Archive for the 'CRAFT' Category

Emotional Work

I’ve been teaching a new kind of craft lately. It’s emotional craft, the understanding and planning of a novel’s emotional effect on readers. Most authors focus on characters’ emotions, principally the much discussed issue of showing versus telling. That’s fine but limiting. For readers, most of the emotional experience of a novel doesn’t come from […]

Knowing When to Walk Away

Please welcome Marisa de los Santos, New York Times bestselling author of four novels for adults, including (most recently) The Precious One, Love Walked In and Belong to Me; and one for middle grade readers, Saving Lucas Biggs, which she co-wrote with her husband David Teague. She lives in Wilmington, Delaware, with David, their two […]

Four Surprising Benefits to Letting Your Characters Take the Reins

Please welcome today’s guest, Andrea Lochen, author of two novels: her first, The Repeat Year (Penguin 2013), was praised by Kirkus Reviews as “an engaging, satisfying read that explores friendship, love and who we really are when it truly matters.”  A draft of The Repeat Year won the 2008 Hopwood Novel Award. Andrea’s second novel, Imaginary Things, […]

Becoming a Better Writer in 2015, part 2

In December, I wrote about setting goals for being a better writer in 2015. As it is now March and we’ve had three months, it seemed a good time to check in. How are you doing? (If you want to check what you wrote, go to the comments here.) Leaving out my usual quantitative goals, […]

Interview: Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt

Today’s treat at WU has two faces—I wouldn’t be able to show you their hands, because they are typing too fast. Welcome to Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt of Sterling and Stone, the wide website umbrella that houses their “story studio” of fiction imprints, blogs and podcast. Together, along with their other partner David […]

‘Take Charge of Your Own Book': Writing a Personal God

‘One of those guys who refused to enter temples’ Bear with me, I want to quote an author to you at a little length: My books are historicals. They’re set in the India of 4,000 years ago…My books are based on a premise that Lord Shiva was a real historical man, who lived 4,000 years […]

What Do Your Readers Know and When Do They Know It?

As any good operative can tell you, information is power.  Whether you’re dropping bombshells on your readers, teasing them with hints and suggestions, or letting them know ahead of time that disaster is approaching, you control their reactions by how and when you dole out the facts.  So how do you best wield the power […]

Of Clams & Editors

Today’s guest is Shawn Coyne–a twenty-five year book-publishing veteran. He’s edited, published or represented works from Michael Connelly, Robert McKee, Bill Murray, Joe Namath, Steven Pressfield, Jerry Rice, Betty White, and many others. During his years as an editor at the Big Five publishing houses, as an independent publisher, as a literary agent both at a major […]

Making the Jump: From Reigning Queens to the Queen of Fashion

We’re so excited to have C. W. Gortner with us today. He’s  the international best-selling author of seven historical novels based on the lives of maligned women in history, as well as The Elizabeth I Spymaster Trilogy. A former fashion executive, he has an MFA in Writing with an emphasis on History from the New […]

Literary gender shape shifting

The idea that you can only write from the viewpoint of your own age group, background, sex, species, or even experiences, seemed absurd and restrictive to me even as a kid. What room was there for imagination in that? Ignoring this whole notion, I shape-shifted with gusto, writing stories from a multitude of viewpoints, from […]