General Writing Tidbits

Links to posts with advice from published authors, general writing tips and other helpful writing posts that didn’t fit under any of the other headings.

Process of Writing: From Draft to Published Novel

In this four minute video author Kate Forsyth describes her writing process, with visual examples, from the initial idea all the way through to receiving her author’s copy of her book. It’s a bit of insight into the entire process.

The Secret to Getting Published

Published author Karen Gowen offers some down-to-earth truths on what is and isn’t the secret to getting published. My favourite line: “You have to want it more than you want anything else. You must want it with every fibre of your being.”

The Worst Mistake A Writer Can Make

I know this is something I’m guilty of doing. I sit hunched over at my computer for hours at a time and I wonder why I get a sore back and neck. This is a post all writers should read and remember. Some great advice for those of us who spend a lot of time writing at our computers.

5 Reasons You Should Do NaNoWriMo

Still undecided if you should do NaNoWriMo or not? There’s still time to join! Johanna Penn lists some great reasons why NaNoWriMo is beneficial to any writer. I agree with every one of them.

Three Essential Tips for Writing a Publishable Novel

This post outlines three quick tips you can apply to write a publishable novel.

Key Elements of Strong Fiction

Shennandoah Diaz writes about creating the foundation of strong fiction by establishing dynamic characters, an intriguing plot, a compelling voice, and a vibrant setting. She gives great examples to illustrate her points.

Want to Get High (Concept)?

A post explaining what makes a story ‘high concept’.

The Very Basics: Ten Things All Writers Need To Do

Ten things writers should do if they want a shot at getting published.

My Writing Success: The ONE Thing That Helped Me Most

Author Jody Hedlund explains the one specific thing that helped her most on her journey towards writing success.

How to Make Your Most Ordinary Scene Interesting

How to recognise a boring scene and what to do about it.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Writers

Doing at least one of these can help improve your productivity as a writer.

The 50 Things Every Graphic Design Student Should Know

I know this is aimed at graphic design students, but a lot of the points can equally be applied to writers. For example, “If your work doesn’t excite you, then it won’t excite anyone else. It’s hard to fake passion for mediocre work – scrap it.”

50 Books That Will Make You a Better Writer

A list of 50 of the best writing books, from Stephen King’s On Writing to Stunk and White’s The Element of Style.

Need Some Bling for Your Title? Try PRISM

Five elements to keep in mind when brainstorming an effective title for your novel.

How to Write the Ending of Your Novel

Author Joanna Penn gives tips on writing the ending of your novel so the reader will finish the book wanting to buy your next novel.

How to Write (a Book). A Wee Rant

12 points on how to write. No, this isn’t about the technicalities of writing, or plot, it’s about sitting your butt down and actually putting words on a page. One of my favourite lines, “No wonder we all have writer’s block. We’re not even writing. Plumbers don’t have plumber’s block, do they? NO, THEY GET ON THE FLOOR AND CLEAR OUT THE WINDEX AND EVIDENCE OF MOUSE POOP UNDER THE SINK AND GET TO PLUMBING.”

3 Signs You’re Writing a Condemned Novel

How to recognise problems in your manuscript and how to decide whether they are fixable or whether the novel needs to be put aside.

The Courage Not to Publish

While it takes courage for a writer to put his/her work out there to get published, this article talks about having the courage to realise your work may not be publishable and to hold back from publishing. It specifically targets writers who either think their writing doesn’t need fixing because they think an editor will sort it out, or those who want to self-publish after being rejected by traditional publishers.

The Single Most Powerful Writing Tool You’ll Ever See That Fits on One Page

A listing of everything you need to know about your story before you can successfully finish it. Written in the form of questions, the list covers the four parts of the story structure.

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far

A guest post by author Sydney Salter on seven things she’s learned on her writing journey so far. She has some great advice on rejection and criticism of your work.

How to Write with Kids at Home

As a mum with two young children at home I know how difficult it can be to find five minutes quiet time to get some writing done. This writer/mum offers some tips on keeping the kids occupied so you can write.

4 Writing Crutches That Insult a Reader’s Intelligence

Some great reminders for writers on writing crutches and how to avoid them. (Are you guilty of using too many adverbs or telling instead of showing?)

Five Telltale Signs of an Amateur Writer

An acquiring editor tells how she can reject an MS in 8 seconds and lists the five telltale signs of an amateur writer.

10 Words Editors Hate

Be careful about using these ten words in your MS, as they may very well send your work to the ‘Do Not Publish’ pile. Some may surprise you.

Eight Reasons I Hate Your Book

There seem to be a few negative posts around lately, but helpful, none-the-less. In fact, I found this one to be VERY helpful. Freelance editor and agent intern, Cassandra Marshall, shares eight of the most annoying (and totally fixable) things she comes across in manuscripts. It helped me realise one of the biggest downfalls of my current WIP, it might help you with yours too.

10 Tips for Writing a Short Story

Short story writer, Amanda Lohrey, shares her tips for writing a first-rate short story.

Besides Using Google, How Can I do Research For My Book?

Sometimes it can be hard to navigate Google to find the information you’re looking for. How can you be sure the information is accurate? This post has some great (and easy) tips on how to find accurate sources of information for your research.

Need a Jump? Four Ways to Fix a Stalled Story

This isn’t about writer’s block. This is for when you know where you want your story to go and you have your plan, but the story just won’t write. The scene you’re writing feels boring and lifeless. Something just isn’t working. This post can help you pinpoint why your story has stalled and how to fix it so you can get momentum going again.

25 Reasons Readers Will Quit Reading Your Story

As writers we want our readers to keep reading until they turn the very last page. If we don’t want readers to close our book half way through, or, even worse, after the first page, this list provides tips on what to avoid in your novel to ensure your readers will keep turning pages. A great checklist for revision.

How to Give Good Critique

A great list of tips to keep in mind when critiquing fellow writers’ work.

Some Advice to New or Aspiring Authors

Some great advice and tips for writers new to the writing/publishing journey.

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