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Writer's Library
The Craft of Writing


For People Who Hate External Conflict

If it were up to me personally, I'd say external conflict isn't at ALL important, because what I enjoy are the characters' emotions. Their thoughts, their feelings, their inner turmoil. Who CARES about what they do in the physical world? But it's not up to me, and millions of readers DO care what they do.

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Four Methods For Interviewing Characters

If you're having a hard time getting to know your characters, you might want to try putting on your Oprah Winfrey hat and interviewing them. Sitting down at the typewriter for a chat with your hero or heroine is a great way to get to know them. Just pretend you're the hero and type, "Hi,

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Genre-Hopping Your Way Out Of The Midlist

The Midlist. You know where that is, don't you? Technically, the midlist is the well-stuffed section of a publisher's catalog full of books written by authors who are neither debut nor bestsellers. For new writers of commercial genre fiction, most especially in romance, this is a clear and well-defined destination. No longer a newbie, a

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Getting Good Tension

Tension is a very crucial element of any novel, whatever the genre, because you can’t have a story so bland that nothing happens or worries the reader, or you’ll not be giving your readers any reason to turn the page. However, creating tension is a very complex task. There are a few points you might

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Helpful Hints On Characterization

Perfection Does Not Exist No one is perfect, and that goes for the characters in our stories. The hero can have a heart of gold, eyes as blue as the sky, hair as black as sin, and a smile that can make the sun look like it is low on voltage. But come on now,

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How The Four Elements Are Related

Plot, Style, Character Development, and Length are always related. Any good novel has exactly the right balance of each, one that is appropriate to the genre and story. Also, it's important to note that genres tend to "weight" those four factors differently. In literary fiction, the weighting generally goes something like this: Most important factor:

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How To Learn The Craft

Learning to write is like learning anything else and can be broken down into three general parts. Research First, there are entire books written on this subject, and it's important to realize that any information I give will be in greatly abbreviated form. With that in mind, the first step would be to read a

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In Search Of The Modern Warrior Hero

The William Wallace battle cry of "Freedom" in BRAVEHEART launches my every romantic sense onto full-scale alert. What a hero! Images of medieval knights in armor and soldiers astride destriers fill best-selling romance novels. Why? Readers still believe in the early ideal of battlefield heroism, seeking reassurance of its continued presence in the modern day

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It's All About The Process

Not someone else’s process, but yours. This is not another article on how to plot your book or get into your character’s heads. Those are both important and necessary goals, but how YOU get there may have nothing to do with GMC, extensive character interviews, or breaking down your ideas into scenes and sequels. During

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Keep It Active

If the first rule of writing is Show, Don't Tell, the second should be Keep It Active. Active voice is what puts us in the middle of the action and allows us to feel. Passive voice is what gives us the feeling that someone is telling us a story that happened once upon a time.

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