Writing Series Index
Here are the different series on the craft of fiction writing I have taught through this site. They are listed alphabetically (after the Top Ten Writing Tips)
Top Ten Writing Tips (May–June 2010, Revised September 2014). See also Ready, Set, Write
Writing Tip #1: FINISH YOUR FIRST DRAFT
Writing Tip #2: I Need Distance
Writing Tip #3: Start something new
Top Ten Writing Tips–Tip #4: Read five published novels in your genre for every one craft book you read.
Writing Tip #5: Story trumps craft
Writing Tip #6: Don’t think. Just write
Writing Tip #7: MAKE LISTS!
Writing Tip #8: It’s Okay If What You Write Stinks
Writing Tip #9: Write your passion—but keep an eye on the market
Writing Tip #10: YOU are your best source of motivation!
Bad Guys: The Villains and Antagonists We Love to Hate (August 2009). See also Creating Credible Characters, Conflict.
Bad Guys: The Villains and Antagonists We Love to Hate
Bad Guys: Breaking (Down) Bad
Bad Guys: Everything I Need to Know about Bad Guys, I Learned in Childhood
Bad Guys: The Allure of the Dark Side
Bad Guys: Antagonist or Villain?
Bad Guys: Does a Villain Have to Be Evil?
Bad Guys: What Is Evil?
Bad Guys: Is He or Isn’t He? (Dark Heroes)
Bad Guys—Creepy Cartoon Caricatures (Caricature or Creepily Sympathetic?)
Bad Girls: The Scorned Woman
Bad Girls: From Vixens to Villains
Be Your Own Casting Director—Choosing and Using Real World Templates (RWTs) to Help with Character Development (Updated September 2014, originally published October/November 2006). See also Creating Credible Characters, Storyboarding
Character Development for Visually Oriented Writers; or, Be Your Own Casting Director
Be Your Own Casting Director: 4 Methods of Character Casting
Be Your Own Casting Director: Creating a “Casting Book”
Be Your Own Casting Director: Using Real World Templates in Character Development
Be Your Own Casting Director: Isn’t This All Just a Big Waste of Time?
- Original Series:
Be Your Own Casting Director: Introduction
Be Your Own Casting Director: Real World Template Exercise
BYOCD: Creating a Casting Book
BYOCD: Collecting Images
BYOCD: Putting RWTs to Work for You
BYOCD: Guided Brainstorming with RWTs
Becoming a Writer (January/February 2009). See also Ready, Set, Write
Becoming a Writer: Why I Write
Becoming a Writer: My Road to Publication
Becoming a Writer: So You Want to Be a Writer?
Becoming a Writer: Where Do Stories Come From?
Becoming a Writer: Imagine That!
Becoming a Writer: Creativity & Inspiration
Becoming a Writer: A Writing Exercise
Becoming a Writer: Finding Story Material (Example)
Becoming a Writer: How Do I Get Started?
Becoming a Writer: Advice from Best-Selling Authors
Becoming a Writer: The Best Advice I Ever Received
Becoming a Writer: How Do I Know When I’m Finished?
Beginnings. See Finding Your Beginning in “The End”
Beyond the First Draft—Revising, Rewriting, and Submitting (August 2007). See also Critiquing, Manuscript 101
The Down-and-Dirty Guide to Critiquing
Beyond the First Draft—Reviewing, Revising, Readjusting
Beyond the First Draft–The Four Secrets
Beyond the First Draft–Clarity
Beyond the First Draft–Starting the Revision Process
Beyond the First Draft–One Revision or Multiple Passes?
Beyond the First Draft–The Cutting Room Floor
Beyond the First Draft–More on Cutting
Beyond the First Draft–The Dreaded Synopsis
Beyond the First Draft—The Query Letter
Beyond the First Draft–Preparing the Perfect Proposal
Beyond the First Draft—The Pitch Sheet and One-Sheet
Beyond the First Draft–Face-to-Face Pitch Sessions
- Other Helpful Posts:
Get Set: Structuring Your Story in Seven Steps
Conference Preparation Series (August–September 2008.)
