Writing Tips and Help


General Writing Tips: Writing Habits, Career Planning, Motivation and Writer's Block, Collaborations, Conferences, Workshops, Classes and Groups, Problems Writers Face, Research, Miscellaneous Tips

Fiction: General, Titles and Names, Story Ideas, Scenes, Style, Premise and Theme, Setting and Worldbuilding, Plot, Point of View, Characterization, Dialogue, Exposition, Literary Devices, Formatting and Length

Specific Genres: Romance, Horror Stories and Thrillers, SciFi and Fantasy, Action/Adventure

Poetry: General

Non-Fiction: Articles, Freelancing

Inspirational and Religious: General

Writing for Children: Children's Fiction, Children's Poetry

Editing and Critiquing: General

Agents, Editors, and Publishers: Agents, Publishers and Publishing, Contracts and Other Legal Documents, Copyright, Queries, Cover Letters, Synopses, and Proposals, Marketing

General Writing Tips

Writing Habits

Developing Better Writing Habits
Developing Efficient Work Habits
Finding Time to Write

Career Planning

Maximize Your Writing Career
Career Planning for Fiction Writers
Jump Starting a Stalled (or Dead) Career
Stalled Careers, Writer's Block, and Monsters Under the Bed
Staying Alive: Nothing Succeeds Like Success
Maximize Your Writing Careeer
About Pen Names

Motivation and Writer's Block

*MINE* A Blank Page: Beating Writer's Block
Procrastination and Goals
Self-Motivation for Writers
Seven Surefire Ways to Beat Writer's Block
Blocking Your Writer's Block
Deadlines and Writing
Eight Great Ways to Jump-start Your Writing
How to Vanquish Writer's Block
Writer's Block


In Bed Together: The Problems of Collaboration

Conferences, Courses, Workshops, and Groups

Writers Conferences
*MINE* Writers Groups: Are They Worth Your Time?
Five Tips for Writers' Groups
Writers Groups
How an Online Course Works
How To Succeed in an Online Writing Workshop
Writing Workshopw

Problems Writers Face

Overcoming Writer's Isolation
Writers and Depression
Dealing With Rejection
Why Rejection


*MINE* Researching Your Novel
Researching the Small Stuff
Background Research

Miscellaneous Tips for Writers

*MINE* Have You Been Over-paying the IRS?
Ten Nitty-Gritty Tips on Being a Professional
Advice for Young Writers
Beginner's FAQ
For Young Writers: The Possible Dream
Tips for Young Writers
How to Write and Get Published
Write Like an Expert

Fiction - Tips on Writing Novels and Short Stories

General Tips on Fiction Writing

Elements of a Successful Novel
How to Write a Publishable Novel
Elements of a Successful Story
Story Writing
What Makes a Hot Book Hot?

Titles and Names

The Theory and Practice of Titles

Story Ideas

*MINE* What in the World Will I Write About?
Where Do You Get Your Ideas - Part I
Where Do You Get Your Ideas - Part II


*MINE* Scenes: The Building Blocks of Novels
Constructing a Scene

Style and Structure

Style: A Checklist for Fiction Writers
Purpose and Structure

Premise and Theme

*MINE* Story Premise
Premise -- Foundation of Storytelling
The Moral of the Story

Setting and Worldbuilding

*MINE* It's Your World: Setting Your Novel
Using the Five Senses to Create the Perfect Setting
Building a New World
Building New Worlds
Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions
Making Monsters
World Builder Questions


Plot by Damon Knight
The Plot That Wouldn't Die
What a Plot is
Ten Points on Plotting

Point of View

Narrative Voice


Characters and Story
Character in Fiction
Character Chart
What's in a Name?


"Let's Talk About Dialogue," He Pontificated
Dazzling Dialogue


Show or Tell: Which is Better?
Show, Don't Tell

Literary Devices

Symbolism and All That
Thoughts About Irony

Formatting and Length

Formatting Your Manuscript
Manuscript Format
Manuscript Formatting For Beginners
Manuscript Preparation Guidelines
Proper Manuscript Format
Reformatting and Submitting Your Galleys
Standard Manuscript Format
Word Count Obsession
How Long is Too Long

Tips on Writing for Specific Genres

About Genre

Writing Romance

Six Ingredients of a Sensual Romance Novel
Why Not Write Sensual Romance
You Might Be a Romance Writer If...

