Beth Revis’ PAPER HEARTS: Advice on Writing

We are excited to welcome today’s guest, Beth Revis! DON’T MISS OUT ON THE GIVEAWAY AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST!

You can win a journal with this cover!

I wrote Paper Hearts for the writer I used to be. The questions I used to have plagued me when I was starting this career path. How do I get to the end? What’s the proper way to structure a novel–is there even a proper way? How do I make my book stand out from all the other ones on sub?

Now, fifteen years, eleven unpublished books, three New York Times bestsellers, one self published book, and countless hours working on craft and working with other professionals, I think I finally have the answers that I needed way back then.

Unfortunately, I can’t travel back in time. But what I can do is try to help others. I’ve been compiling articles on the things I’ve learned about writing, publishing, and marketing for years, first informally on blog posts, then more collectively on Wattpad. After hitting 100,000 reads, I realized that I should take Paper Hearts more seriously…and that I had not one book, but three. Fully revised and expanded, the Paper Hearts series will feature three volumes, one each on writing, publishing, and marketing. Paper Hearts, Volume 1: Some Writing Advice will be out on November 1, with the other two following in December and January. Preorder it now from: Independent Bookstore ~ Amazon ~ BN ~  Kobo ~ Smashwords


Your enemy is the blank page. When it comes to writing, there’s no wrong way to get words on paper. But it’s not always easy to make the ink flow. Paper Hearts: Some Writing Advice won’t make writing any simpler, but it may help spark your imagination and get your hands back on the keyboard.

Practical Advice Meets Real Experience
With information that takes you from common mistakes in grammar to detailed charts on story structure, Paper Hearts describes:
  • How to Develop Character, Plot, and World
  • What Common Advice You Should Ignore
  • What Advice Actually Helps
  • How to Develop a Novel
  • The Basics of Grammar, Style, and Tone 
  • Four Practical Methods of Charting Story Structure
  • How to Get Critiques and Revise Your Novel
  • How to Deal with Failure
  • And much more!
BONUS! More than 25 “What to do if” scenarios to help writers navigate problems in writing from a New York Times Bestselling author who’s written more than 2 million words of fiction.



New writers are constantly told to show, not tell. But knowing exactly what that means can be a difficult thing to master. The difference lies in the verbIt was cold. = Telling Ella shivered in the cold. = Showing. An active verb indicates a showing sentence. But this isn’t always true. I could have said, “Ella thought it was cold,” and that does employ an active verb, but the beef of that sentence lies in the passive verb, not the active one.

To figure out what to show, ask: How do you know this? It was cold. = A simple fact. Ask: how do you know it’s cold? Answer = Ella shivered. Now, obviously, that’s the ultimate in simplicity. You can’t just stop there.

The difference between boring showing and good showing is in the emotion. Ella shivered in the cold. = Boring showing. Ella shivered, and the cold seemed to reach all the way through her skin and into her heart. = Good showing. Notice how they get longer? A picture’s worth a thousand words—so to show that picture, it might take all thousand words.

Does this mean everything you write should be “showing?” NO. Let me say that again: NO. Sometimes it’s just cold. Say it and move on. But if this is a point where you can and should show character development or enhance the story, show it.


Remember: if you pre-order the print copy from my local indie bookstore, Malaprops, you’ll also get a chapbook of the best writing advice from 12 beloved and bestselling YA authors included in your order for free!



Beth Revis is the New York Times bestselling author of the Across the Universe trilogy, as well as The Body Electric, Paper Hearts, and the forthcoming A World Without You. She lives in the Appalachian mountains with her boys: one husband, one son, and two very large dogs.

You can find out more on Facebook, Twitter, or online. If you never want to miss a thing and also get exclusive insider opportunities, sign up for her newsletter here.