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Writing Insights

Behind the scenes on writing, editing and publishing.

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 »

Warren Adler

Should a Novelist Be Politically Correct?

Pub Date: Oct 1, 2015 | Columnist: Bestselling Author Warren Adler

The recent flap over a romance novel titled For Such a Time whose plot features a concentration camp inmate falling in love with her Nazi captor has aroused the wrath of various critics and readers on grounds that it is too discomfiting and disturbing to have been published.  While I can understand why some readers are offended Read more »

William Kowalski

On The So-Called Need For Suffering In Art

Pub Date: Aug 31, 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’ve heard it said numerous times by many people that artists must suffer in order to produce great work. I happen to agree–except for those points on which I disagree. Firstly, you should never put yourself in harm’s way just to have something to write about. And, you should not feel that just because Read more »

Warren Adler

The Creative Writing Course That Changed My Life

Pub Date: Aug 31, 2015 | Columnist: Bestselling Author Warren Adler

  In 1949 when I was twenty-one years old I took a creative writing course at the New School in Manhattan given by Professor Don M. Wolfe. He had been my freshman English teacher at New York University, where I graduated in 1947, just two months shy of my twentieth birthday. I lived at home Read more »

Lisa Dale Norton

Back to School: Memoir or Autobiography?

Pub Date: Aug 31, 2015 | Columnist: Lisa Dale Norton

  Different forms demand different writing   We Americans love Back to School– memories of a fresh school year complete with new shoes and unknown books. As adults, we love the renewal those memories signal.  Second only to New Years, Back To School excitement lays before us the possibility of pursuing writing dreams again. It Read more »

Warren Adler

How Do You Confront Bad Book Reviews?

Pub Date: Aug 1, 2015 | Columnist: Bestselling Author Warren Adler

Every serious novelist worth their salt believes in their soul that they have written a brilliant novel or multiple novels in which the reader will find compelling characters engaged in deeply imagined stories that profoundly illustrate the human condition. What every novelist, traditionally or self-published, yearns for is for others to be moved by their Read more »