I recently finished a novel where a character hiding in a secret panel in an old house had lost consciousness and died. The only person who had an inkling of the hiding space was a child who grew up harboring the terrible secret. Secrets are a great way to add depth to a character, especially if the secret is on theme. Try this writing prompt and see what you uncover!
Have you ever come across a line of poetry that was so clear, you could taste the description as you read it? Or a paragraph in a novel that made your skin tingle from the tangibility of it? That kind of vivid description is powerful and hard to capture, but I’ve found that there is one key trick to help you get started.
If you’ve made it your mission to write, it’s probably because you love reading. Your life has been touched and changed by books you’ve read and stories you’ve heard since you were a tot, and now you want to create that experience for others. The irony is that once you start writing, it’s often difficult to find time for reading, and that’s just wrong on so many levels.
What if you could begin your novel without the fear of failing? What if you had a process so foolproof, you knew you would finish no matter what? The zombie apocalypse could finally strike and you’d still finish writing your novel.
The good news is you’ve found the write place (sorry, bad habit).
Want to correct your grammar and improve your writing style? ProWritingAid has everything you need to take your writing to the next level, whether you’re looking for some grammar pointers or you’re a seasoned author and want to refine your style. We’re giving away two years of ProWritingAid to one lucky writer. Will you win?
Nobody likes writing the middle of a story. Not only is the middle of a story the part where writers usually quit, it’s the part where readers quit too! The middle of a story can often feel unfocused, slow, or predictable. Sometimes even published and respected stories can feel like they lose their sense of direction and purpose in the middle.
But your story needs to be told. You need to start and finish it with confidence. And the way to write an amazing, page-turning middle to your book lies in answering three essential questions.
How do you write when you don’t have time to write? When your life is full and busy with job, school, family, and other obligations, it can be tough to squeeze in writing. But don’t give up—there are ways to keep writing even if you don’t have time to sit down with a pen and paper.
Opening scenes are just hard. Figure out how to start a story right and you capture the reader, set the tone, and propel the story forward. Do it wrong, and you risk losing a reader. Here’s one opening to avoid: the empty stage setting.
ProWritingAid is a grammar checker and style editor meant to help you improve your writing and become a better writer. How does it work? And would it be a useful tool for you? I tested it to find out, and I’ll break it all down for you in this ProWritingAid review.
How many times have you heard someone say a character in a movie or book felt “flat” or cliché? As writers, we want to create strong characters our readers will fall in love with. We don’t want readers to be bored or roll their eyes at the people we’ve created. Today we’re talking with romance author Callie Sutcliffe on how to develop characters readers care about.
If you’ve ever run a marathon, or a 10K, or even a 5K race, you know that pacing is important. If you pour it on at full speed right off the starting line and keep that up without variation, you’ll run out of steam and be unable to finish.
You do the same thing to your reader if you don’t vary the pace. Fast or slow, if you don’t provide some variety for your reader, they won’t finish either. So let’s take a closer look at pacing and how it can help you create a better experience for your readers.
It’s difficult to know what to plan for when starting a novel. Is it essential to have each and every character, scene, and key change in mind beforehand? How much, or how little, do you need?
The bad news is, no matter how much you plan, your first draft is destined to be messy. But even if you’re a pantser, there are a few key questions you should answer before you start. When you do, you’ll be building your story on a rock-solid foundation that will give you the freedom to take risks that won’t cost you a ton of time and energy in the long run.
R.L. Stine is the author of over 300 books for readers ages 7 to 15. Generations of kids have been introduced to the wonderful world of horror through Stine’s Goosebumps and Fear Street series. Stine is a true master of reaching young readers, and who better to host his course than MasterClass?
In this post, I’m going to share my personal R.L. Stine MasterClass review. I’ll outline what’s in the course, what I learned and what I didn’t, and why you should (or shouldn’t!) take the class.
We’ve all been in this situation: you write a first draft, or the beginning of one, and it seems like nothing is going well. All you want to do is give up and throw everything away. It can be extremely tempting, and while it’s okay to give up on projects sometimes, you should never throw anything away.
Perhaps you’ve heard the old publishing proverb: The first page sells the book; the last page sells the next book. I’m convinced there’s a mammoth grain of truth in that. The beginning and the end of any story are critical elements that you really want to nail.
Today, we’re going to focus on how to start a story—in other words, how you can craft a spectacular beginning that will hold readers spellbound and get them to turn that first all-important page.
In many parts of the world, people are forced to do something that is completely absurd: They give up an hour of their lives.
It’s called “Daylight Savings Time,” but it’s more like “Good Night Sleep’s Losing Time.” It’s as if Thanos came to Earth, snapped his fingers, and 1/24th of everyone’s day turned to dust.
Yet as painful as it was to wake up an hour “later” Sunday morning, Daylight Savings Time can be the inspiration to write a story in any genre, from comedic to tragic.
From epic fantasy arcs like Game of Thrones to stand alone stories like Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books, series are all the rage. But how do you write a series readers will love?
Can you steal ideas from other stories? What if someone steals your ideas? In fact, are your ideas even good enough at all? If you’ve ever asked questions like these, I have good news for you.
Who doesn’t love to laugh? A good, healthy chuckle goes a long way toward making a character more likeable, and a reader more willing to stick with that character through difficult situations. Most stories, whatever the genre, benefit from moments of humor. Yes, humor writing is hard—but these strategies will give your writing the perfect blend of levity.