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Fiction Writing

How Do You Write a Novel? Learn the Rules. Then Break Them.

Holly Robinson | Posted 07.20.2016 | Books
Holly Robinson

It's tempting to believe that novelists who have already published books know "the secret." But every novel, whether it's your first or fifteenth, pos...

Heather Vogel Frederick: Charlotte Bronte For The Internet Age

Michael Levin | Posted 06.02.2016 | Books
Michael Levin

Heather Vogel Frederick is the Charlotte Bronte of our times. She writes big books that make girls fall in love with reading, and many of those girls...

Confessions of a Ghost Writer: Pay No Attention To That Woman Behind the Curtain

Holly Robinson | Posted 02.24.2016 | Books
Holly Robinson

Recently, I appeared on a radio show to promote a literary event. We were talking about my latest novel, but inevitably the host asked, "So you're a g...

Finishing The Hat: On Completing My First Novel

Cynthia Dagnal-Myron | Posted 02.01.2016 | Arts
Cynthia Dagnal-Myron

As I've said before, whenever I lose my way as a writer, and feel like I'm running up one dead end after another, I watch Sunday In The Park With Geor...

Who's Telling the Story? A Crash Course on Writing Points of View

Holly Robinson | Posted 12.08.2015 | Books
Holly Robinson

For all of you readers out there, the next time you pick up a novel, consider this: Why did the author choose this point of view? What would have happened if the book had been told from a different perspective? Or even multiple vantage points? The answers may surprise you.

Retired Senior Finds New Career As A Novelist

Nadine Cheung | Posted 11.02.2015 | Books

Aol's BeOn group creates custom editorial content that is sponsored by marketing partners. The sponsoring partners do not exert editorial influence ov...

How to Love the One You're With (Even If It's a Manuscript): 4 Tips That Really Work

Holly Robinson | Posted 09.23.2015 | Books
Holly Robinson

For the last three books, whenever I've been brought to my knees by the process of pushing word boulders uphill, I start the book somewhere new -- generally around fifty pages deeper in, maybe Chapter 3 or Chapter 4. And then, like magic, things start to come together.

Should a Novelist Be Politically Correct?

Warren Adler | Posted 09.22.2015 | Books
Warren Adler

The recent flap over a romance novel titled For Such a Time whose plot features a concentration camp inmate falling in love with her Nazi captor has aroused the wrath of various critics and readers on grounds that it is too discomfiting and disturbing to have been published.

After The Parade: An Interview with Lori Ostlund

Brandi Megan Granett | Posted 09.21.2015 | Books
Brandi Megan Granett

In After The Parade, a new novel from Lori Ostlund, Aaron, an English as a Second Language teacher leaves behind his partner and the home they shared ...

Discovering Prince Edward Island and a Sister-Writer

Holly Robinson | Posted 08.12.2015 | Travel
Holly Robinson

After making my first foray to Prince Edward Island with my friend Emily and our four children over twenty years ago, I returned to Massachusetts and vowed to return every year. I made good on that vow.

Speculation & Circus: A Conversation with Erika Swyler

Brandi Megan Granett | Posted 08.07.2015 | Books
Brandi Megan Granett

Erika Swyler's debut novel, The Book of Speculation, tells the story of a family haunted by their mother's past. As Simon learns more about his mother's life both inside and outside of the circus, he comes to view his family gifted with ability to hold their breath like sea creatures and see the past and future through the tarot to be both incredibly susceptible to death in the water and lacking insight into their own conditions.

5 Rituals and Routines That Changed My Writing Life

Jennifer Blanchard | Posted 07.06.2016 | Books
Jennifer Blanchard

Being a writer is a challenging creative pursuit, because as writers, we spend a lot of time alone, in our heads. And for the longest time writers have been told they should write "when they feel inspired."

Making Pretty: A Conversation With YA Author Corey Ann Haydu

Brandi Megan Granett | Posted 05.07.2016 | Books
Brandi Megan Granett

Corey Ann Haydu is the author of new release, Making Pretty, OCD Love Story. We talked about what it means to be a young adult author and what she would like her readers to know about being pretty and being loved.

