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Fiction Writing

How Do You Write a Novel? By Listening

Holly Robinson | Posted 06.25.2014 | 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.

How Do You Write a Novel? Six Things That Stay the Same Every Time

Holly Robinson | Posted 05.25.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

We are happiest when we're in our native environments, scribbling in journals or tapping out love stories and action scenes and terrifying near-death experiences on our keyboards. Writing is the only cure for publishing a novel. The sooner we get back to it, the better.

Should Writing Try to Humanize Particular Groups of People?

Anis Shivani | Posted 04.23.2014 | Books
Anis Shivani

"One can very well imagine a pure cruelty, without bodily laceration. And philosophically speaking what indeed is cruelty? From the point of view of t...

The Four Most Common Stumbling Blocks for Writers: How to Overcome Them and Keep that New Year's Resolution to Write Your Novel

Holly Robinson | Posted 03.06.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

"I'm going to finally write that book," you vowed on New Year's Eve. Maybe you whispered it to your partner in bed, or brazenly trumpeted out your res...

How to Make the Most of Your Writing Retreat

Holly Robinson | Posted 02.11.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

I love my husband, my house, my work, my kids. But, like most writers, I fantasize about a room of one's own, a place where the cell phone doesn't ring and nobody knocks on my door.

19 Tips to Keep Your Writing Career in High Gear

Tom Lowery | Posted 12.31.2013 | Business
Tom Lowery

Anyone who's a writer will tell you it does have advantages but can be tough. For many, the challenges are nearly insurmountable. Whether an author of books, articles or a blog, the best of us embrace those challenges and allow them to shape us.

The Writer's Junk Drawer Mind: What's in Yours?

Holly Robinson | Posted 12.24.2013 | Books
Holly Robinson

Last month, I had the pleasure of appearing on a panel at the West Hollywood Book Fair with writers T. Greenwood, whose latest novel is the fantastic ...

Writer to Writer: A Conversation With Barry Eisler

Mark Rubinstein | Posted 11.24.2013 | Books
Mark Rubinstein

Barry Eisler is the best-selling author of two thriller series, one featuring John Rain, a half-Japanese, half-American former soldier turned freelance assassin; and another featuring black ops soldier Ben Treven.

Should You Self Publish? From Traditional to Indie and Back Again: One Hybrid Author Tells All

Holly Robinson | Posted 10.07.2013 | Books
Holly Robinson

I just saw my new novel in a bookstore for the first time and nearly cried. Oh, all right, I'll come clean: I did cry. It isn't every day that your dr...

From Food to Fiction

Steven Raichlen | Posted 08.19.2013 | Taste
Steven Raichlen

Island Apart is a foodie love story set on Chappaquiddick Island in Martha's Vineyard.

Should You Trash Your Novel?

Holly Robinson | Posted 08.10.2013 | Books
Holly Robinson

How do you know if your book is good enough to publish? That's probably the most unanswerable question in the universe, right up there with, "Why do ...

Feeding the Lake

Nicholas Montemarano | Posted 06.05.2013 | Books
Nicholas Montemarano

When students ask me what's the most important advice I can give them about writing, I usually say two things: (1) Write your next book as if it's the only one (or the last one) you'll ever write; and (2) Write the book only you can write.

How I Wrote a Novel Without an Outline

Carolyn Bass | Posted 05.14.2013 | Books
Carolyn Bass

My first novel, The Nexus, came to me in furious rushes of story and I wrote it without an outline. Here's how.

Writing About Places I've Never Seen

Jay Neugeboren | Posted 05.04.2013 | Books
Jay Neugeboren

I've never been to Singapore and/or Borneo, or to any other place in Asia, and when people ask me about the book, and discover this is so, they seem bewildered. As in: How can you write about a place you've never seen or been to?

Living the Dream

Mark Rubinstein | Posted 03.31.2013 | Books
Mark Rubinstein

I retired from psychiatry and began writing fiction -- full-time. I'll soon to be 71 and am finally doing what I always wanted: writing heart-pumping thrillers. It's never too late to live the dream.

Why You Need a Writing Retreat and How to Make the Most of It

Holly Robinson | Posted 03.31.2013 | Books
Holly Robinson

A writing retreat could be just what you need to start that novel, finish your chapbook of poetry, or revise the short story you've been meaning to send out. So how do you manage a writing retreat, especially if time and money are scarce?

Revising Your Novel: Is Back Story Clogging Your Narrative Flow?

Holly Robinson | Posted 03.16.2013 | Books
Holly Robinson

Keep the back story sparse and sprinkle it throughout your book instead of front loading. That way, your narrative tension will be tight instead of slack, and your reader will be drawn forward by wanting to know the story behind the story.

Writing a Synopsis for Your Novel: A Scary But Useful Exercise

Holly Robinson | Posted 03.09.2013 | Books
Holly Robinson

What is a synopsis, anyway? Just a summary, right? Wrong. Sure, a synopsis is a summary of your novel's narrative arc and describes the main characters. However, a synopsis must also be its own entity, with dramatic turns and a clear beginning, middle, and end.

Revising Your Novel: How to Use Fresh Images and Add Emotional Depth to Your Writing

Holly Robinson | Posted 03.04.2013 | Books
Holly Robinson

Whether you drafted a new novel in November for NaNoWriMo or you're in the middle of a multi-year writing project, one key task in revising your book will be to comb (or machete) your way through it to see whether the imagery is as fresh and original as possible.

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.

Fear Less, Love More: An Interview With MeiMei Fox

Jaimal Yogis | Posted 12.03.2012 | Healthy Living
Jaimal Yogis

MeiMei Fox is one of those people who can work a 12-hour day, go home to meditate and do yoga, then party all night, and get up and do it again the next day. Her mantra is "fear less, love more," so naturally I had to interview her for The Fear Project.

Writing in the Shower

Holly Robinson | Posted 11.23.2012 | Books
Holly Robinson

I think it's odd when writers say "I write from 6 a.m. to noon" or "I only write on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays." Writing isn't something you can turn on and off.

Writer Wednesday: 8 Tips For New Fiction Authors

| Posted 06.27.2012 | Books

From Writer's Relief staff: If you are dipping your toes into the sometimes-tumultuous waters of fiction writing for the first time, you might be ...