I recently asked friends on social media what they’d most like to know about writing—the most popular response had to do with writing a book. How do you start? What do you do when you’ve finished? Since we’re heading into NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), the beginning seems like a very good place to start. … Continue reading So You Want to Write a Novel?
By Annette Lyon Imagine that you’re reading an Agatha Christie novel. In the last chapter, Poirot calls the cops, tells them who committed the murder, and goes on his way, saying that of course everyone knows why Jeremy Jones is the one being carted off to jail. After your confusion clears, you’d probably hurl the … Continue reading The Art of Dropping Breadcrumbs
Diving into a new year and plowing through another dark, cold winter, I know that I need a little inspiration. I'm guessing other writers could too. With that in mind, here are five of the best pieces of writing advice I've ever received. 1) Write regularly. As Billy Crystal said in Throw Mama from the Train (and, … Continue reading The Best Writing Advice
If you've been writing for very long at all, you know that one of the critical tools in any writer's arsenal is good readers. Sometimes these readers may come in the form of a critique group (sometimes called alpha readers) who read the story in progress. Often, they come in the form of beta readers--other … Continue reading Six (Sets of) Questions to Ask as a Beta Reader
Hello writers! Nice to see you again!During November I did NaNoWriMo, (National Novel Writing Month), as I have for the last four years. But something different happened this time.See, as I draft, I'm usually also leaving notes for myself. My first write-through is ridiculously messy. Brackets all over the place, bits of outline here and … Continue reading Writers, Keep Your Promises
One of your favorite writers puts out a call for beta readers. You're in the middle of revisions, but apply anyway because one time chance!The next day, you come down with the flu, making it difficult to spend any time looking at a computer screen for either revisions or reading.One of your writer friends offers … Continue reading How To Say No
One of the biggest differences I see between work that is tightly paced and well-plotted and work that is not, is nothing in the story—it’s a tool that is entirely outside of the story that often makes or breaks it: beta readers.When someone else’s book isn’t working for me, the most frequent thought I have … Continue reading Beta Readers