Conference Preparedness Series Introduction
Rose McCauley’s Top 10 List
Georgiana Daniels’s Secret to Conquering Conference Nerves
Tracy Ruckman’s Advice to First-Time Conference Attendees
Conference Prep—Nerves and Pitching
Deborah Raney’s Advice for Getting Over Conference Nerves
Lynette Sowell Advises You to Take a Time Out at Conference
Ane Mulligan, “Pitchers” Coach
Conference Prep–Neworking on the Fly
The Scoop on Pitching, by Virginia Smith
Taking Care of “God Appointments” with Lena Nelson Dooley
Jennifer Johnson says, “Prepare to Be Blessed!”
Conference Prep–Home Work
Ronie Kendig’s Spiritual Hot Spots at Conference
Erica Vetsch Helps Us Keep the Wheels Turning After Conference
Amber Miller Asks: What do you do during down-time at a writing conference?
Conflict (October 2006)
It’s Good to Be Conflicted
Conflict: Thematic vs. Actual
Conflict: Desires and Goals
Conflict: Move That Bus!
Contests. See Entering Writing Contests
Creating Credible Characters (June 2007). See also Be Your Own Casting Director, Point of View
Creating Credible Characters—Introduction
Creating Credible Characters—Where Do Characters Come From?
Creating Credible Characters–Who Are You?
Creating Credible Characters–Culture Clash
Creating Credible Characters–Let’s Get Personal
Creating Credible Characters–Mannerisms and Quirks
Creating Credible Characters–What Do You Want?
Creating Credible Characters–What’s in a Name?
Critical Reading (November–December 2007)
Critical Reading: An Introduction
Critical Reading: Photographic Evidence
Critical Reading: Goals & Back Covers
Critical Reading: The First Date
Critical Reading: Take Three
Critical Reading: “Question-Storming!” (guest columnist Dr. Michael Arnzen)
Critical Reading: As You Read (in General)
Critical Reading: As You Read (Characters)
Critical Reading: “Why Learn to Analyze Fiction?” (guest columnist MaryAnn Diorio, Ph.D.)
Critical Reading: YOU Ask the Questions
Critical Reading: The Literary Stuff
Critical Reading: More on Figurative Language (guest columnist Chip MacGregor)
Critical Reading: Finding Fantasy in Fiction (guest columnist Melissa James Doll)
Critical Reading: Ending & Reflections
Critiquing (September 2006)
Critiquing Step 1: Becoming a Pot-Bellied Pig
Critiquing Step 2: Be a Reader First, Writer Second
Critiquing Step 3: Remember the Golden Rule
Critiquing Step 4: Putting the Crits to Work
Debunking Writing Myths (Fall 2010–Spring 2011)
Debunking Writing Myths: Blogging & Social Media
Debunking Writing Myths: “Write What You Know”
Debunking Writing Myths: “Omniscient POV Is Bad”
Debunking Writing Myths: “First Person POV is the easiest to write.”
Debunking Writing Myths: “Eliminate all WASes and HADs from Your Manuscript”
Debunking Writing Myths: “Eliminate ALL Adverbs”
Debunking Writing Myths: “Read, Read, Read”
Debunking Writing Myths: Always/Never Use “Said” Dialogue Tags
Debunking Writing Myths: The Opening Salvo
Debunking Writing Myths–“Never use fragments, one-word sentences, or one-line paragraphs.”
Debunking Writing Myths: “Showing Is Always Better than Telling”
Dialogue. See “Say What?”
Endings (April 2007). See also Finding Your Beginning in “The End”
Famous Last Words
What Are Some Last Lines YOU Like?
Famous Last Words—Answers . . . and Another Question!
An Ending to Remember
The Denouement–Resolution & Resonance
It’s Not Over Yet–Ending a Series Novel
Is It Really Over? To Epilogue or Not to Epilogue
Entering Writing Contests (February–March 2008.)
Entering Writing Contests–Why?
Entering Writing Contests–It’s Personal then It’s Business
Entering Writing Contests–Etiquette 101 by Erica Vetsch
Entering Writing Contests–Battle Scars by Georgiana Daniels
Entering Writing Contests–Resisting the Dark Side
Entering Contests–A Judge’s Perspective
Finding Your Beginning in “The End” (October–November 2014)
There and Back Again: Finding Your Beginning in “The End”
Finding Your Beginning in “The End”: Is Writing the Perfect First Line Really a Big Deal?
