Jessica Cruz

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6 Monsters Killing Your Writing Ability

When was the last time you sat down to write, and all you could generate was the flashing cursor on your screen? Has it ever happened to you? Recently, I was writing a post for my site and encountered a severe case of "what am I supposed to write next?" I identified these six monsters and took …

Creative Writing

1 Simple Trick For Writing Diverse Characters

John McClane is an enduring character across the decades but we need new blood nowWe hear a lot about so-called representation on screen and how it’s …

Disability

Writers' Rituals and Why They Work | Robin Storey

<b>We writers are a weird bunch</b>…<p>For a start, anyone who spends a lot of their time hanging out with imaginary people has to be just a wee bit crazy. And …

Creative Writing

How to Craft a Page-Turning Plot

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a hard core plotter. I have outlines and spreadsheets. I cover tabletops with color-coded Post It notes with …

10 Daily Routines For Honing Your Creativity

If your daily routine doesn’t get your creative juices flowing, consider adapting these habits of famously creative thinkers.<p>Creativity can be as elusive as it is rewarding. Inspiration usually lies just beyond the intellect’s reach, sparking our best work and sneaking away when we need it …

5 Steps to Writing a Killer Elevator Pitch for Your Book

You may think that elevator pitches are only for high-tech startups, job hunters, or Hollywood screenwriters, but being able to succinctly summarize …

These Illustrations Are Here To Inspire You Through A Creative Block

Are you in a creative slump?<p>Going through a dry spell can be incredibly frustrating -- but don't hit your head against the keyboard just yet. Sometimes all it takes is a more positive attitude to shift your perspective and spark some new inspiration (not to mention, adopting an upbeat mindset also …

Creativity

The Best Time to Write and Get Ideas, According to Science

What does your ideal day look like? Would you believe there’s a scientifically correct answer to the question?<p>Research into the human body—its …

Will Power

10 Habits You Should Abandon Now to Improve Productivity

They say that you have the same number of hours in the day as Beyonce — so why does it feel like you’re never able to get caught up on your business …

30 High-Impact Ways to Level Up Your Writing

<i>This is a guest contribution from freelance blogger and email copywriter Hassan Ud-deen.</i><p>Ever feel like your writing could be better?<p>If you’re a …

5 Point Checklist To Help Writers Get to Know Their Characters Thoroughly

<i>By Jody Hedlund, @JodyHedlund</i><br>Reviews are starting to roll in for my new YA novella, <b>THE VOW</b>, published by Harper Collins.<br>Considering the length …

Anne R. Allen's Blog: 8 Bogus "Rules" New Writers Tell Each Other

People who speak English as a first language (and are not robots or space aliens) use contractions. If your characters don't use them, your novel or …

5 Things I Wish Every Author Knew

In my work with authors I see every kind of personality, and I've seen firsthand all the ways writers trip themselves up. In my book, <i>What's Your Book?,</i> I wrote about an irony I've noticed -- that the two seemingly opposing mindsets of "I am special" and "I am shit" both paralyze writers in similar …

Writing

5 Marketing Mistakes That Beginning Fiction Writers Make

Overestimating the importance of book launches<p>Once the publishing process ends, the marketing process needs to kick into high gear.<p>A book launch …

The Second Act Belongs to the Villain

I learned this from Randall Wallace (<i>Braveheart</i>), who learned it from Steve Cannell, the maestro of a million plotlines from <i>The Rockford Files</i> to</i> …

The definitive guide to naming your characters

Image: Matthew Loffhagen<p>Shares 81<p>Like it or not, names have a huge influence over how we perceive their bearers. The right name can establish a …

Stephen King’s Top 20 Rules for Writers

In one of my favorite Stephen King interviews, for <i>The Atlantic</i>, he talks at length about the vital importance of a good opening line. “There are all …

How to Start Your Novel: Advice From Literary Agents

<i>This column is excerpted from Guide to Literary Agents, from Writer’s Digest Books.</i><p>No one reads more prospective novel beginnings than literary …

How to write a winning book proposal

Literary agent Sarah Such looks at the crucial factors needed in a successful book proposal.<p>5 minutes to read<p>How to write a book proposal and what …

Writing

How to Deal With Writers' Block: Top 6 DON'Ts

Creative block – we’ve all been there. It can be a total nightmare for a professional writer who relies on their creativity for their bread and …

Creativity

Preparing for Success: Dealing with Burnout

So, last week when I was writing about lulls, I referred to them as being the worst thing which could happen to a professional writer. I fear that …

7 Things Publishing Professionals Wish You Knew

Fifty Shades Of Grammar Mistakes

For better or worse, <i>Fifty Shades of Grey</i> is a worldwide phenomenon. As the long-awaited (and much maligned) movie adaptation hits the big screen, we wanted to revisit the most shocking, depraved element of E.L. James's erotic trilogy.<p>No, not the bondage -- we're talking about the writing.<p>Here are …

Shades of Grey

Tax Tips for Writers Who Hate Math

Writers are masters of words, not numbers. We tried to disappear in the back of algebra class and still suffer anxiety dreams about quadratic …

13 Tips for Writing a Novel

Writing is one of the greatest forms of communication. It brings people of different eras, countries, and languages together. It reveals the bonds that unite humanity and expresses the universal plights and pleasures of the human condition.<p>For me, completing a final chapter heralds the last few …

Creative Writing

What Is 'Hard' Science Fiction?

Many people associate science fiction with the fanciful, even the fantastic. Yet, to my mind, science fiction is not only the most breathtaking genre of modern literature, it is the most realistic.<p>I'm speaking of what is commonly called "hard" science fiction, stories in which some aspect of future …

Science Fiction

Tips from an Editor: When to Trust Your Gut

Writing

Thinking of joining a writing group? Ask yourself these 8 questions first

As a writer, active member and chair of the London Writers’ Cafe – one of the largest writing groups in the UK – Lisa Goll knows a thing or two about …

Creative Writing