How to Write a Novel That Readers Can’t Put Down

How to Write a Novel That Readers Can’t Put Down

Want to write a novel readers can’t put down?

I’d love to come up with a yarn that grabs people like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games did. Doing so would practically guarantee a large and loyal fanbase for years!

Yet writing this kind of story is deceptively difficult. The story we want to write is always a good one in our own minds. But when we put the words on the page, they rarely possess the page-turning qualities we imagined they would.

Thankfully, there’s a way to set yourself up for success. Here’s how to write a novel that readers can’t put down!

Here’s How to Write a Book in 100 Days: 10 Steps

Here’s How to Write a Book in 100 Days: 10 Steps

“Have you ever had a great book idea, tried to write it, and then failed?” I’ve asked this question to thousands of writers, and over eighty percent have said, yes, they have failed to finish their books.

Writing is hard, and you might be wondering how to write a book at all, let alone in 100 days.

But it is possible to write a book in just 100 days, and today, I’d love to share ten lessons about how to write a book from dozens of different writers who are finishing their book in 100 days right now.

How to Avoid Clichés (Like the Plague)

How to Avoid Clichés (Like the Plague)

We’re on the verge of summer, and that means I’m attending graduations (including my oldest son’s). Whether you are attending one for a friend or family member or yourself, commencement ceremonies are a great place for inspiration and one other thing: cliché-hunting.

Clichés are overused phrases or metaphors that weaken our writing. As writers, we want to hunt down, drag out, and kill clichés in our writing. (I know, the killing metaphor is also probably cliché. I’m still working on it.) Here are some ideas for how to avoid clichés in our writing.

How to Write a Book Using Microsoft Word

How to Write a Book Using Microsoft Word

If you want to write a book, you’ll need book writing software that’s up to the task. Yes, you can invest in dedicated book writing programs. But you don’t have to: a great writing tool is likely already at your fingertips, if you know how to write a...
How to Write a Mystery Novel

How to Write a Mystery Novel

So you want to know how to write a mystery novel. I’m delighted to hear it. I’ve been a mystery lover since I hid behind the Lincoln Logs in Mrs. Jenkins third grade classroom so I could finish my first Nancy Drew, undisturbed. Mystery hooked me that day, and has been leading me around by the nose ever since.

How One Writer Finished Her Book

How One Writer Finished Her Book

Have you ever wanted to write a book? Maybe you’ve thought about it. Maybe you’ve even started writing, but got stumped halfway through.

Yesterday, I took a poll of writers in our community. What I found is that 85% of writers have had a great idea for a book, have even tried to write it, but haven’t been able to finish it.

Yes, finishing a book is hard. Trust me, I know just how frustrating and overwhelming it can be.

But it’s not impossible.

Here’s the story of how one author finally finished her book.

How to Write a Book When You’ve Got Writer’s Block

How to Write a Book When You’ve Got Writer’s Block

It’s practically inevitable. You’re rockin’ and rollin’ through your writing, feeling invincible, and then you reach a sudden halt: You’re blocked. The words won’t come. It seems like there’s nothing more, and yet you’ve got things to do! Deadlines to meet! Dreams to fulfill!

It can seem impossible. But never fear: it can be done.

Here’s how to write a book when you’ve got writer’s block.

3 Writing Prompts to Tap Into Your Creative Well

3 Writing Prompts to Tap Into Your Creative Well

Sometimes the hardest part about writing is coming up with the initial story idea. Once the spark of creativity is lit, the story will flow. All it takes to get moving is a strong title, inspiring image, or moving concept.

Creativity is like a muscle. If you haven’t used it in a while, it can become stiff and sore when you try to work it out. With the holidays in full force, between my full-time job, my children’s activities, and the various family get-togethers finding time to write can become difficult. I’ll get a thirty-minute window to write, sit down to type out a story, and waste all my time trying to figure out what to say.

Writing prompts are wonderful tools to get the words flowing. Today we are going to look at three tools you can use to get your creative juices going.

3 Ways to Rediscover the Joy of Writing

3 Ways to Rediscover the Joy of Writing

Recently, I found myself dreading my scheduled writing time. I was bored with my book, tired of the grind, and angry that my revision was taking so long. I had lost my writing joy. Is it time to abandon a book or project once you lose your joy? Or is there a way to recalibrate and find the fun in your project and the joy of writing again?

