Personal editing. Professional results.
February 19, 2022
Good scenes make better love

Sooner or later, the opportunity to write a sex scene arrives for an author. Two people are in love or lust and the act of their coupling shows promise for the story. Making the sex scene can be the very tonic that a story needs to comprehend people at a new, more intense level. More […]

Read More
February 17, 2022
Suppose the rules for starting stories aren't true?

While we structure our stories, we follow advice. Some advice is from agents, some of whom are not ready to let go of old rules. These can be rules like “Never start a book with a prologue.” Or the advice to make a big problem appear on the first page, or even making sure the […]

Read More
July 19, 2021
How to avoid a too-big book

Even an author who's published multiple books feels the siren call of a big book. One day, they might think, I can get that 150,000-word epic published. I've cut a lot, they might say, already 20,000 words. I need to stick to my guns, submit something that big, and not get talked out of it. […]

Read More
May 25, 2021
Point of View: how many do you need?

Writing stories in first person is an electric thrill for many authors. You have easy access to emotions and sensations, plus the mystery of solving the problems of the plot is intense, too. Sometimes it’s tempting to want to use multiple first person points of view. Consider why you need more than one.

Read More
January 30, 2020
I want a great cover. What is that, anyway?

Everybody wants a great cover on their book. That's a few things at once, the greatness. Sales. Storytelling. Beauty. Creating a cover concept meets one or more of those needs. If the cover does none of those things well, you won't know until the book goes on sale, or when your novel is considered for […]

Read More
December 3, 2019
Open your wheelhouse: submit your requests

You might have been fortunate enough to have an agent request pages for your book. You may have taken a lot of time to make them better first. For example, if you're writing crime fiction (a mystery) you may say 1. My book is too long today 2. I don’t want my mystery to be […]

Read More
September 22, 2019
Emotions, feelings, and the differences

Dramatic writing always begs for feelings. Or is it emotions? It's actually both things, that begging. The differences tell us when to rely on each one as we create our scenes and stories. Simple enough Rage = Emotion Contempt = Feeling Feelings are emotions refined. Emotions are raw, unconsidered, sudden and unbidden. The rage boiled […]

Read More
September 19, 2019
Three key mile markers for a story's journey

Summarizing who’s in your story, plus a single sentence that guides the story, and writing a synopsis, are golden nuggets to mine. When you share your work for editorial evaluation, these are the mile markers. The synopsis is the hardest. I had to do one for Sins of Freedom back when it was called Monsignor Dad. I […]

Read More
September 10, 2019
How to give readers a break with chapters

"I like big chapters, long ones," said just about nobody who reads books. Readers need rests, like the rest stops on a 100-mile century bike ride. I did one of those rides a couple of times. Never ride the century, we'd say. Just ride to the next rest stop. Books can be centuries, with historical […]

Read More
March 19, 2019
Ten Key Scenes get your book on the road

Writers dry up and falter all the time in their quest to create.  One great process to keep words flowing into the big file is to have an outline at hand. It's like your writing to-do list. Saying the word outline makes some writers roll their eyes and sigh. Creating by the seat of your […]

Read More
11702 Buckingham Road, Austin, TX 78759
©2021 The Writer's Workshop
Privacy Policy
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram