Write well. Write often. Edit wisely.
A introduction to the narrative modes of fiction—action, dialogue, description, exposition, and thought—and a brief discussion of how they can be combined in novels.
Expletives—there is, there were, it is, it was, and so forth—can make sentences dull. And sometimes they’re just used too often in our writing. Learn how expletives can work either for or against story.
Use word choices to make your stories stand out, to involve readers in the fiction. Tips for twisting common words into memorable passages.
Tone, mood, and style—three of the elements of fiction—each contribute to the feel of a story. Learn what each is and how they affect one another.
If readers aren’t engaged by your story, maybe you’re holding them at a distance, using filtering phrases that keep them a step away from the action and emotion of a scene. Check out these common filtering phrases that keep readers at a distance.
There is not only one way to write a sentence, a scene, a chapter, or a story. Writing a novel isn’t only about plugging in words and events and scenes in accordance with a formula. It’s writing with skill and artistry.
Story passages have a rhythm, a pattern, a sound. Yet I don’t want to talk about rhythm so much as I do flow. Rhythm can affect flow, but it’s only one element that can. Let’s look at other story elements that can interfere with flow. Stories should flow, move along without impediment, and lead ever [...]
Fiction can be sterile and bland and seemingly perfect, but sterile stories don’t engage the reader. Be encouraged to bypass the safe and sterile and instead write engrossing stories.
Using clichés is like wearing someone else’s old and dirty clothes. They might have looked good at one time, but they don’t look good anymore. They don’t fit right and they don’t smell too good and they do nothing to improve your looks and bearing.
Readers are looking for something more than the common or ordinary. They’re looking for something other, something different from what they find in daily life. Writers can give them that other.