Sunday, August 9, 2020

Choppy Sentences

How do you fix your sentence structures for better flow?

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Common Query Mistakes

Avoid these common mistakes that agents see over and over again in queries.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Character Arc

What's a character arc and why does your book need one?

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Publishing Contracts

Here are some questions to ask the publisher before signing that book contract.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020


If you're writing in rhyme, you also need to understand rhythm.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Middle Grade Novels

If you're interested in writing middle grade, whether as a beginner or more experienced, here's a great deal of information to help you.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Differentiate Your Characters

It's important for your readers that they can tell one character from another.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Redundancy in Writing

Here are three types of repetition to watch out for in your writing.

Saturday, August 1, 2020


If you're going to use photos in your book, start researching them early.

Friday, July 31, 2020


Some pros and cons about writing a series.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Writing Middle Grade

The first golden rule of writing middle is grade is to see the world through their eyes, not yours.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Query Tips

When you're ready to query, here are some tips for you to consider.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Dialogue Mistakes

Here are eight ways you may be bungling your dialogue.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Narrative vs. Expository Nonfiction

How do two of the major types of nonfiction writing, expository and narrative, compare?

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Grammar Checkers

If you need help with your grammar, here's a list of programs to help you.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Story Decisions

Small decisions in your story can have a huge impact.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Evaluating Publishing Contracts

Make sure you're not sabotaging yourself when signing a publishing contract.

Inciding Incident

How do you show the event that sparks the rest of your novel?  

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Comp Titles

Do you need to include comparative titles in your query and, if so, how do you find them?

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Word Choice

Your choice of words affects many aspects of your storytelling.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Peer Critiques vs. Professional Editing

How do you know whether you should get a professional editor for your work?

Monday, July 20, 2020

Virtual Book Launches

Here are some tips to make your virtual book launch more memorable.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Agency Contracts

What should you look for (or avoid) in an literary agent contract?

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Describing Locations

Even if you've never been to the location your book is set in, you need to get all the details correct.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Structural Toolbox

One of the many toolboxes you need as a writer is a structural one, to identify and fix your stories.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Clarity in Writing

If the information is not on the page, your readers don't know it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020


Here are eight ways not to begin your novel.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Young Adult

How to tell if you book is or isn't a YA novel.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Author Branding

What is an author brand and how do you develop one?

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Revise and Resubmit

What does it really mean when an agent asks you to revise your manuscript and resubmit it?

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Author Contracts

What are the most important points you should look for in an agent or publisher contract?

Friday, July 10, 2020

Character Grids

Character grids can help you keep track of what your characters are doing and feeling in each part of your story.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Literary Executor

You need to decide who has control over what is done with your books after you die.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Map Building

Although you might think you only need to map build your world when writing fantasy, it helps to do so in realistic fiction, too.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Two Main Characters

How do you craft your story when you have more than one main character?

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Believable Dialogue

Your readers won't identify with your characters if their dialogue doesn't sound realistic.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Character Development

Round out your characters by including these traits.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Power of Pronouns

Using pronouns, if done well, is a powerful shortcut for our readers.

Active Verbs

Use active verbs to bring your writing to life.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Picture Book Endings

Ending a picture book is not as simple as writing, "the end."

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Narrative Drive

Here's a handy checklist to keep the narrative in your story moving forward.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Building an Author Brand in Difficult Times

How do you promote your author brand when many traditional avenues are unavailable?

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Anecdotal Writing

How to avoid the dreaded this happened, then this happened, then this happened, in your writing.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Author Platform

What is an author platform and how can you make yours stronger?

Friday, June 26, 2020

Virtual Visits

How to look and sound your best when doing a virtual visit.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Book Series

Here are four principles to consider when you're writing a series.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Publishing Contracts

Whether or not you have an agent, you need to understand publishing contracts.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Picture Book Revision

Here are five quick tips for revising your picture book, starting with cut like an illustrator.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Middle Grade Novels

Here are three key components in a middle grade novel.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Limited Research Materials

How do you craft a true story when there are not a lot of primary and secondary sources?

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Point of View

The pros and cons of using each of the different points of view in your writing.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Planning a Scene

Here are some questions to ask when blueprinting a scene.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Increase the Action in Your Novel

Here are a few hints to make your readers anxious to turn the page.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Number of Characters

Is your book confusing because you have too many named characters?

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Pen Names

Reasons to use, and not to use, a pen name when writing.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Action Beats

Instead of always using dialogue tags, you can use action beats to indicate who is talking.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Finding an Agent

There are many resources you can use to narrow down your search to find the right literary agent for you and your book.