Finding Your Beginning in “The End”: Are You a Trustworthy Writer?
Finding Your Beginning in “The End”: Dreaming of Writing a Perfect Opening
Finding Your Beginning in “The End”: The Importance of Finishing Your First Draft
Finding Your Beginning in “The End”: Ending Your Beginning
Famous First Lines
Not-so-Famous First Lines
What’s the Big Deal about First Lines?
A Last Word about First Lines
Goal Setting (October 2014)
Dreams vs. Goals: Do You Dream of Being a Writer?
Dreams vs. Goals: Give Your Writing Dreams Marching Orders
Dreams vs. Goals: Setting Goals to Achieve Our Writing Dreams
Dreams vs. Goals: What if my Writing Goals Change? What if I Fail?
Hooking the Reader (March–April 2008.). See also Conflict, First Lines
Hooking the Reader: An Introduction
Hooking the Reader: Love at First Sight
Hooking the Reader: The Character Investment
Hooking the Reader: Scene Two, Take Five
Hooking the Reader: That Scene Is a Disaster!
Hooking the Reader: “To Be Continued . . .”
Hooking the Reader: Facing the Consequences
The Inspirational Element (January 2008.)
The Inspirational Element–Introduction
The Inspirational Element–Through the Ages
The Inspirational Element–Letting It Happen
The Inspirational Element–Guest Columnist Shelley Adina
The Inspirational Element–When Good Characters Make Bad Choices
The Inspirational Element–The Christian Imagination
The Inspirational Element–Guest Columnist MaryLu Tyndall
The Inspirational Element–Bringing Delight (or de-Light?)
The Inspirational Element–Making it Believable
The Inspirational Element–Guest Columnist Rachel Hauck
Make Point of View Work for You (April/May 2009). See also Creating Credible Characters, Point of View, Showing vs. Telling
Make POV Work for You–Introduction
Make POV Work for You: Dispelling a Few POV Myths
Make POV Work for You: POV Begins with Character
Make POV Work for You: I’m Ready for My Closeup
Make POV Work for You: Avoiding Head-Hopping
Make POV Work for You: The Unreliable Narrator
Make POV Work for You: Character Vocabulary
Make POV Work for You: Show Don’t Tell (Part 1)
Make POV Work for You: More on Character Description
Make POV Work for You: Show Don’t Tell (Part 2)
Make POV Work for You: Writing the Male POV
Manuscript 101 (May/June 2007)
Manuscript 101–the Book List
Manuscript 101–Introduction & Basic Manuscript Format
Manuscript 101–Commas Pop Quiz
Manuscript 101–Commas Pop Quiz Answers 1-5
Manuscript 101–Commas Pop Quiz Answers 6-10
Manuscript 101–Comma, wherefore art thou?
Manuscript 101–The Apostrophe’s Dilemma
Manuscript 101–Where do I put the “quotation marks”? (includes info on ellipses and em dashes)
NaNoWriMo Prep: Creating a Story Bible Step 1–Pick Your Poison (or Software)
NaNo Prep Day 2: Creating Your Story Bible–What Do Your Main Characters Look Like?
NaNo Prep Day 3: Creating Your Story Bible–Getting Your Characters into SHAPE
NaNo Prep Day 4: Setting the Scene in Your Story Bible
Nano Prep: Propping Up Your Story Bible
NaNo Prep: Dressing Up your Story Bible
NaNo Prep: Adding Secondary and Minor Characters to Your Story Bible
NaNo Prep: Creating a Style Sheet
NaNo Prep: Figuring Out What Your Story’s “About” Before You Start Writing (writing blurbs, synopses)
NaNo Prep: Taking Pre-Planning Your Story a Step (or Seven) Further with an Outline and/or Synopsis
NaNo Prep: Draft Writing vs. Regular Writing
NaNo Prep: Setting Daily Word-Count Goals and Tracking Your Progress
Quick Reference Resources for NaNo or other Writing Marathons
NaNoWriMo—What If You Get Stuck/Blocked?
