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Tag: how to write great fiction

Six Simple Reasons Our Story Sucks & How to Fix It

Why is it so many new novels are—to be blunt—crap? How can we find an author we love with one book, then all the love goes away with the next? What’s going wrong? What’s missing? Where did everything go wrong? How can we learn and do better? First and foremost, to be an author it’s …

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The Girl on The Train & Two Critical Elements of ALL Great Stories

There are two essential components all great writers possess and unfortunately these are highly unnatural abilities. Most of us have to hone and refine and strengthen these skills because they are so counter to human nature. First, most humans run from conflict. Great writers go straight for it. Secondly, most humans really don’t pay attention …

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Make Readers Suffer—Great Fiction Goes for the GUTS

What is the BIG question here? What is my character REALLY after? What will my story problem CHANGE about this character? What will it answer?

Why Series are Becoming Hot, Hot, HOT! How Dragging Out the Pain is Good for Your Readers

Your readers will hate you, but it’s good for them. Do NOT protect your characters. Screw up their lives more than a meth-addicted multi-personality mother-in-law. Your characters NEED a crucible.

"Write What You Know" and What That Means

Plot and world-building are merely delivery systems for conflict and character—real “human” emotions and experiences. If we write something that’s all car chases, vampire bites and geeky technology we’ve invented, the story will be uninteresting and superficial. I see this a lot on submissions. A writer gets so fascinated with dragons or terrorists or aliens that the body of the work lacks a beating human heart.