Saturday, June 13, 2020


Having multiple plotlines can add dimension to your novel.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Book Titles

Often, the title of your book will change before publication.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Virtual Book Launches

There are many ways to move your book launch online.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Killing Your Darlings

Here are some hints to identify and get rid of those parts of your manuscript that you love, but do nothing to advance your story.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Realistic Dialogue

Writing realistic dialogue doesn't mean you should make it sound exactly like people talk in real life.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Sunday, June 7, 2020

In Media Res

We've all heard the advice to start your book in media res, but how do you do that while still having your readers invested in your characters?

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Word Counts

Here are some general guidelines for the words counts of different categories and genres of books.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Novel Outline

Here's a template you can use in outlining your novel.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Publisher Edits

There are three types of edits your book will receive, sometimes known by different names: macro, line, and copy.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Character's Thoughts

Do you italicize a character's internal thoughts or not?

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Plotting Your Plot

Even if you're a pantser, a little bit of plotting will make your writing go more smoothly.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Picture Book Publishers

Here's an update to the monster list of picture book publishers.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Picture Book Editing

Here's a basic checklist to use when editing your picture book.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Cover Reveals

How and where to reveal your book cover is a part of your marketing strategy.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Verb Tenses

It's easy to get tripped on when figuring out which verb tense to use.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Literary Devices in Nonfiction

Nonfiction books can benefit from the same literary devices as those used in fiction.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Middle-Grade Novels

There are three characteristics of middle-grade novels.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Signing With and Agent

Here are some questions you might want to consider before signing with a literary agent.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Library of Congress

Twice a week, the Library of Conference has webinars of interest to authors doing research for a book.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Avoiding Repetitive Conflict

If your characters are already involved in a conflict, don't have them encounter the same one again.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Story Ideas

Here are some ways to make your story idea unique.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Rhetorical Questions

Should characters in your book propose rhetorical question?

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Comp Titles

Do you really need comp titles and, if so, what should they be?

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Sense of Touch

Make your prose come alive by including your characters' sense of touch.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Middle Grade or Young Adult?

This post explains the many differences between these two categories of books.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Book Trailers

Here are hints on how to make a book trailer and why you should do so.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Author Bios

Whether you're in the querying stage or about to have your book published, you need to craft an inviting author bio.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Polishing Your Prose

Consider these suggestions when self-editing to make your prose sparkle.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Blending Types of Nonfiction

Take a narrative nonfiction, add some expository literature, and come up with a new type of nonfiction.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Book Titles

These are some points to consider when you're choosing a title for your book.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Multiple Points of View

How do you balance the amount of each character gets when your books has multiple points of view?

Monday, May 11, 2020

Virtual Launch Events

Here are some ideas to bring your launch party online.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Verse Novels

Novels in verse are a string of emotional moments.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Press Releases

Here are some tips to make your press release work harder for you.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Comp Titles

Do you really need comp titles (other books similar to yours) in your queries?

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Picture Book Tips

Here are ten tips to help make your picture book the best it can be.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Dialogue-Only Picture Books

What do you need to consider if you're writing a picture book that consists only of dialogue?

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

The Agent Search

Some people think the search for an agent is like looking for the perfect date.

Monday, May 4, 2020


Whether you're asked to blurb someone else's book or you're being asked to give a blurb, here's what you need to know.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Book Fairs

Here are some suggestions for getting the most out of attending book fairs.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Young Adult or Middle Grade?

How do you tell what category your book fits into--young adult or middle grade?

Friday, May 1, 2020

Secondary Sources

We all know the importance of using primary sources, but sometimes it's those secondary sources that provide the information we need.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Character Arcs

There are four essential components to a character arc.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

School Visits

Having an author visit a school has a great influence on the students.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Writing Conferences and Introverts

Even if you're an introvert, you can still go to and benefit from writing conferences.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Historical Fiction Mistakes

Be careful that you don't make these mistakes in writing historical fiction.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Nonfiction vs. Informational Fiction

What's the difference between nonfiction and informational fiction, and does it matter?

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Writing-related Apps

Here are some tools to help make you a better writer.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Picture Book Biography Structure

There are so many ways to structure your picture book biography, so keep trying until you find the one that works for your story.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Finding a Critique Partner

What are some sources for finding a critique partner or beta reader?

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Author Visits

Here's a list of links all about author visits, including how to finance them.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Best Writing Websites

These are 100 of the best websites in 2020 for writers.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Chapter and Scene Breaks

Where do your break your scenes and chapters to make it more likely your reader will continue to turn the pages?