Three Plot Structures Every Storyteller Can Use

Traci L. Slatton | Posted 05.10.2015 | Books
Traci L. Slatton

A novelist's mindfulness consists of pouncing on a moment as a resource for a character, or as a turn in the road on the journey of story, or as an illustration for a thesis.

Finding Her Own Way in Paris: Meet Author/Publisher Adria J. Cimino

Brandi Megan Granett | Posted 05.02.2015 | Books
Brandi Megan Granett

Meet Adria J. Cimino, author of Close to Destiny, and one of the publishers behind Velvet Morning Press. Cimino stepped away from both traditional publishing and the United States. After her move to Paris, she teamed up with author Vicki Lesage to form Velvet Morning Press.

What Yoga Is Teaching Me About Writing a Novel

Holly Robinson | Posted 02.16.2015 | Books
Holly Robinson

"Honor your intentions," the instructor was saying. "What intention are you bringing to the mat today?" "Just to be able to get off the damn mat again," I muttered.

The Serious Novelist's Guide to NaNoWriMo

Jennifer Blanchard | Posted 12.28.2014 | Books
Jennifer Blanchard

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) starts Nov. 1, which means there's still time for you to get prepped and ready. NaNoWriMo is an annual writing challenge where the goal is to write a 50,000-word novel in only 30 days.

Publishing's Unsung Heroes: Copy Editors

Holly Robinson | Posted 12.09.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

Copy editors are worth their weight in gold, yet hardly ever garner a mention. So here it is, a shout-out to you, copy editors around the world: we writers and readers are so lucky to have you smoothing sentences and paragraphs and chapters. Thank you for all of your hard work.

5 Questions You Must Ask Your Protagonist Before Writing Your Novel

Traci L. Slatton | Posted 11.19.2014 | Books
Traci L. Slatton

You know how the novel opens -- perhaps with a dream, which was Anais Nin's advice to a friend. Or perhaps you're starting with an explosive burst of action or with an immersive interior monologue.

The Older I Get, the Less I Like Rules: An Interview With Author Cathy Lamb

Brandi Megan Granett | Posted 11.18.2014 | Books
Brandi Megan Granett

Cathy Lamb, 47, is a women's fiction author. Her first novel, Julia's Chocolates, was published when she was forty, in 2007.

Courage to Speak Personal Truth: An Interview with Kathryn Craft

Brandi Megan Granett | Posted 11.16.2014 | Books
Brandi Megan Granett

Kathryn Craft is the author of The Art of Falling (Sourcebooks, 2014) and The Far End of Happy, due May 2015. Her work as a developmental editor at Writing-Partner.com follows a nineteen-year career as a dance critic.

6 Pieces of Writing Advice from First Time Writers Over 40

Brandi Megan Granett | Posted 11.11.2014 | Books
Brandi Megan Granett

If I don't publish X by age 27, I'm finished. As I passed 27, then 37 and finally 40, I began to take a longer view about publishing careers and realized how silly it was to think that authorship possessed some sort of expiration date.

How Do You Write a Novel? By Listening

Holly Robinson | Posted 08.25.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

When people ask how I get ideas for my novels, I tell them that a writer's mind is like that junk drawer in your kitchen. You throw all kinds of things into that drawer: paper clips, rubber bands, business cards. Likewise, writers go around collecting snippets of dialogue overheard.

Whether You're Building a Robot or a Book, Science + Creativity = Magic

Holly Robinson | Posted 07.05.2014 | Technology
Holly Robinson

No question about it. My husband and I are opposites. He's a software engineer and I'm a writer. When people glance at my computer screen, they're confronted by a maze of thorny paragraphs, while his is a jungle of coded symbols.

An Open Letter to Hannah Horvath About the MFA

Anna Leahy | Posted 05.31.2014 | Books
Anna Leahy

These are matters that any MFA applicant should think through, and you may want to look around.