AuthorEditorWriting Coach

For
Writers

Writing Is a Leap of Faith
Painful heart

No Pain, No Gain: Are You Making Your Characters Suffer?

Think about all the things you don’t like in real life. Sharks. Spiders. Earthquakes. Bullies. Public speaking. Chances are, if you expose your characters to what you fear, your fiction will flourish because of it. Writers can’t afford to be nice. We’ve got to throw rocks at our characters, as Nabokov famously said. Get them

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Books

Real Writers: They Don’t Just Publish Books

In the book The Velveteen Rabbit, the stuffed protagonist wants nothing more than to become a real, live bunny. The odds are stacked against him, of course, but in the end the toy bunny’s devotion to his beloved boy pays off, and miraculously his dream comes true. Fiction writers, like the Velveteen Rabbit, also want to

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Research

Research That Rocks

What would a mountain lion do with human remains? Is it possible to murder someone with a proton beam? How fast can a knife wound across the chest bleed out? If your phone’s been hacked and someone’s spying on you, how would you know? These are just a few of the miscellaneous topics that writer

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Please Like Me

Creating Unlikable Protagonists Readers Can Love

C’mon, admit it. Don’t we all wonder sometimes about how well we’re liked and if people really listen to what we say? In real life, we may never know the answer. But in fiction, when it comes to creating characters, popularity is measurable and important. Writers must make readers care about their protagonist right from the

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The End

How to Finish a Novel

I was stuck. I’d been trying for months to finish my novel, but my output had dwindled from a torrent to a trickle. Even though I knew what happened in the end, I couldn’t find the words to write the last few chapters. Other writers complain about the muddle in the middle. Not me. My

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Made it to the top

Finding Inspiration

As a child, I loved reading books about the Borrowers, a fictional family of tiny people who live secretly in the walls of an English house. To survive, they “borrow” items from the big people living there, who assume their things have been lost. Recently I’ve been wondering if the Borrowers have taken up residence

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Please Like Me

Creating Unlikable Protagonists Readers Can Love

C’mon, admit it. Don’t we all wonder sometimes about how well we’re liked and if people really listen to what we say? In real life, we may never know the answer. But in fiction, when it comes to creating characters, popularity is measurable and important. Writers must make readers care about their protagonist right from the

Read More »