Latest Articles

start a novel

How to Start a Novel (Without Procrastinating)

I’m not going to lie: starting a novel is hard.  I’ve started more than 200 of them, and even now I would never say that starting is easy.  But it is easier for sure, and it’s never worrisome. I get similar flutters when I have to travel, or am being introduced into a new situation…

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book cover design

How to Prepare for Your First Book Cover Design

Everyone judges a book by its cover. Once upon a long time ago someone got that wrong and we’ve all been parroting it ever since. But you know the truth; that’s why you’re here. You’re exhausted with seeing smart, well-written stories get ignored in favor of flashy yet empty titles with gorgeous-looking covers. Or maybe…

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how to write a great book review

How To Write A Great Book Review

If you’re reading this article, I’m going to guess you’re a book lover.  Few people even think about book reviews if they don’t seriously love reading books. Whether you are the voracious and gluttonous reader who finds themselves with Kindle queues a mile long, audible apps stuffed with titles, and a nightstand overflowing with hardbacks…

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tips for writing a book

24 Timeless Tips For Writing Your Book

Writing a book is one of the most significant things you can accomplish in life.  Fiction or nonfiction, a finished book gets your thoughts on the page, transforms your ideas into something more permanent, and plants the seeds of your legacy into more fertile soil than the earth inside your mind.  But writing a book…

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How to write a revenge story

How to Write a Revenge Story

Revenge is a universal theme that can improve any book, short story, or screenplay.  Because revenge is elemental to who we are as human beings, this is a genre that will always remain popular and never die. We all know that two wrongs don’t make a right, and you don’t have to be violent or…

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what is genre

What is Genre?

So … what genre is it? That’s as necessary a question for us to answer in our story studio as it is for you at home.  We question our genre with every story we tell, even if it goes unspoken. My darkest writing partner never has to define his genre — everyone in the studio…

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character development

The Ultimate Guide to Character Development

If you’re a storyteller, then this page is about to become invaluable to you. Characters are the backbone of every great book, movie, or television show. Unforgettable narratives are driven by human frailty and the broken or brittle decisions that are a result of those weaknesses.

writing dialogue

The Ultimate Guide to Writing Dialogue (with Examples)

What’s your favorite line of dialogue?  Let’s stick with movies, because that’s a vocabulary we can all agree on. And if you want to learn to write great dialogue, well written movies are a great place to start. So what is it, your favorite line?  Don’t think too hard on it, favorite lines can change…

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Outline a Novel

How to Outline a Novel

Writers are always looking for formulas.  It’s part of our wiring. We love telling stories, so that’s rarely the hard part for us.  The hardest part is knowing what to write.  Maybe you’re just starting your search now, or maybe you’ve scoured the internet looking for the solution that’s right for you already.  Stop looking.…

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How to Write a Sex Scene

I’ve written more sex scenes than I can count.  When we first started self-publishing, the erotica market was booming. That made it a low cost, low risk environment for us to test everything we knew about how to sell books online. Unlike the rest of fiction, erotica is more like nonfiction in that it’s keyword-based.…

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