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Writing Insights

Behind the scenes on writing, editing and publishing.

Lisa Dale Norton

Grounding Your Memoir in Space and Time

Pub Date: May 31, 2016 | Columnist: : Lisa Dale Norton, memoirist and gifted writing consultant

I’ve read thousands of manuscripts and worked with hundreds of writers over dozens of years in myriad venues, and the one habit all but the most practiced of memoirists fall victim to is lack of attention to the space/time continuum. What is the space/time continuum? The foundation of the world you create with your writing, Read more »

Warren Adler

Why I Write, A Novelist’s Reflection

Pub Date: Apr 29, 2016 | Columnist: Warren Adler, bestselling author

WHY I WRITE: A NOVELIST’S REFLECTION ON THE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF GEORGE ORWELL’S PIVOTAL ESSAY People often ask, and I ask myself on a daily basis, why I have spent more than six decades writing novels, short stories, essays, poems, plays and occasional reportage, continuing to ply this obsession into the cusp of my dotage Read more »

The Business of Publishing

Pub Date: Apr 29, 2016 | Columnist: William Kowalski, reprinted from WRITING FOR FIRST-TIME NOVELISTS, Practical Thoughts on the Creative Craft. Kowalski is a bestselling author and independent publisher

They say that if you love to cook, the last thing you should do is open a restaurant, because it will ruin cooking for you forever.  I won’t go as far as saying that becoming a professional writer will ruin writing for you.  I don’t know what it will do for you, frankly.  I can Read more »

Middles

Pub Date: Mar 31, 2016 | Columnist: Columnist: William Kowalski, reprinted from WRITING FOR FIRST-TIME NOVELISTS, Practical Thoughts on the Creative Craft. Kowalski is a bestselling author and independent publisher

If the first 50 pages can be said to be the beginning of a book, then from page 51 up until about maybe thirty pages from the end can be called the middle.  The middle is the longest part of any book, just like a chess game’s longest part is the mid-game.  This is where Read more »

Warren Adler

Practices I’ve Lived by as a Storyteller

Pub Date: Mar 31, 2016 | Columnist: Warren Adler, bestselling author

I’ve spent my whole life writing, thinking about writing and publishing, and, lately, about the dramatic changes taking place in the way we communicate with each other and how it impacts our future as writers. So here’s where I am these days on the most important things to remember if you want to succeed. • Read more »

Warren Adler

Now What? Why Resilience is Necessary

Pub Date: Feb 29, 2016 | Columnist: Warren Adler, bestselling author

You’ve spent months, perhaps years, composing your novel. You’ve read and reread it hundreds of times. You’ve rethought it, rewritten it, and revised it, changed characters, dialogue and plot lines. Writing your novel is the most important thing in your life. It has absorbed your attention, almost exclusively. You have read parts of it to Read more »

Beginnings

Pub Date: Feb 29, 2016 | Columnist: William Kowalski, reprinted from WRITING FOR FIRST-TIME NOVELISTS, Practical Thoughts on the Creative Craft. Kowalski is a bestselling author and independent publisher

The beginning of a book should immerse us in your world right away.  Don’t be coy about it, and don’t be disingenuous, either.  Tell us what we need to know to make sense of things.  Use plenty of detail.  We want to get a nice feel for the setting, and we want to be as Read more »

Lisa Dale Norton

Amazon the Bogeyman?

Pub Date: Feb 29, 2016 | Columnist: Lisa Dale Norton, memoirist and writing consultant

Getting smart about writing, publishing and buying books        Who amongst you has not anteed up for a book from Amazon? Admit it, even those of you who dream of publishing your own book have spent money at Amazon buying e-books or printed books for less than any competitor could afford to sell Read more »

Beginnings, Middles, and Endings

Pub Date: Jan 29, 2016 | Columnist: William Kowalski, Bestselling Author

If you’ve ever taken a class on literary theory, or read any amount of literary criticism, likely you will have heard the term “narrative arc”.  It’s also likely you will have heard a large number of other literary terms as well, but you will find that I don’t concern myself with them in this book, Read more »

Warren Adler

Memory: The Writer’s Greatest Ally

Pub Date: Jan 21, 2016 | Columnist: Warren Adler, Bestselling Author

MEMORY IS MY GREATEST ALLY IN FICTION WRITING  I have been asked repeatedly how one can avoid the memory blocks that so often plague older people. As a novelist in my 87th year, I can attest that memory is the key to writing. Everything that happens in the life of a human being is stored Read more »