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Word Track Changes

Most editors use Microsoft Word's track changes, so if you're not familiar with it, now's the time to learn.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Picture Book Endings

There are several ways to end your picture book to give your readers a satisfying resolution.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Chapter Lengths

Although there are no hard and fast rules about chapter lengths, you should keep them consistent except when changing for emphasis.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Writing Dialogue

Well-written dialogue will keep your readers engrossed and wanting to read more.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Middle Grade Novels

The most important thing in writing a middle grade novel is to know your audience.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Deep Point of View

When you're writing in deep point of view, you need to make sure you aren't "storytelling."

Monday, April 13, 2020

Book Series

From planning a series to writing it, here's what you need to know.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Action Scenes

Here are five tips to pick up the pacing during an action scene.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Friday, April 10, 2020

Funny Picture Books

Kids love reading funny picture books, so here are some hints on how to write one.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Book Titles

Although there's a good chance that your publisher will change the book title you choose, here are some hints to choose a good one.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Picture Book Queries

The first step in writing a picture book query is to perfect the book.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Handling Feedback

It's important to be professional when receiving feedback on your work.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Contract Deal Terms

Whether or not you have an agent, it's important to understand what the deal terms mean in your contract.

Sunday, April 5, 2020


What's the correct pace for your story and its scenes?

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Tax Time Hints

Here are some vital questions to ask yourself when you're considering the tax implications of your writing.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Virtual Events

There are many ways to create you virtual event, and here are some tips on how to do so.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Spice Up Your Characters

No one wants to read flat characters, to give yours more life.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Rejection Reasons

There are so many reasons your manuscript might be rejected, and most of them have nothing to do with the quality of your writing.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Creating Scenes

Start to build your scene by first cocnentrating on a single character taking action to solve a problem.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Book Turns

Physically having to rotate the orientation of a book creates an interactive experience for the reader.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Cancelled Author Visits?

If you've had events and visits cancelled, now's the time to catch up on other marketing-related activities.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Podcasts for Writers

Here are some writing podcasts you might want to give a try.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Multiple POV

If you're writing a book with multiple points of view, you need to make sure the reader can distinguish the characters from each other.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Termination Clauses

You never want to think you'll part ways with your agent, but just in case, your contract should specify how this will be done.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Revising Picture Books

Here are some common mistakes and suggested solutions for revising fiction picture books.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Author Websites

If you're setting up (or revising) your author website, here's a guide to help you through the process.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Openings to Avoid

There are some overdone or misleading novel openings you might want to avoid.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Social Media Strategy

Whether you're new to social media or an old pro, you might want to review these strategies for getting the most out of your author platform.

Saturday, March 21, 2020


If you're thinking of collaborating on a manuscript, here are some points you might want to think about.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Writers and Taxes

It's tax season again, so here's what are some things you know to know as a writer.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Improve Your Verbs

Remove the clutter around your verbs to make them more powerful.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Children's Book Mistakes

Here are five big no-nos to avoid when writing a book for children.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Olfactory Descriptions

We all know we should include all five senses in our manuscripts, but it's not always easy to include the sense of smell.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Using Quotes

Here are some tips for using quotations in your nonfiction manuscript.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Permission to Use Images

There are some standard questions you'll be asked when you request permission to reprint an image in your work.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Writers' Conference

You've paid a lot of money to attend a conference, so make sure you get as much out of it as possible.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Picture Book Revision

Here are twenty questions to ask yourself when revising your picture book or critiquing someone else's.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Chapter Length

How long should your chapters be, and does it need to be consistent?

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Being a Writer

Here are 10 (and a bonus) commandments, not about how to write, but rather how to be a writer.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Book Trailers

What makes a book trailer amazing?

Monday, March 9, 2020

Character Arcs

We all know that our characters should change along the way, but how do we write that?

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Choosing an Agent

If you're lucky enough to be choosing between competing agent offers, here are some points to consider.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Professional Queries

Whether you're sending your query to an editor or an agent, you want to be professional.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Marketing Groups

Here's a great guide if you're thinking of starting a marketing group with fellow authors.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

First Chapter

How your word choices can improve the first chapter of your novel.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Top Author Blogs and Websites

Here are one hundred author websites and blogs of interest to authors.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

The Agent Search

Before you query agents, you need to know what you want from an agent.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Editorial Feedback

It can be overwhelming when you receive that editorial letter, but here are some ways to help navigate it.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Picture Book Structure

There are many possible structures to use when writing picture books.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Pitches and Blurbs

Here are some tips for when you're pitching or blurbing your book.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Story Essentials

What are the basic building blocks of a story?

