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Writing Insights

Behind the scenes on writing, editing and publishing.

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 »

What Is Writer’s Block?

Pub Date: Aug 1, 2015 | Columnist: William Kowalski, reprinted from WRITING FOR FIRST-TIME NOVELISTS, Practical Thoughts on the Creative Craft. Kowalski is a bestselling author and independent publisher

What is writer’s block? How might I get it? How can I avoid it? You can get writer’s block by kissing another writer who is already infected with it. There are no symptoms, except for one telltale: the writer who has writer’s block will not be writing. If you see a writer writing, they do not have Read more »

Warren Adler

The Art of Remembering Your Entire Life

Pub Date: Jul 6, 2015 | Columnist: Bestselling author Warren Adler

A Writer on How Memory Is His Greatest Asset 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 somewhere Read more »

William Kowalski

Trouble Staying Motivated

Pub Date: Jul 1, 2015 | Columnist: William Kowalski, reprinted from WRITING FOR FIRST-TIME NOVELISTS, Practical Thoughts on the Creative Craft. Kowalski is a bestselling author and independent publisher

Many hopeful writers have told me they’ve gotten a story well under way, but were perplexed to find that they ran out of steam before even hitting the halfway point.  They just couldn’t bring themselves to work on it any longer.  They ask me why this is, as if I am some sort of physician Read more »