How to Do World-Building Research

Whether you’re building a fantasy world from scratch, or mentally designing the suburban house your very realistic story will take place in, at a certain point in your writing process you’ll need to plan out your story world. Here are a few world-building research methods to get you started: Ask Questions Ask anything and everything … read more

How to Properly Format a Manuscript for Submission

Hello fiction writers! Today I’m covering a question I get asked a lot: How do you properly format a fiction manuscript for submission? With small press publishers, literary magazine editors, and literary agents under an increasing amount of stress, formatting your manuscript correctly is more important than ever. As a professional fiction editor and a … read more

10 Questions to Ask an Editor Before Hiring Them

While a great editor can bring your fiction to its highest level and teach you priceless writing skills in the process, other editors can leave you in worse shape than you started—frustrated, confused, and out a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. I don’t want that to happen to you, writers! In this post, … read more

Creating Character Arcs with the DCAST Method

In this post, I’ll show you how to create a story-level character arc using the DCAST method. Sound good? Super. Let’s get started. Intro: Character arcs defined So… what is a character arc? A character arc is the transformation, growth, or inner journey of a character over the course of a story. Character arcs are … read more

How to Choose the Right Point of View for Your Story

Welcome, fiction writers! In this post, we’ll be looking at how to choose the right point of view for your story. Point of View: An Introduction Simply stated, point of view is the vantage point from which a story is told. But point of view is much more complicated than that. It encompasses everything from … read more

A Beginner’s Guide to Multiple Point of View

New to point of view? Get an introduction to the five basic points of view. What is multiple point of view? In multiple point of view, we get the perspectives of multiple characters within a single story. You have three options with multiple point of view: Multiple first person (The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver) … read more

Show Don’t Tell? Not Always. Here’s When to Use Summary

I was inspired to write this post after getting a question from one of my email subscribers: “What’s your opinion on the whole ‘show don’t tell’ advice? Do you have any tips for when to show and when to tell?” Here’s my response: I honestly think that “show don’t tell” is one of the most … read more

8 Ways to Improve Your Fiction Writing

I got a great question from one of my email subscribers last week who wanted to know how to identify weak spots and improve their writing. One of the things that comes with time and experience is finding the language to identify, discuss, and address the feeling that something isn’t quite right or that a … read more

How to Spot Bad Writing Advice: 6 Red Flags to Look For

I’m not by any means the authority on what makes good or bad writing advice. Writing is an art. There are no rules in art, which means that writing advice, by extension, is highly subjective. In my opinion, if it works for you, if it helps you improve and be happier with your writing, that’s … read more

5 Reasons to Kill Your Critique Group

As some of you know, in addition to editing professionally, I also write my own stories. This spring,  I put one of my new zines through an exhaustive beta reading and developmental editing process where I solicited feedback from nearly 25 readers. In the end, I came to an unexpected conclusion: You don’t need a … read more