Posts by Category

(posts listed in descending chronological order)

Getting Started

The Dangers of an MFA: The Most Important Question to Ask Yourself before Applying

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

4 Major Differences between Amateur Writers and Professionals

Why Being an Amateur Writer Is an Asset

The Best Advice for a Beginning Writer

Overcoming Page Fright

What the Best Writers Know about Making It Work

What You Need to Know to Achieve Your Writing Goals

The Make-or-Break Element in Writing

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

Understanding Story Structure in Different Genres: A Case Study of “Everything, Everything” by Nicola Yoon (Part I)

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

Foreshadowing: The Secret Sauce of Best-Sellers

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

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)


Don’t Fall into This Trap: Hogwarts Is Not Why Harry Potter Became a Best-Seller

 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)

How Rowling Revised ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’ 


Finding Your Confidence: An Interview with Indie Author Jenny Bravo

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

3 Things You Can Do Right Now That Will Get You Published Faster

What Rowling Did Wrong: Respecting the Rights of Readers

Letting Go after Publishing: 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”


3 Things You Need to Know to Achieve Your Goals (Or, What I Learned from Steve Martin)

4 Powerful Mantras to Beat Writer’s Block

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

Ten Commandments for the Happy Writer

Famous Writers Who Trusted Their Instincts and Made It Big

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?

Failure Is a Necessity

Don’t Kill 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?