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Writing Fiction

The Penny Poet of Portsmouth: A Conversation with Katherine Towler

Brandi Megan Granett | Posted 05.24.2016 | Books
Brandi Megan Granett

Katherine Towler's memoir, The Penny Poet of Portsmouth follows her move to Portsmouth, along with a marriage and a settling down into the community s...

How One Coach Got Me Off the Couch--and Inspired My Writing

Holly Robinson | Posted 03.26.2016 | Books
Holly Robinson

I'm the mother of three champion long distance runners. I honestly don't know how that happened, since I was never a runner. But I showed up at almost...

The 6 Biggest Surprises of the Writing Life

Holly Robinson | Posted 03.02.2016 | Books
Holly Robinson

When a friend asked recently what I was working on, I was excited to share my publishing news: I had just delivered my new novel to my editor at Pengu...

Author Laura Drake on Indie v.s. Traditional Publishing, Cowboys and Why She Loves Her Motorcycle

Holly Robinson | Posted 01.15.2016 | Books
Holly Robinson

"I'd have to say my art imitates my life. I've always been one to throw myself off cliffs. Not because I'm brave, but because I can't stop myself; that's how I learn best."

Why It's Harder to Write the Next Book Than Your Last--And How to Keep Writing Anyway

Holly Robinson | Posted 06.15.2016 | Books
Holly Robinson

I have experienced more success as a novelist than I ever imagined. So why is writing every new book harder than it was to write the one before? And how do I keep going despite my fears?

Don't Sweat Your Synopsis. Just Write It! 8 Easy Tips

Holly Robinson | Posted 06.05.2016 | Books
Holly Robinson

Imagine summarizing one of your favorite classics in a synopsis. Whether we're talking Pride and Prejudice or Ulysses, that synopsis would be a snoozer, since it's just a pitch giving the highlights of the plot. No pretty language. No tension. Just an outline in prose form.

4 Lessons That Revising a Garden Can Teach You About Planting a Novel

Holly Robinson | Posted 05.27.2016 | Books
Holly Robinson

What thrills you in your garden -- like random assortments of lilies mixed with giant purple Allium -- might be very different from what pleases your neighbor, whose garden consists of neat rows of yellow and white. That's okay. Your vision is what makes your garden and novel unique.

Writing a Book? Forget Formula; Try Method!

Lisa Tener | Posted 06.29.2015 | Books
Lisa Tener

My colleague, Stuart Horwitz, says some controversial things about book writing in his second book on how to write a book, Book Architecture. For one, Stuart advises against using the traditional formula for book writing.

Are You a Scaredy-Cat Writer? 3 Life Lessons to Give You Courage

Holly Robinson | Posted 06.24.2015 | Books
Holly Robinson

I wrote more, much more, after I had children than I did before, even though I had far less time. When I was young and single, I squandered my hours. There was always a concert to go to, or a movie, or maybe I just felt like lying around and watching television.

Art vs. Commerce: Can Writers Make It Without Day Jobs?

Holly Robinson | Posted 01.01.2015 | Books
Holly Robinson

Novels are not cars to be assembled. You can't write them if the muse isn't with you, and the muse doesn't always come when you call her. Yet, if you want to make a living as a writer, you must find a way to go to the muse if she won't come to you.

Why Writing Is Rewriting, And Rewriting Is Writing

John Casey | Posted 11.19.2014 | Books
John Casey

When I was 23 and about to go to law school, I thought I'd spend the summer writing a novel. (A bit more than a half-century later, I laugh.) To keep ...

What Keeps a Woman Writing? Other Women Who Write.

Holly Robinson | Posted 06.07.2014 | Women
Holly Robinson

Any woman who works knows there isn't enough time in the day to get everything done. Even before we start our paid jobs, we've put in hours of labor:...

How to Keep Your Writing Warm When You Can't Write

Holly Robinson | Posted 04.29.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

Unfortunately, a writing retreat, there's always the letdown. You come back and family life is the same exhilarating, exhausting Bermuda Triangle it always is. And there your bag sits with those fresh pages of your novel, untouched, as mine has been for the past four days since coming home.

How Old Is Too Old for a Main Character?

Holly Robinson | Posted 03.29.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

I adore my agent. He's one of the wisest and nicest men I've ever met in my life and I trust him completely. Still, I was nonplussed. Why shouldn't my book start with the point of view of a woman in her fifties?

Novel Building From the Bones up: Two Pros Contrast Indie vs. Traditional Writing Process

Holly Robinson | Posted 03.21.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

First of all, let's define 'pro:' for the purposes of this article, a pro is someone who earns his/her primary income from writing. My friend Toby Neal and I are pros, with multiple novels and credits of various kinds under our belts.

Literary And Mainstream Novels: What's The Difference?

| Posted 08.21.2013 | Books

From Writer's Relief staff: The guidelines for literary and mainstream fiction often differ from those of popular fiction such as romance novels, ...

Notes on a First Novel

Kathleen Reardon | Posted 10.12.2013 | Books
Kathleen Reardon

Many people have told me they would love to write a novel. Why then have so many of them not done so?

Web of Stories: Philip Roth, the Writers' Writer

Aimee Pozorski | Posted 09.07.2013 | Books
Aimee Pozorski

This summer, without a Roth novel to confront for the very first time, I have returned repeatedly to his collaboration with Christopher Sykes: Web of Stories, a series of interviews in which Mr. Roth talks about his childhood, his influences, the ideas for his novels, and his life as a writer.

Psychologist Meets Notorious Con Woman

Maryka Biaggio | Posted 04.27.2013 | Books
Maryka Biaggio

Seeing the world through the eyes of another is truly one of the most seductive aspects of writing -- and reading -- fiction.

Doc, Have You Read My Book?

Julie Sarkissian | Posted 04.17.2013 | Books
Julie Sarkissian

When I received the advanced reader's copy of the book, I thought of my therapist. Without the work we had done together I wouldn't have had the presence of mind to finish the book, let alone appreciate holding it.

Why Is My Dialogue Stuck?

Alan Watt | Posted 01.23.2014 | Books
Alan Watt

The surest way to kill the aliveness of our characters is by insisting that they always make sense. When we follow the labyrinth of most conversations, we discover one constant: people always want something.

Matt Ferner

Author J.A. Tyler Talks Mud Luscious Press, Colorado Fiction

HuffingtonPost.com | Matt Ferner | Posted 10.16.2012 | Denver

J.A. Tyler is busy. Very busy. An author and editor, Tyler is producing some of the most challenging, distinct and provocative works of modern fiction...

What's My Genre, Anyway?

Ming Holden | Posted 02.04.2012 | Books
Ming Holden

The appropriation of a piece of literature to a certain genre is a process descriptive of the political moment in which the text finds itself; it's indicative of what's permitted to be described as fact in a particular cultural atmosphere, whether it's intended to be or not.

Writer Wednesday: Is Writing Genre Fiction Really All That Easy?

Posted 01.02.2012 | Books

From Writer's Relief staff: As a writer, you’ve probably met someone who says he/she is going write a book because “it looks easy” and “any...

Ten Reasons Not to Write Your Novel

Will Weaver | Posted 11.29.2011 | Books
Will Weaver

Just because you speak English does not mean you can write English. Your boss is proof of that.