Category Archives: Fiction Writing

Seven Deadly Sins of Fiction Writing

In addition to the five fatal mistakes cited here, several editors had their own pet peeves to share. Here are seven other problems that can speed your story to the rejection pile: Preachiness. “Stories that present an obvious moral, without nuances, subtlety, or complexity, are the first to hit the [reject] pile,” says Skylar Burris…

Create Characters Who are “Real People”

Author of Pimp My Site, Paula Wynne, says the best perk of her job as editor or iHubbub’s home business magazine is reviewing a smorgasbord of books, including a wide variety of writing reference guides on the art of writing fiction and creating fictional characters. Here Paula shares three top tips she has gleaned from…

Writing Advice from Elmore Leonard

Elmore Leonard is a prolific writer who has entertained us with more than forty novels, including , , , , and many more. Hollywood is an Elmore Leonard fan, and many of his books have been made into movies. Leonard began writing while still working in advertising. He published a short story in Argosy magazine…

Five Fiction Mistakes that Spell Rejection

Ask most fiction editors how to avoid rejection, and you’ll hear the same thing: Read the guidelines. Review the publication. Don’t send a science fiction story to a literary magazine, and vice versa. Don’t send a 10,000-word manuscript to a magazine that never publishes anything longer than 5,000 words. Spell check. Proofread. Check your grammar….

Weaving Travel into Your Fiction Writing

I’ve always loved to travel and I’ve always loved to write. And together, the two seem to be a simple recipe for almost-guaranteed publishing success. But, as with most things in life, it’s not that easy! Imagine you have an exotic and unique yarn– you’re so excited about it and you know that whatever you…

Co-writing, Eight Questions to Ask Yourself Before Jumping In

I am the author or co-author of seven published fiction titles. Along the way I’ve had the experience of working with four different writers. I’ve spoken many times to libraries and book conventions about how it is to work with another author. Many questions have been asked about the process. I’ve narrowed the list down…

Design Characters using Mind Maps

How do you design your characters? Some sources recommend filling in a questionnaire or CV. You need to answer questions like “what is her favourite film?”, or “what does he drink?” etc. This doesn’t work for me, because by the time I know the answers to those kind of questions I have written my novel. I design…

Philosophy 101 for Novelists

Whether writing a realistic or fantasy novel, the novelist is creating a fictional world where he or she is playing God, and that requires creating a worldview or philosophy and basic rules to govern that fictional world. Writers must know what their philosophy is and what worldview they will sell to their readers in order…

Keeping Track of Characters When Writing Fiction

Authors who write fiction have the advantage that they can make everything up, but the disadvantage is they have no sources to go back and check. Creating fictional characters requires great care to make sure no inconsistencies are introduced. Keeping records for your characters helps to make them realistic and effective and saves headaches later….

Can You Pick Your Killer Out of a Lineup?

Writing mysteries can be fun and challenging, but it can also prove to be frustrating – unless you decide to have some fun with it. I’ll be honest – in most of my writing I have been a plotster, planning out every clue and detail and knowing full well who my killer is well before…