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Writing a Novel

One Writer's Homage to Booksellers, Librarians and Readers

Holly Robinson | Posted 04.05.2015 | Books
Holly Robinson

Launching your first novel is exciting because you don't know what to expect. It's a big deal that you've published a book at all. Sending subsequent books into the world is still a big deal -- we're living the dream, right? -- but in some ways it's even more intimidating.

Irvine Welsh Talks to The Book Doctors About Writing, America, Rejection and the 'Sex Lives of Siamese Twins'

David Henry Sterry | Posted 03.25.2015 | Books
David Henry Sterry

This book is very different. First of all, it's set in sun-splashed Miami, where Mr. Welsh currently has one of his residences. It's also written from the perspective of two women. And two women who couldn't be much different from each other. I must confess, I loved this book. I devoured it in a weekend

Raising My Own Flock of Sheep, Almost

Holly Robinson | Posted 03.10.2015 | Books
Holly Robinson

Lately, I have started to fantasize about raising sheep of my own. For this reason, one of the main characters in my new novel, Haven Lake, has her own thriving flock of Icelandic sheep.

Broaden Your Writing Horizons to Improve Your Skills

Steven Petite | Posted 03.09.2015 | Books
Steven Petite

Quite often, and probably far too often, aspiring-writers and writers alike, follow the mantra of "write what you know." There are multiple things wrong with that sentence.

The Book Doctors Ask Pitchapalooza Winner Judith Fertig: How Did You Get a 2-Book Deal for Your Debut Novel?

David Henry Sterry | Posted 02.24.2015 | Books
David Henry Sterry

The Book Doctors first met Judith Fertig when she won our Kansas City Pitchapalooza (think American Idol for Books). She was commanding without being overbearing, powerful but warm, a total pro.

The Secret to Writing Your Novel in a Weekend

Lev Raphael | Posted 04.03.2015 | Comedy
Lev Raphael

I didn't have time to think of anything or anyone, I just wrote. Was the book any good? Who knows? Who cares? I don't even know where it is now and I've forgotten the title.

How To You Kill Your Darlings and Lose 100 Pages

Holly Robinson | Posted 03.23.2015 | Books
Holly Robinson

At any rate, I managed to whittle the book down to 480 pages in three days. In doing so, here's what I learned about the art of murder by red pen...

How to Enjoy the Passage of Time

Katie Morton | Posted 03.22.2015 | Healthy Living
Katie Morton

When it comes to living your life out of a vision, vs. living your life out of your current circumstances, it's my firm belief that you must do both every day. It's important to dabble equally in hope for the future, and in the glory of now. Have a vision for a fabulous life, and hold it in your heart. But then keep your eye on the prize, which, ironically, is your life exactly as it is right now.

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.

Time Management for Creative Types

Katie Morton | Posted 02.15.2015 | Books
Katie Morton

Time management sounds like such a dry topic, but it's really about letting some things go so that you can do what you love. These two strategies won't work for everyone, and it's of critical importance to discern which strategy works best for you.

A Writer's Thanksgiving

Jackie Parker | Posted 01.26.2015 | Women
Jackie Parker

It was not just my sons, grown and leading their own lives, but myself I was hoping to soothe with a traditional Thanksgiving.

If I Wrote a Novel in 15 Minutes a Day, Then You Probably Can Too

Siobhan Adcock | Posted 01.24.2015 | Books
Siobhan Adcock

I started my first novel when I was working full-time at a demanding job and had a 7 month-old baby. I work, I have a family and I write -- I'm not a special case. So it stands to reason that if I can write a novel in 15 minutes a day, other people probably can too.

How a Novel Ends

Warren Adler | Posted 01.23.2015 | Books
Warren Adler

What constitutes the end of a story, and how is it achieved?

Why Do So Many Writers Say Writing Torments Them?

Lev Raphael | Posted 01.12.2015 | Books
Lev Raphael

When writers complain about writing, their audience really ends up being other writers, and many of us think, "If it makes you so damned miserable, just get another job already."

Write a Novel in Four Weeks? How About Four Years?

Claudia Ricci | Posted 01.03.2015 | Books
Claudia Ricci

Writing a book is a little like getting married: you are through-the-roof ecstatic when you first jump in, but you may very well lose your enthusiasm after a couple (or more) years.

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.

A Magical Island: Making the Most of Your Novel's Setting

Holly Robinson | Posted 12.01.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

To me, settings are far more than just places in books. I view settings as essential components of every novel, because so often places convey the interior landscapes of the characters and deepen the reader's experience.

Get a Job (, or How My Wife Let Me Quit and Write a Novel)

Scott Cheshire | Posted 11.30.2014 | Arts
Scott Cheshire

We raised our glasses, and introduced ourselves to the other couples around us until someone kindly congratulated me on my book. Because hadn't I just published a book, too? That's not exactly true, but it certainly feels like it is.

Chapter One: 'I Am So Embarrassed!'

Katie Morton | Posted 11.25.2014 | Healthy Living
Katie Morton

When I was growing up, I always felt unmoored and uncentered, like I didn't know who I was and like I was waiting for someone else to tell me. I was finally getting a sense, now as an adult, that my opinion of myself mattered.

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.

A Writer's Guide to Being a Writer: Part 1

Dan Miles | Posted 11.15.2014 | Arts
Dan Miles

Writers live a solitary existence, much like a tiger, but at least tigers get to meet other tigers during mating season.

On My Unpublished Novel: Was It Worth It?

Jackie Parker | Posted 10.27.2014 | Books
Jackie Parker

"Was it worth it?" my son asks, referring to my unpublished novel, the 10-year endeavor that haunts our meetings, the elephant by my side. How can I answer him? He is 30 and facing the big questions: What shall I do that has worth?

5 Fundamental Tips For Writing Your First Novel

Jack Woodville London | Posted 10.12.2014 | Books
Jack Woodville London

Autumn is the season when word processors develop twitches in keyboards. Writers emerge from summers abroad, agents hunger for a new voice, publishers...

Actually Useful Tips for Becoming a Writer

Ashley Hardaway | Posted 09.08.2014 | Books
Ashley Hardaway

"How did you become a writer?" The first time I was asked this, I felt like a fraud. I too, have asked this question.

Wrestling With the Wrath of Writer's Block

Heather Hummel | Posted 09.07.2014 | Arts
Heather Hummel

Staring at a blank page and not having the words flow the way they did last week, or even yesterday, is every writer's nightmare. To help out, I tracked down willing writers of various genres who have faced the plague of writer's block, and who were willing to share their cures or tips for preventative maintenance.