Looking to brush up your writing skills or learn a new trick or two? You've come to the right place! Check back weekly for helpful tips and articles that make your writing better. 

vintage library with a globe in the aisle

In Narrative Voice: Point of View and Tenses, we looked at the difference between various points of view; now we'll consider how to put that information to good use. The question is: How do you, the author, know what point of view is best for you and your story? 

Choosing your story's point of view may be the most crucial decision you make when crafting your novel. Point of view… read more

June 14, 2024
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tuscan town
May 09, 2024

In my last post, we established a basic definition of a scene — specifically that each scene has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Next, we'll look at several key elements that every well-crafted scene in a novel should contain. These elements determine how effectively the scene will engage readers and advance the narrative.

When writing fiction, try ensure each scene contains the… read more

tuscan landscape
April 26, 2024

One of my biggest struggles as an emerging writer was understanding the concept of a scene and how it differed from the overall events of the book. After all, if I plotted the beats* in my novel, wouldn’t each scene naturally fall into place? 

Short answer: No.

If you rely only on your outline to establish the overall arc of your story, you’ll end up with a lot of transition… read more

a blackboard covered in arrows
March 27, 2024

Do you have a crowd of characters in your head, each with their own personality and description? Have you played out imaginary scenes for these or some other unknown characters? Have you developed some plot ideas that send them on an adventure, into the arms of a lover, or into a self-reflective journey?

Sounds like you have the start of a novel! 

Oh, wait. What’s that? You… read more

traffic signs
February 25, 2024

Write what you know. Have you been given that advice?  Most likely. And it can be great advice. If you’re a neurosurgeon and you’re writing hospital thrillers, you have an inside scoop on the details that can make a story rich.

If you live in New York or Paris or a tiny rural town in British Columbia and you set all your stories there, you have insight into the smells,… read more

find your voice
January 12, 2024

Before we dive into how to find your author voice, we have to ask: What the heck even is an author voice?

Years ago, when I wrote my second novel, one of my friends said they would recognize my voice anywhere. At the time, I thought it was perhaps a bad thing. Did that mean my book was predictable? Too much like the first novel? After that, I went on a hunt to figure out what voice meant… read more

November 12, 2023

Have you ever read a story with a setting so rich, it felt almost as if the setting was a character itself?

Some authors seem to have an innate talent for creating vivid settings. The streets feel alive, the woods seem to sing with wildlife and native flora and fauna. In fantasy settings, the readers find themselves immersed in the magical world, wholly able to believe in the strange… read more

October 27, 2023

Action and reaction in fiction writing are used to describe the difference between plot versus motivation or the correlation between events and consequences. 

A character chooses to do something. This in an action. They may choose to go to the coffee shop, buy a dog, send a letter to the person they’re crushing on, or even throw a cup of coffee at… read more

August 24, 2023

Conveying emotions in your work can be difficult, but it’s an important part of the craft. Offering insight into your characters’ feelings helps your reader develop empathy for them. When a character experiences an event, you want your readers to feel something, too. How you choose to convey your characters' emotional responses can influence the way your readers feel about your characters and… read more

person contemplating the sunset
July 24, 2023

Letting the reader into your character’s mind creates a connection. A character’s words might not always tell the whole story; a person’s thoughts reveal who they really are. If you want your readers to be invested in your characters, show your characters' complexity by revealing the inner workings of their weird and wonderful brains.

Thoughts, like dialogue, should serve a purpose. In… read more

June 26, 2023

Finding time to write as a busy parent can be challenging. In a previous blog post, we offered tips to help you write your novel no matter how old your children are.

Writing can feel daunting when doing it all alone or without much support. Where do you start? How do you work out a plot problem? How do you find inspiration? Fortunately, there… read more