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Writing Insights

Behind the scenes on writing, editing and publishing.

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 »

Why We Write About Ourselves: Excerpt by Pat Conroy

Pub Date: Dec 31, 2015 | Columnist: An excerpt by Pat Conroy from the book, WHY WE WRITE ABOUT OURSELVES, edited by Meredith Maran

  WHY WE WRITE ABOUT OURSELVES, TWENTY MEMOIRISTS ON WHY THEY EXPOSE THEMSELVES (AND OTHERS) IN THE NAME OF LITERATURE is the latest collection edited by Meredith Maran. The book features twenty well-known authors candidly disclosing the origins of their memoirs. In response to Editor Maran’s probing questions, a chorus of diverse voices and varied Read more »

The First Draft, Part of a Cruel Act

Pub Date: Dec 31, 2015 | Columnist: 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

 The First Draft The first draft is the hardest of all to write.  You’re creating something out of nothing.  You’re pulling ideas from the limitless dimension of your imagination and trying to force them to fit into two-dimensional space–a cruel act akin to murdering a small animal.  Maybe you’re judging yourself and your work before Read more »

Warren Adler

Self-Publishing, My Third Act: Reflecting from the Trenches

Pub Date: Dec 2, 2015 | Columnist: Warren Adler, Bestselling Author

F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “There are no second acts in American lives.” Too bad he didn’t live beyond the age of forty-four. He would have had to correct himself.   Many people have disproved his famous statement. Case in point: yours truly. Actually I may have had three acts. Please pardon the mini bio Read more »

Warren Adler

Writers Contests: A Cautionary Tale

Pub Date: Dec 1, 2015 | Columnist: Bestselling author Warren Adler

Reprinted by permission When I started the Warren Adler Short Story Contest in 2006 I had rather lofty ideas about integrity and fidelity to the goal of resurrecting the popularity of the short story which was in decline. I appointed qualified people, meaning people who were either authors themselves or teachers of literature or creative Read more »

Genre: An Important Aspect of Storytelling

Pub Date: Dec 1, 2015 | 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

Before you even begin to decide what your story is about, I recommend you devote some time thinking about another important aspect of storytelling:  genre.  What genre is this story going to be?  Labeling it as such is not intended to take away your options.  Instead, it’s meant to give you wings.  This points out Read more »

Warren Adler

Will Movies and TV Eventually Kill the Written Word?

Pub Date: Nov 1, 2015 | Columnist: Bestselling author Warren Adler

     As a longtime practitioner of the art of fiction writing and a committed reader of the works of others, I have been thinking a great deal about the impact of the proliferating film/TV industry on the future of reading.      Having lived through the golden age of Hollywood films shown in ubiquitous neighborhood Read more »

On The Need for Outlines

Pub Date: Nov 1, 2015 | 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

I have always tried to take advice from people who know more than I do, especially when it comes to writing.  My mentor, Jack Kuniczak, told me long ago that I should always know where a story is going before I’ve gotten too far into it.  For quite some time, I tried to follow his Read more »

Part 3: The Art of Storytelling

Pub Date: Oct 1, 2015 | 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

Humans are animals that run on food, water, and stories. We are obsessed with dieting and nutrition in our culture. If only we paid as much attention to the quality of the stories we took in as we do to our food, especially as children! Someone should invent a phone app that does the equivalent Read more »