your novel in just six months? Here’s the process you need to do it. Whether you like to outline every last detail of your novel before you start writing or prefer to fly by the seat of your pants and discover the story as you go, these five steps will set you up for novel-writing success.

How to Find Writing Inspiration from African American History

How to Find Writing Inspiration from African American History

In college, I was assigned to read a tiny book by Toni Morrison called “Playing in the Dark.” In it, Morrison made many points about portrayal of black characters in American literature, but one in particular stuck with me—that all American literature (i.e., novels written by everyone from Ernest Hemingway to Toni Morrison herself) reflect the way blacks shaped the American identity.

Black people were here since the creation of America and therefore helped form the baseline of what it means to be American.

It resonated with me because I view myself as very American and very black. When I celebrate African American literature and writers, for example, I feel a sense of pride in culture but also in country.

Six Writing Tips from Jonathan Franzen

Six Writing Tips from Jonathan Franzen

A couple of weeks ago I attended an author talk with Jonathan Franzen at Sixth and I in D.C.. A journalist named Marcela Valdes sat “in conversation” with him and I’m not gonna lie—it was like watching a fawning student desperately trying to impress her professor (who will not throw her a bone).

Was the author talk worth it? Definitely. Even though the conversation was a little weird, every once in a while the too-cool-for-school Corrections author would drop these tidbits of wisdom that I loved.

What Marathon Training Taught Me About Writing

What Marathon Training Taught Me About Writing

Running a marathon is a lot like writing a novel. Both are long-term goals that require incredible patience and discipline to achieve. In fact, I find myself applying lessons from my marathon training to novel writing all the time.

When I first decided to train for a marathon, the idea of running a million miles was overwhelming. It was enough to make me want to quit on the spot.

You might feel the same way about writing a book. Apply these marathon training lessons to your writing, and you’ll be able to persevere to the end.

Writing Prompt: Stories of the Olympics

Writing Prompt: Stories of the Olympics

I have a theory why the Olympics are so exciting (despite all the Zika gloom and doom leading up to them). It’s the stories!

So much is at stake every day of the Olympics. The veteran Olympian hoping to clinch his last medal, the refugee who went from swimming for her life to swimming for gold, the gymnast finally getting her shot on the world stage.

Since the Olympics provide such great material for story writing, they obviously provide great material for writing prompts.