Writing Tips and Prompts

June 2017 Writing Prompts

It’s June, guys! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and I’ve got a fresh batch of writing prompts so none of us have to go outside and experience any of that. Because, c’mon. We’re writers. We stay inside with our laptops and our ideas.

18 Questions to Ask Your Beta Readers

Feedback is a strange thing to want. On the one hand, you want praise for your writerly genius and assurances that you’ll be dominating the NYT Bestseller List in no time. On the other hand, you know your manuscript isn’t bestseller-caliber just yet and that the only way to get it there is to have […]

How to Write Bilingual Characters

Bilingual characters are, in my humble opinion, awesome. Who doesn’t love it when the romantic heroine throws around some key Italian phrases to show off how sophisticated she is? Who doesn’t get thrown for a loop when the innocuous secondary character steps in and saves the big business deal with some #flawless Chinese? Plus, using multiple […]

Write Diverse Characters (Even If You’re Afraid To)

We need diverse books. We, as writers, need to write diverse books. But that can be...well, scary. Here's why you shouldn't let your fear of writing diverse characters stop you from doing it.

There’s a lot of discussion about the need for diversity in media, and as writers, we have an obligation to at least engage in that discussion. I like to think that most of us really like the idea of diversity in literature. I also like to think that most of us are painfully aware that […]

Kill Your Darlings (But Don’t Bury Them)

It's the oldest piece of writing advice: Kill your darlings. But don't bury them just yet.

As writers, we’re very accustomed to two kinds of murder: the murder of characters, and the murder of amazing sentences and scenes that don’t advance the plot—aka “kill your darlings.” “Kill your darlings” means that you need to put quality over sentimentality. We’ve all written brilliant sentences that wound up not really helping our story, or […]