Networking (July/August 2006)
Gas–$3, Book–$12, Networking–Priceless
Networking–What is it, really?
Networking = Name Recognition = Marketing
Networking: Addendum to Building Name Recognition
Networking: Stumbling Block #1–Fear
Networking: Stumbling Block #2–Communication
Networking: Stumbling Block #3—Following Up
Dos and Don’ts of Networking
Networking Refresher (September 2007) (includes more information about networking at writing conferences)
Networking–A Refresher Course
Networking Refresher–The “Soft Sell”
Networking Refresher–Building Name Recognition
Networking Refresher–Is This Seat Taken?
Networking Refresher–Face-to-face editor/agent meetings
Networking Refresher–When Did We Stop Sending Notes?
Plot or Plod (October 2007). See also Conflict, Subplot, Creating Credible Characters
Plot or Plod: A New Writing Craft Series
Plot or Plod Part 1: Give Your Story an EKG
Plot or Plod Part 1a: “EKG” Plotting Example
Plot or Plod Part 2: Making Connections
Plot or Plod Part 3: . . . and ACTION!
Plot or Plod Part 4: Raise Those Stakes!
Plot or Plod Part 5: Themes and Master Plots
Plot or Plod Part 6: Answering Some Plot Questions
Plot or Plod Part 7: The Plot Twist
Plot or Plod: Wrap-up
Point of View. See Make Point of View Work for You
- Ready. Set. Write.: Planning, Preparing, and Writing Your Novel This Year
Get Ready: Is Your PREMISE Ready?
Get Ready: Are Your CHARACTERS Ready?
Get Ready: Is your SETTING ready?
Get Set: Developing Your Backstory
Get Set: Picking Your Point of View and Viewpoint Characters
Get Set: Getting to Know Your Setting
Get Set: Doing Your Research
Get Set: Determining Your Story’s Tone
Get Set: Setting Writing Goals and Timelines
Get Set: Figuring Out Your Characters’ Desires, Goals, and Motivations
Get Set: Structuring Your Story in Seven Steps
Get Set: Getting into the Draft-Writing Mindset
Get Set: Setting Up Your Writing Space(s)
Get Set: Writing Your Opening Scene(s)
Write: Writing Your Story Scene by Scene
Write: Using Dialogue to Bring Your Story to Life
Write: “Stealing” Writing Time and Revisiting Your Goals
Write: Storyboarding to Avoid the Sagging Middle
Write: Building Your Momentum (and Word Count) with #1k1h Writing Sprints
Write: Generating Conflict and Collecting Narrative Debt
Romance. See Writing the Romance Novel
“Say What?”—A Series About Dialogue (September–October 2008.)
“Say What?” How Do You Say Hello?
“Say What?”–Uh, Um, Well, So, Wow, Great, Yeah, Really?
“Say What?”–Transcribed Dialogue Assignment
“Say What?”–Where Do I Put the Quotation Marks?
“Say What?”–A Delicate Balancing Act
“Say What?”–What Direction Is Your Dialogue Going?
“Say What?”–Dialogue Writing Assignment
Fun Friday–Favorite Movies/TV for Dialogue
“Say What?”–Is It Dialogue-Worthy?
“Say what?” she intoned incredulously.
“Say What?”–Character Quirks & Non-Verbal Dialogue
SCENE IT! (February–March 2013)
NEW SERIES! Scene It–Introduction
SCENE IT! How Long Should Scenes Be?
SCENE IT: 1-2-3 Blast Off! Crafting Out-of-this-World Scene Launches
SCENE IT! Is there a bit of tension in here?
SCENE IT! Complicate Your Characters’ Lives
SCENE IT! Hooking Your Reader with Scene Endings
SCENE IT! Consequences and Rewards (a.k.a., Scene and Sequel)
SCENE IT! Is it a keeper?
