Posts by Category

(posts listed in descending chronological order)


Getting Started

The Fastest Way to Jump-Start Your Writing Career: My Mentorship Story

4 Major Differences between Amateur Writers and Professionals

Conquering Your Page Fright

Famous Authors on How They Discovered Their Best-Selling Story Idea

Don’t Indulge Neurotic Writing Rituals

You’ve Got to Read If You Want to Write

The Writing Life Is Much Less Exciting Than You Think


Free Book Architecture Sample: The Difference between Formula Writing and Method Writing

How Rowling Developed Suspense, Surprise, and Shock (Rowling’s Outline and the Book Architecture Method, Pt IV)

How Rowling Created Key Scenes (Rowling’s Outline and the Book Architecture Method, Pt III)

How Rowling Formed Her Narrative Arc (Rowling’s Outline and the Book Architecture Method, Pt II)

How Rowling Turned a Story Idea into a Best-Selling Series (Rowling’s Outline and the Book Architecture Method, Pt I)

The First Pages

4 Warning Signs That Your Prologue Should Be Dumped (and How Rowling Pulled Hers Off Anyway)

5 Ways Rowling Hooked Us on Page One

Story Structure/Plot

The Dos and Don’ts of Imitating Famous Writers: My Interview with MuggleNet Academia

Foreshadowing: The Secret Sauce in Successful Stories

An Interview with Stuart Horwitz: Plot Is a Four-letter Word

Using Plot Points and Pinch Points in a Story with a Twist Ending

Story Structure in ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’

How Rowling Wrote a Satisfying, Cathartic Ending (Story Structure in Harry Potter, Pt V)

How Rowling Kept the Middle from Dragging (Story Structure in Harry Potter, Pt IV)

How Rowling Created Obstacles for Harry’s Character Development (Story Structure in Harry Potter, Pt III)

How Rowling Cornered Harry at the Point of No Return (Story Structure in Harry Potter, Pt II)

Story Structure in Harry Potter: How Rowling Became a Billionaire by Following the Rules (Pt I)


How Rowling Used Suspense to Build a Seamless Plot (Pacing in Harry Potter, Pt III)

How Rowling Sustained the Suspense (Pacing in Harry Potter, Pt II)

How Rowling Delivered Suspense from the Very Beginning (Pacing in Harry Potter, Pt I)


Character Trumps Setting: The Secret behind Harry Potter’s Success

 7 Ways to Create Interesting, Original Characters


How to Appropriately Express Your Theme


Famous Writers on How They Developed Their Voice


Four Mistakes That Cost Books the Best Sellers List (Genre Categories, Pt III)

What Self-Publishers Need to Know about Virtual Co-op (Genre Categories, Pt II)

Genre Categories Can Make or Break Your Book (Genre Categories, Pt I)


Finish Your Book in Three Drafts (Yes, Really)

Behind the Scenes of a Bestseller: How Rowling Revised ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’ 


An Interview with Indie Author Jenny Bravo

Nail Your Pitch: Avoid the Common Pitfalls, Sell Your Story

3 Things That Will Get You Published Faster

The Rights and Responsibilities of Writers

Ron and Hermione v. Harry and Hermione, Round 2

Why Rowling Shouldn’t Have Commented on Ron and Hermione’s Relationship

You Only Need 1,000 Readers to Make a Living

Why You Shouldn’t Give a Damn about Bad Reviews

These 8 Questions Will Get You Published Faster

Your Audience Should Not Be “Everyone”


4 Powerful Mantras to Beat Writer’s Block

Rowling’s Life as an Author: What It Was Really Like Writing Harry Potter

Why You Shouldn’t Feel Bad If You’re an Amateur Writer

If You Want to Be a Writer, Do This

Monday Motivation: Nathan Bransford’s Ten Commandments for the Happy Writer

Professional Writers Give Themselves Permission to Suck

Famous Writers Who Trusted Their Instincts and Found Success

Don’t Give Up: Following through on Your Writing Goals

Use Your Demons to Fuel Your Writing

Make Your Writing Quirks Work for You

Writers Write (Most of the Time)

On Rejection: What If There Was No Dr. Seuss?

Recommended Writing Books

Top 5 Best Books on Writing in 2013

Top 5 Best Books on Writing in 2012

Motivational Quotes

Is Your Story Not Embarrassing Enough?

Why You Need to Fail If You Want to Write

Are You Killing the Fun in Your First Draft?

How to Overcome Page Fright

Have You Set the Bar Too Low?

Is Fear Keeping You from a Writing Career?

The One Thing That Will Kill Your Manuscript

What Writers Need When the Going Gets Tough

How Much Should You Practice before Publishing?

Do You Really Want to Be a Writer?