Writing Horror Stories and Thrillers

Notes on the Thriller
Worlds of Fantasy and Horror
The Fright Factory

Writing SciFi and Fantasy

Doyle's SciFi Genre Rant
Doyle's YA SciFi Rant
Science in Science Fiction
Shining Stars of SciFi Markets
Turkey City Lexicon

Writing Action/Adventure Stories

The Rhetoric of Action

Tips on Writing Poetry

Poetry Writing Notes
Son of Poetry Tips
Like a Charm
Creating a Reliquary

Tips on Writing Non-Fiction


Taking the Plunge: Introduction to Freelance Writing
First Things First: Unearthing a Motherlode of Article Ideas
Writing Articles
The How-To Article
The Art of the Interview

Freelance Writing

How to Survive as a Freelance Writer
Freelancing 101: Building a Bookshelf
Freelancing 101: Take Your Specialty for a Spin
Freelancing 101: Ten Steps You Can Take Right Now
Freelancing 101: Exploring New Markets
Freelancing 101: Simultaneous vs. Sequential Submissions
Freelancing 101: To Specialize or Generalize
Freelancing 101: The Taxman Cometh - Part I
Freelancing 101: The Taxman Cometh - Part II
Freelancing 101: Time and the Writer

Tips on Writing Inspirational and Religious Works

Writing for Moody Magazine
Writing Effectively
Checklist: Dos and Don'ts

Tips on Writing for Children

Children's Fiction

Getting Started
The Well of Ideas
Point of View
Devices of Style in Children's Writing
Elements of Mystery
Writing Mysteries for Children
Writing Short Stories for Children
Humor in Children's Writing
Convincing Characters
Really Basic Information for Children's Writers and Illustrators
Resources for Children's Authors and Illustrators
Sample Guidelines for Children's Book Authors
Trends in Children's Books
What Happens Inside a Children's Publishing Company
Why Does a Hardcover Picture Book Cost $16?
Writing Multicultural Children's Books

Children's Poetry

Poetry for Children
More on Poetry for Children

Tips on Editing and Critiquing

Critiquing: A Gift You Can Give
Become Your Own Editor
Observing Longer Titles: A Criticism
How to Critique Fiction

Tips on Agents, Editors, and Publishers

About Agents
Agent Scams
Agents: A Primer
Agents and Contracts
Agent Advice
Finding an Agent
Guide to Literary Agents
How to Get an Agent
Hunting For a Literary Agent
Hunting For an Agent
HWA Agents FAQ
Questions for Agents

Publishers and Publishing

Researching Publishers and Agents
Getting Published
The Business Side
Glossary of Publishing Terms
The Process of Publishing a Novel
Ten Ways To Increase Your Odds of Getting Published

Contracts and Other Legal Documents

Analysis of a Distribution Agreement
Reading a Contract
Are Your Invoices Legally Sufficient
Book Club Clauses in Agency Contracts
Cross-Collateralization in Publishing Contracts
Distribution Agreements
Look Before You Sign
Merchandising Rights in Book Contracts
Playboy and the Work Made For Hire Agreement
Reversionary Rights in Book Contracts
Revised Edition Clauses in Computer Book Contracts
Royalty Calculations in Book Contracts
The Book Editor Contract
The Cover Artist/Illustrator Contract
The Indemnity Clause in Book Contracts
The Peculiarities of Computer Book Contracts
The Problems With Old Publishing Contracts
Authors and the IRS
First Serialization Rights
Further Fallacies About Cross Collateralization
Giving Up Your Rights
The Agency Agreement
The Publishing Audit
Ten Key Negotiating Points
Unbundling the Bundling Clause
Writers' Rights


Ten Myths About Copyright Explained
A Brief Intro to Copyright
Copyright FAQ
Copyright Law Cheat Sheet
Copyrights and Meteorites
Do I Need to Register my Copyrights?
Fair Use
Freelance Copyright
Copyright Guide Index
Copyright Basics
US Copyright Registration
US Copyright
When Do Copyrights Expire?
The Protection of Book Titles

Queries, Cover Letters, Synopses, and Proposals

Writing a Query Letter About Your Novel
How to Write the Perfect Query Letter
Query Letter Guide
Query Letters: Do Them Right
Query Letters
Rites of Submission: Cover Letters and Queries
The Story Synopsis
How to Write a Synopsis
Drive Thru Synopses

Marketing Your Work

Turning First Experiences into First Sales
The Art of Pitching
Dealing With a Downsized Market
Marketing Plan
Marketing Strategy
Marketing Tips
Pitching Commandments
Promoting Your Book on the Internet