Author Archives: Writing Coach

About Writing Coach

To find out more about this amazing Resident Writing Coach, visit our RWC page.

Getting Jiggy with the Nitty Gritty, or, Improving Your Sentences

As writers we spend most of our time torn between needing to write and needing to market what we’ve written. Then, when we’re writing, our focus is often on improving our characters or the big picture story and characters’ arcs. … Continue reading

Posted in Cliches, Description, Editing Tips, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 20 Comments

Good Endings: What Should Yours Include?

What’s the right ending for your novel? This isn’t a simple question to answer, because there are many factors to consider. But the first thing you want to think about is the story’s genre. Let’s take a simple example. Suppose … Continue reading

Posted in Endings, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized | 15 Comments

What’s the Dark Night Moment All About?

You’re coming to the end of the tunnel, and you see a bright light illuminating the finish line. You are almost through writing your novel! If you’ve done your homework, you’ve carefully worked out the big build to the exciting … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Fear, High Stakes, Motivation, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Tension, Writing Craft | 4 Comments

Fast-Draft Writing for NaNoWriMo and Every Other Month

I am an advocate of intentional writing, which almost always means slow writing, but sometimes it makes sense to write a fast draft of a book – if, for example, you are participating in NaNoWriMo, have a chunk of time … Continue reading

Posted in NaNoWriMo Strategy & Support, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 12 Comments

Writing to the Beat: Translating Story Beats to Any Genre

Readers of my blog know I’m a big fan of beat sheets, even creating a beat sheet for romance stories. Because of that, writers ask me what beats they should include in their mystery, thriller, or *insert any genre here* … Continue reading

Posted in Character Arc, Characters, Conflict, High Stakes, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Story Structure, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 13 Comments

Using the Novel Journal for Writing Breakthroughs

I was at a Bouchercon some years ago and did a panel with some other thriller authors. Before it began we were interacting with some people in the audience, and a woman in the front row made a funny comment … Continue reading

Posted in Experiments, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 25 Comments

How to Keep a Short Story Short

Part of constraining a short story to its simplest form is to observe the convention of its length. Edgar Allen Poe said it should aim for a single effect on the reader and should be of a length that could … Continue reading

Posted in Resident Writing Coach, Short Stories, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 7 Comments

Struggling with (and Regaining) Confidence in Your Writing

Every writer’s toolbox is unique, containing the techniques, reference books, personal library, and lessons or “best practices” we’ve acquired over time. But there’s one tool that all writers need despite their target audience, genre, or years of experience. It’s just … Continue reading

Posted in Motivational, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized, Writer's Attitude | 26 Comments

Making Characters Stuck in the Background Pop Out

Maybe you have had some of the experiences I’ve had when writing a manuscript, one of which is finding yourself with a character–could be a side character, a secondary character, or even a viewpoint character–who seems to be sort of … Continue reading

Posted in Character Flaws, Character Traits, Characters, Description, Resident Writing Coach, Show Don't Tell, Subtext, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Suspense in Stories…the Big Tease

Suspense is one of the storyteller’s biggest teases. It’s a state of waiting, of growing unease in the reader. Most stories consist of raising questions and delaying the answers. Suspense in its purest form heightens that sense of uncertainty. This … Continue reading

Posted in High Stakes, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized | 15 Comments