What Does It Really Mean When People Say Your Character is Unsympathetic?Christina Baker Kline
Ever since I started noticing the typos in Nancy Drew books, I’ve loved to edit. In high school I convinced my mother, an overworked English...
Why Tried and True Advice Can Doom YouJohn Wray
Two of the most dangerous sinkholes I fell into as a developing writer were very much part of the creative writing dogma of the time, and continue...
The Thirty-Year NovelLeora Skolkin-Smith
As part of surviving the long, lonely hours of writing a novel about madness that I was certain would continue to be rejected by publishers...
Research in Fiction—Necessary But DangerousHelen Benedict
As someone who writes both journalism and fiction, I have often struggled with how to balance research and imagination.
Procrastination and the Necessary FightDani Shapiro
It’s always just me versus me. From the moment I wake up in the morning–pack my son’s lunchbox, scramble a couple of eggs, feed...
On Finding Your MaterialSheila Kohler
Finding our material is one of the most essential parts of our work as writers. It is difficult, first, to find material with heat—dangerous...
What's in a Title?Erika Dreifus
I learned lessons about “quiet” fiction back in 2001, when a literary agent began circulating my first book-length fiction manuscript...
Writers and Self-SabotageBonnie Friedman
I used to induce in myself awful states of envy. It took years to notice what I was doing, though, because it was so counter-intuitive
Getting UnstuckCaroline Leavitt
If you’re a writer, you know the routine. You’re halfway in the middle of your novel or story and suddenly you feel stuck
Huskies, HackneysRoxana Robinson
All the fiction I write arises from the same sort of impulse: it’s a feeling of discomfort, a kind of unspecified anxiety, a need to uncover...