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Deep Point of View

Writing in deep point of view is removes the narrative distance as much as possible.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Cutting Words

There are many words and scenes you can cut to tighten up your writing.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Character Description

Here are eleven tips about how to write an effect character description.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Show, Don't Tell

We've all heard that we should show and not tell in our writing, but how do you do that?

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Middle Grade or Young Adult

How do you tell if your story if a middle grade or a young adult novel?

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Final Chapters

You may have written the best novel ever, but if it doesn't come to a satisfying conclusion, your readers will be unhappy.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Literary Agent Etiquette

Following these rules will help you make your best impression on a literary agent.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Action Scenes

Here are five hints to increase the pacing in your action scenes.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Thoughts About Being Published

These are some things to consider if your dream is to become a published author.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

First Chapter

Here are some do's and don'ts to consider when writing that first chapter.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Character Outlines

Here's a way to outline your novel based on what's going on with your characters throughout the story.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Middle Grade Novels

Everything you wanted to know about writing a middle grade novel.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Fatal Flaws

How do you identify your characters' fatal flaws that present barriers to achieving what they want?

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Book Market vs. Your Interests

How do you figure out where your passion intersects with the current publishing market?

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Getting Blurbs

How do you ask people to write a blurb for the back cover of your book?

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Story Theme

Are you struggling to figure out the theme of your novel?

Monday, February 10, 2020

Author Visits

Here are some of the benefits, and also the challenges, of school visits.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Revise and Resubmit

Congratulations, you've received an invitation to revise and resubmit your manuscript, but now what?

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Picture Book Openings

Here's a list of ways to begin your picture book along with mentor text examples.

Friday, February 7, 2020


As a writer, it is vitally important that you have your work backed up--things happen.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Receiving Advice

Here are three indications that you might be ignoring the advice you're getting on your manuscript.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Literary Agents

What does a literary agent do for you and your career?

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Self Editing

When you're editing, start with the big picture and work your way down.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Scene Building

Build your scenes, brick by brick, from the ground up.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Pen Names

Under what circumstances should you consider using a pen name?  

Friday, January 31, 2020

Story Ideas

If you're stumped on an idea for your next story, maybe one of these methods might help.

Thursday, January 30, 2020


Here are some reasons your query blurb might not be working.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Writer's Brand

The pros and cons of whether or not you should break out from your writer's brand.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Marketing Objectives

Before you decide on a marketing plan, you need to know what your objectives are (other than just to sell more books).

Monday, January 27, 2020

Kidlit Writing Tips

Here are five simple tips to think about if you write for children.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

What Editors Wish Writers Knew

Here are seven things that children's book editors wish authors knew before submitting.

Saturday, January 25, 2020


Done well, foreshadowing is a might tool in your writer's toolbox.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Promoting a Debut

What should you do (or not do) and how much does it cost to promote your debut?

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Streamline Your Editing

Here's a list of things to look for as you revise your manuscript.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Picture Perfect Picture Books

These five tips will make your picture book one kids will want to read over and over again.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

School Visits

Here are some examples of school visit letters of agreement that will help make the day go more smoothly.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Publishing Lessons

Nine lessons, both business- and emotion-related, about publishing.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Copyright Myths

There are many misconceptions about copyrights.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Writing Fantasy

Here are seven suggestions from Gail Carson Levine for writing fantasy.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Perfect Endings

What are the elements of a perfect ending for a story?

Thursday, January 16, 2020


Even if you're a pantser, an outline can help in many ways.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Show, Don't Tell

We've all heard the adage, "show, don't tell," but how do you go about doing that?

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Work for Hire

How do you decide if work for hire is for you?

Monday, January 13, 2020

Critique Groups

Why it's important to be part of a critique group.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Fair Use

When is it fair use to include third-party text in your manuscript?

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Picture Book Agents

Contrary to popular wisdom, there are agents out there willing to take picture book clients.  

Friday, January 10, 2020

Successful School Visits

Three simple tips to help ensure your school visit is a success.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Agents or Editors?

Is it better to find an agent first or submit directly to publishers?

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Novel Writing Tips

Here are some tips for those new (and not so new) to writing novels.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Middle Grade or Young Adult

How do you tell if you're writing a middle grade or young adult novel?

Monday, January 6, 2020

Editorial Feedback

How do you approach revising your manuscript after receiving editorial feedback?

Sunday, January 5, 2020


You can use the places in your story to move the plot forward.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Editing a YA Anthology

Here are some things to consider and steps to take if you want to edit a young adult anthology.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Comp Titles

When you query, you may be asked to find competing titles, so here are some hints how to do so.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Describing Hair

Here's an comprehensive guide to how to describe characters' hair.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Small Publishers

Here are some questions to ask if you're going with a small (or even a large) publisher.