This train of thought is much tidier than a writer’s brain—thankfully.
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The Radcliffe Ladies’ Reading Club by Julia Bryan Thomas: a Book Review
The Radcliffe Ladies’ Reading Club by Julia Bryan Thomas takes escaping through books and using them to make sense of one’s place in the world to new heights.
Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati: a Book Review
For readers who enjoy historical fiction, badass femme fatales, and good old-fashioned revenge, Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati is a must-add for your TBR list.
The Last Carolina Girl by Meagan Church: a Book Review
In The Last Carolina Girl, Leah Payne experiences many ways in which life can suddenly change: from losing the person you love most to the harsh edicts of a corrupt government institution.
It Ends at Midnight by Harriet Tyce: a Book Review
New Year’s Eve is an inspiring, heartwarming holiday—unless, like in It Ends at Midnight by Harriet Tyce, one never makes it to the big countdown.
A Legacy of Bones by Doug Burgess: a Book Review
In A Legacy of Bones by Doug Burgess, the Hawaiian landscape is the backdrop for a history of misery that will define the Lathrop family.
One Month of You by Suzanne Ewart: a Book Review
One Month of You by Suzanne Ewart explores the importance of spending time wisely, weighs romantic hope versus realistic expectations, and seamlessly combines tenderness with grit and fortitude.
The Sisters We Were by Wendy Willis Baldwin: a Book Review
The Sisters We Were by Wendy Willis Baldwin proves that while actions have consequences, they can also yield unexpected rewards.
The Power of Free-range Pens
The world is a scary place that often leaves us feeling the butt of some cosmic joke. But pens are still mighty and capable of giving reality the occasional swift kick in the ass.
Join the Conversation: Reexamining Dialogue
When it comes to dialogue, writers really do need to say what they mean and mean what they say. In other words, you’ve only got so many chances to use your characters’ conversations to their utmost advantage. Make them count.
How to Appreciate the First (Sucky) Draft
Lesson the first for every writer everywhere: the first draft is almost always awful. But that’s okay. In fact, that works to your advantage.
Writing Contests and Why They Make Us Want to Hurl
Writing contests are great avenues for exposure and constructive criticism. So why do they make all us writers feel physically ill at the thought of entering?
Lady Bosses of Lit
In the literary world, every day is International Women’s Day, and every month is Women’s History Month. The real world just hasn’t caught up to speed with the lady bosses of lit—yet.
27 Tips I’ve Collected as a Writer, an Editor, and Everything in Between
There are a million things that go into writing a novel. Here are twenty-seven of the handiest tips I’ve collected so far.
It’s not just fun to say; NaNoWriMo is a website, a nonprofit organization, a widespread writing community, and a challenge all rolled into one.
Writing Mythical Creatures
Fiction writing lends itself to an endless array of characters, from humans to mythical creatures: borrowed, created, or something in between.
To Outline or Not: Is There a Question?
Every writer creates their own type of outline. Or, sometimes they don’t.
Disenchanted by Brianna Sugalski: a Book Review
Disenchanted by Brianna Sugalski brings magic and even more drama to the height of the French Renaissance.
Sarayna’s Fate by M. Dalto: a Book Review
Sarayna’s Fate continues M. Dalto’s Empire saga with all of the magic, adventure and tension that readers have come to expect, but with a few twists they might never have seen coming.
Uncaged by Celia McMahon: a Book Review
The sequel to Unspoken, Uncaged offers an action-packed continuation of a story about magic, loyalty, wolves and war.
Writing Romance (without Sounding Like a Sap)
Writing romance (without sounding like a sap) doesn’t have to be an exercise in clichés. Learn to avoid this genre’s tired tropes, or at least how to use them to your advantage.
Blood and Brume by Maki Morris: a Book Review
Blood and Brume by Maki Morris has all of the makings of a good ghost story, without excluding the struggles of the living along the way.
That’s right―Dressember now lasts all year long! The Dressember Foundation announced an extension of its campaign for all individual advocates this year. Instead of a month-long sprint to the finish line, we’ve got the option to spend the entire year drumming up support for this fantastic cause. As you might have guessed, I jumped on…
In Restless Dreams by Wren Handman: a Book Review
Wren Handman takes us on a journey of self-discovery, fairy magic, and teen angst in her latest book, In Restless Dreams.
The Infernal Machine by C.W. Snyder: a Book Review
The Infernal Machine by C.W. Snyder explores the concept of right and wrong, as well as the heavy burden of one’s past during a race to save humankind.
Showing vs. Telling: How to Set the Mood
Showing vs. telling: both are key to establishing mood and tone, and creating an immersive storytelling experience.
Sons of Fire by Tracy Auerbach: a Book Review
A story of family, royalty, duty, and survival, Sons of Fire by Tracy Auerbach is a thrilling YA adventure read that combines reality and fantasy in unexpected ways.
Painting Your Fictional Characters in Shades of Gray
Black and white is great for photography. In stories? Not so much. Painting your fictional characters in shades of grey is crucial.
Writing Action Sequences
Writing action sequences (without punching yourself or your audience in the face) is a delicate art.
Lost in the Spanish Quarter by Heddi Goodrich: a Book Review
Using her own journey to self-awareness and happiness as her guide, Goodrich weaves a tale of heartbreak, escapism, cross-cultural conversions, and second chances.
How to Create and Use Character Backstories
There is no right way to create and use character backstories, but with practice and revisions, you can find the happy medium between too much and not enough.
The German House by Annette Hess (translated by Elisabeth Lauffer): a Book Review
Annette Hess takes us to post-WWII Germany to follow the Frankfurt Trials and a young translator who must learn the difference between knowing and telling the truth.
It Would Be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo (translated by Elizabeth Bryer): a Book Review
Karina Sainz Borgo tells a story of resilience and humanity in battered and torn Venezuela.
Stranger Things Have Happened by Thomas Gaffney: a Book Review
Self-published author Thomas Gaffney explores the weird and the unexpected in this collection of short stories.
Setting the Scene
World-building is how we writers enable our paranoid, Type A control freak habits, and write stories our readers can really dive into.
Creating the Ultimate Villain
The flat, unyielding fairy tale villain is dead. Find out how to make your bad guys leap off the page.
Kill Your Darlings
Whether for the sake of word count or story progression, it’s important to know when it’s time to kill your darlings, and kill them dead.
Rose and Her Very Special Garden by Lisa Anne Curlin: a Book Review
A children’s book from debut author Lisa Anne Curlin, Rose and Her Very Special Garden teaches nature lovers of all ages to stop and smell the roses.