Writing Fiction: Should You Only “Write What You Know?”

In a recent writers’ group meeting, we discussed writing fiction and the value (or otherwise) of the writing dictum: “write what you know”. A new member, who’s a new author, posed a question. She’s writing an American Civil War novel, inspired by Gone With The Wind… and a family diary. “Does that mean,” she asked, … Read more

Use Short Stories And Novellas To Boost Your Self-Publishing Sales

Use Short Stories And Novellas To Boost Your Self-Publishing Sales

In a recent writers’ group meeting, we talked about short stories and novellas. Several authors in the group regularly write and publish short fiction. Most published just one story a month, but several published more. The most prolific author published eight short stories each month (!), while publishing a new novel every six months. But… … Read more

NaNoWriMo: How Important Is Setting In Your Novel?

“Who’s doing NaNoWriMo this year?” (A question at our writers’ group meeting.) It’s that time of year again. November and NaNoWriMo loom large. Will you participate? BTW: no matter when you’re reading this, you can use these tips to improve your fiction… Whether you’re joining in or not, if you’re an author, you worry about … Read more

Write Fiction Readers Love: 3 Tips To Convey Emotions

Write Fiction Readers Love: 3 Tips To Convey Emotions

At a recent writers’ group meeting, we discussed how to write fiction that readers love and remember. The discussion started when one author said: “Last week I caught up on my reading. I read four (genre) novels. After I finished them, I struggled to remember the characters. And the plots.” (I won’t mention which genre … Read more

Writing a Novel: Begin It With A Bullet Or A Sunrise?

Writing a Novel: Begin It With A Bullet Or A Sunrise?

When you’re writing a novel, do you begin at the beginning? We discussed our favorite strategies for starting a novel at a recent writers’ group meeting. Most authors in the group said they write chronologically: they began at the beginning and write to the end. Several authors however wrote according to their inspiration. “Stepping stones,” … Read more

Writing Fiction: Start With People To Avoid Plot Disasters

Writing Fiction: Start With People To Avoid Plot Disasters

In our latest writers’ group meeting, we talked about writing fiction and character creation and development. We’re back to our regular meetings, thank heavens. Sadly, our group’s been decimated, but we’ll build it up again. Start with plot or characters? That’s a topic which never gets old because of the two groups of fiction authors. … Read more