Before and After: Th...

Wouldn’t it be interesting to see before-and-after photos of all the ideas that ever sparked a story — to hold our intentions and inspirations up against our final manuscripts and see the evolution? It’s amazing how much an idea can change before an author is through with it — how...

Facing the Blank Pag...

In the beginning — as you’re trying to put the first words on the blank page of your newest work in progress — it’s easy to feel as though each word you write should be perfect. You want to start strong. You want to write that perfect opening paragraph that will unfold...

The Book in You: Thr...

There are many stages to discovering the book in you. You might be wondering how to write a story, or you might already be in the process of writing. But no matter which stage you’re currently in, eventually you’ll be searching for the answers on how to get published. Prepping for...

Writing the First Se...

If there’s anyone I’d feel safe taking writing advice from, it’s Joyce Carol Oates — one of the most prolific writers of our time. Having published over 120 books over the course of her career, surely she must know something about powering through a first draft and reworking it until...

Develop the Critic Within

Criticism about your writing is going to come in many forms. Someone you don’t know may write a review of your book in a newspaper. Someone you trust might offer a critique of your draft. You might get feedback from a writing group or read comments online at Amazon or Goodreads. Despite whether the criticism is constructive or destructive (and there’s a major difference), it is important to take all of it into consideration before throwing away as much of it as you wish. First off, most feedback you get from friends will be over-complimentary, so you have to take their “This is amazing!” comments with a grain of salt. These blanket...