How to Write a Young Adult Novel

How to Write a Young Adult Novel

Young adult novels have never been more popular. It started with the rise of Harry Potter and continued with hits like The Fault in Our Stars, The Hunger Games, and Divergent. Have you ever wondered how to write a young adult novel?

Learning how to write fiction is one thing, but writing for teens is a whole different ball game. As a teen and an avid YA reader myself, I have a few tips for you.

How to Write a Book from Multiple Perspectives

How to Write a Book from Multiple Perspectives

Writing from one person’s perspective is hard enough. Writing from multiple perspectives can seem downright impossible. But it can be done.

I wrote my last novel from three different perspectives. It was difficult. Sometimes it was stagnating creatively. But sometimes it was fun and kept me engaged in my own book when I wanted to give up.

So if you’re ready for the challenge, here’s how to write a book from multiple perspectives.

6 Creative Ways to Strengthen Your Story Idea

6 Creative Ways to Strengthen Your Story Idea

Coming up with a story idea isn’t hard. Coming up with a story idea that hits it out of the park, fires on all cylinders, and has never been done before is. In fact, it’s the equivalent of winning the lottery—an unlikely event that can burn up your resources if you’re not careful.

How to Right a Book in Nine (Not So) Easy Steps

How to Right a Book in Nine (Not So) Easy Steps

165,000 people search “how to right a book” every month.

(NOTE: Step one to write a book, get a good critique group who will catch those spelling errors.)

Seriously though, wouldn’t it be great to write a book? To see your name on that glossy cover, flip the pages filled with words you’ve written, to be able to tell your friends, “I’m an author.”

How do you write a book?

How to Write a Self-Help Book

How to Write a Self-Help Book

Do you want to help people? Do you feel a calling to use your writing to be a voice of encouragement to others? Do you want to know how to write a self-help book that will share your stories and wisdom with thousands of readers?

Thanks to the unique life that you’ve lived, only you have access to the treasure trove of experience and knowledge in your heart and mind. Within that trove are lessons that readers need to learn, and only you can teach them.

How to Write a Book While Working Full-Time

How to Write a Book While Working Full-Time

I dream of a day when I can wake up, sip my coffee, write some morning pages, and then work on my latest novel until dinner. Unfortunately for me, and for many of you, that day is not today.

I’ve got kids and a house and bills, so I have to work full-time. Even so, over the past four years, I’ve published five novels, three novellas, and countless short stories.

How do I write books while working full-time? There are five things I’ve had to do to make this a reality.

How to Bust Excuses and Focus on Your Writing Like Ray Bradbury

How to Bust Excuses and Focus on Your Writing Like Ray Bradbury

Fill in the blank: I can’t finish my draft because _______. Are you sure that is what is holding you back?

This is one of the busiest months of the year for me. I’m usually disciplined, but there are some especially busy seasons when writing is hard to prioritize. As one of my classes began reading Fahrenheit 451 this month, I remembered a letter Ray Bradbury sent to a librarian about how he wrote the novel. It was just what I needed to get back to finishing my book.

What’s in a Name? How to Come Up With Character Names

What’s in a Name? How to Come Up With Character Names

Names — character names or the names of people in real life — are a big deal. Parents-to-be pore over baby name books for months looking for that “perfect” name. Even naming a pet can take time. You want the name to be perfect, to mean something, to be unique but not too “weird.”

Naming a character, especially in a longer piece of writing, can be just as agonizing and is definitely just as important.

Parallelism: Keep Your Verb Tenses Consistent

Parallelism: Keep Your Verb Tenses Consistent

A few weeks ago, our group of friends was planning a potluck. One of the girls said she was planning on making vegetarian chili, cornbread, or baking cookies. I cringed internally because the flow of the sentence was wrong and hurt me on the inside. The issue: mismatched parallelism.

How to Maximize the Power of Cause and Effect in Your Stories

How to Maximize the Power of Cause and Effect in Your Stories

Ever had days when life feels like a broken-down Rube Goldberg machine? Cobbled together from bits of cast-off junk, limping along, and missing the connections that bring a satisfying result? If you have, you share something with the bulk of humanity. Most of us feel that way at some point.

A person’s life consists of an enormous jumbled mass of cause and effect events, on a scale so huge that connections are rarely obvious or traceable. By contrast, a character’s story is a relevant subset of such events in which the causal relationships are evident. Sometimes overt, and sometimes subtle, but always present if you want to create a story that resonates with readers.