SCENE IT! Types of Scenes
SCENE IT! Working with Multiple Viewpoint Characters
Setting (May 2007)
Stir Up Your Setting
Stir Up Your Setting – Part 1: World Building
SUYS – World Building…A Step Further
Stir Up Your Setting – Part 2: Using All Five Senses
Stir Up Your Setting–REAL Fictional Settings
Favorite Settings on Film
Stir Up Your Setting–Making Setting a Character
Stir Up Your Setting–Finding a Happy Medium
Showing vs. Telling (January/February 2007)
Showing vs. Telling—An Introduction
Showing vs. Telling—The First Date
Showing vs. Telling—Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Showing vs. Telling—In the Eye of the Beholder
Showing vs. Telling—Feeeeeeeeeelings . . .
Showing vs. Telling—Do You See What I See?
Showing vs. Telling—Do You Smell What I Taste?
Showing vs. Telling—The Sixth Sense
Showing vs. Telling—Puppets, Cartoon Characters, or Live Action?
Showing vs. Telling—When to TELL
Subplot (November 2006)
Subplots: Decorating a Christmas Tree
Subplots: Connection, Conflict, and Range
Subplots: Building Blocks
Voice (February/March 2007)
VOICE—You’ve Got Personality!
VOICE—Blogging as Our Characters
Finding our VOICE—A Trip Down Memory Lane
Finding My VOICE—Writing for ME
Finding My Voice—COLLEEN COBLE
Finding Their Voices–Authors Speak Out on Voice
Finding My Voice–Rachel Hauck & Lena Nelson Dooley
Finding My Voice–Deborah Raney, Terry Burns, & Chip MacGregor
Finding My Voice–Louise Gouge and Randy Ingermanson
Finding My Voice–MaryLu Tyndall and Kristy Dykes
Finding My Voice–Camy Tang, Gail Martin, and Shelley Bates
Finding My Voice–Linda Windsor, Bryan Davis, and Robert Elmer
WRITE (a series of inspirational posts, September 2007)
Ready to WRITE–Wonderfully
Ready to WRITE–Rejoice!
Ready to WRITE–with Integrity
Ready to WRITE–Technically
Ready to WRITE–Engage!
Writing Conferences. See:
- Conference Prep
Entering Writing Contests
Beyond the First Draft (info on one sheets, synopses, pitches)
Networking and Networking Refresher
Writing the Romance Novel (April–May 2008.)
Upcoming Blog Series—Writing the Romance Novel
Writing the Romance Novel: Why Romance?
Writing the Romance Novel: What Is a Romance Novel?
Writing the Romance Novel: Who Reads Romances?
Writing the Romance Novel: The Warrior and the Damsel in Distress
Writing the Romance Novel: The Caveman and the TSTL Heroine
Writing the Romance Novel: Point of View
Writing the Romance Novel: The Seven Story Beats
Writing the Romance Novel: Beats 1 & 2
Writing the Romance Novel: Beats 3, 4 & 5
Writing the Romance Novel: Beats 6 & 7
Writing the Romance Novel: Purple Is (not) My Favorite Color
Writing the Multi-ethnic Romance Novel: Asian American, by Camy Tang
Writing the Multi-ethnic Romance Novel: African American by Patricia Woodside
Writing the Romance Novel: Historical Romance vs. Historical Fiction
Writing the Romance Novel: Humor and Romantic Comedy, with guest Linda Windsor
Writing the Romance Novel: Divisions and Subgenres
Writing the Romance Novel: History of the Inspirational Romance
Writing the Romance Novel: Why I Read and Write Romance
Writing the Romance Novel: You’ve Written It, Now What? (Guest Blogger Rebecca Germany)
Writing the Romance Novel: Incorporating Sensuality into Sweet Romance (Guest Blogger, Penny Dawn)
Writing the Romance Novel: Happy Ending or Happily Ever After?
Writing the Series Novel (June 2008.)
Writing the Series Novel: Introduction
Writing the Series Novel: How Do You Know It’s a Series?
Writing the Series Novel: Know Your World
Writing the Series Novel: The End–or Is It?
Writing the Series Novel: Shattering the Happy Ending
Writing the Series Novel: My Series has Back(story) Problems
Writing the Series Novel: Writing Series Endings with Maria Snyder
- Other posts about writing series . . .
Writer-Talk Tuesday: Wrapping Up a Series
You Know You’re a Writer If . . .