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How to Write a Novel

What's the Point of Writing Fiction, If It Doesn't Pay the Bills?

Holly Robinson | Posted 11.05.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

If you're trying to make a living as a fiction writer, I certainly know a great many self-published writers who are able to do that. Literary writers, or even commercial writers like me, have a tougher time making a solid income from our fiction.

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

Holly Robinson | Posted 11.02.2014 | 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.

Should You Scrap that Novel? Maybe Not

Holly Robinson | Posted 10.23.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

There is always a point, about 250 pages into writing a novel, where I want to set fire to it.

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.

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.

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...

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.

How Long Does a Novel Take to Write?

Holly Robinson | Posted 07.20.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

I binged this past weekend. Not on reality TV or chocolate or martinis, but on writing. I booked a cheap off-season condo in Maine and wrote 17,822 words.

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.

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.

Should You Write a Memoir or a Novel? 4 Key Questions

Holly Robinson | Posted 04.03.2014 | Books
Holly Robinson

Memoirs and novels both require skilled story telling. So how do you decide which form fits your story best? Consider these four key questions.

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.

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 ...

How to Knit a Novel

Holly Robinson | Posted 09.20.2013 | Books
Holly Robinson

I am a new knitter, but an experienced novelist. It's only lately that I've begun to realize what my two favorite activities have in common. PASSION:...

When You Finish Your Novel, What Then?

Holly Robinson | Posted 07.20.2013 | Books
Holly Robinson

What is it like to finish a novel? The first time you do it, you feel utter euphoria, and you should. Unfortunately, what follows isn't always instant acceptance by an agent, an editor, or even your beta readers and friends.

WATCH: Can You Write A Whole Novel In Just 1 Month?

Posted 12.07.2011 | Books

November 1st brings NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. The goal for participating authors is to complete a 50,000 word novel in the span of o...

The Making of a Novel: The 7-Hour Stretch

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

I wrote for seven hours today, which is an unheard-of stretch of time for me. I blocked off this chunk of time, however, because I needed to re-envisi...

The Making of a Novel: Do You Write Every Day?

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

An interviewer asked me this question last week -- "Do you write every day?" and I said, without hesitation, "Yes." That was a lie.

A Midlist Novelist Takes a Stand: How the Recession Won't Stop Author Jennie Nash From Starting a New Book

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Arts
Jennie Nash

I am a midlist novelist, and I have an idea for a new book. It's one of the best phases of the creative process - the moment when the swirling cloud o...