Craft of Writing

Honing Your Craft

Over the years on this blog, I've written 500+ book reviews and articles about the craft of writing, but the tagging system can be cumbersome to navigate. So, if you want the information but don't want to wade through everything to find it, feel free to download them in PDF form below. As I write more articles, I'll update these documents.

Plot: A compliation of articles on a story's basic building blocks, pacing, tension, conflict, and more. Download it here.

Submission Process: A complilation of articles on the submission process: writing your pitch and synopsis, the whole query, rejection, and getting THE CALL. Download it here.

Character: A compilation of articles on creating characters, good dialogue, point of view, and how to handle thoughts. Download it here.

Writing Process: A compilation of articles on finding your writing process, first drafts, revision, writer's block, procrastinating, and more. Download it here.

Common Advice: A compilation of articles that concretely define Show vs. Tell, Kill Your Darlings, Write What You Know, etc, plus some other great advice for writers. Download it here.

General Craft: Coming soon.

If you'd like templates for the submission process, character worksheets, and more, feel free to download mine. Use them as-is, or tweak them to your liking.

Agent and Publisher Research Template: When I was ready to think about submitting my work, I did lots of research on who I wanted to submit to and why, what they were looking for, and what their submissions guidelines were. I kept track of it all in a spreadsheet, which you're welcome to use. To download a copy of the template, click here.

Submissions Template: When I started submitting my work to agents, I used a spreadsheet to keep track of who I was submitting to, what I sent out, when it was due back, and what the response was. If you're having trouble keeping track of everything, you're welcome to use what I created. To download a copy of the template, click here.

Character Templates: When I first start sketching out my characters in a new project, I use a couple templates to keep track of all the little details. One template for main characters, and another for minor characters. Feel free to use or alter these based on what works best for you.

YA Paranormal: first 500 words--Mflick1
MG Fantasy: first 500 words--14 year old anon
YA Adventure: first 500 words--14 year old anon
MG Fantasy: first 500 words--revised and resubmitted

A Few Basic Writing Tips
  • The best way to improve your writing is to re-evaluate what you think you know.
  • Writing exercise: rewrite a scene from the viewpoint of a different character in the story. Doesn’t have to be your story.
  • Write the things you know into the things you don’t know.
  • Figure out the worst thing that can happen to your characters, then throw them headlong into it.
  • What separates the writers from the wannabes? Revision, revision, and more revision.
  • Get out of your comfort zone every now and then. It’s scary, but the rewards are endless.
  • How do you keep from going crazy while your novel is on submission? Write another novel.
  • Every piece of writing has Voice, but not every piece has good Voice. To find the good Voice in you, read. Lots.
  • When I read about a character, I want to know her deepest, darkest thoughts. The things we all think but never say out loud.
  • Get inside your characters’ heads. Don’t make them do what you would do. Figure out what THEY would do.
  • Show = Action. Characters need to DO things. Don't tell us that your characters are doing something, show us how they do it.