Stephen King: The 'Craft' Of Writing Horror Stories
In the summer of 1999, writer Stephen King was nearly killed while taking his daily walk. A driver had left the highway and struck King as he strode along the gravel shoulder of Route 5 in Maine.
While recovering from his injuries, King worked on a book called On Writing. The book was both a reflection on his craft and his thoughts about the accident that required months of rehabilitation to repair his broken bones.
In a 2000 interview on Fresh Air, King described his life-changing accident to Terry Gross but said it didn't change the way he approached his writing.
Continue reading on NPR.com >>
The Right First Impression
By Virginia Heath
‘Jack Markham, lately christened the Earl of Braxton, brought his horse to a stop on the brow of the hill just as the first rays of the sun burnt through the hazy mist of the early…’ Zzzzzzzzzzz sorry I nodded off there!
Those were the uninspiring first lines of my doomed, never-to-be-published first attempt at a historical romance novel. If the reader had a convenient pair of matchsticks at the ready to prop open their drooping eyes, the story then went into a great deal of description about the fictitious place he happened to be riding in. I think the story actually started somewhere around page five. Five wasted pages where I should have hooked my reader and made them want to continue reading my book. I’ve come a long way since then.
Continue reading at Romance University >>
Louise Jensen is a best selling author of psychological thrillers. Her debut novel The Sister, reached No. 1 in the UK and Canadian Amazon chart within 3 weeks of release, No.1 in Apple's iBooks and is listed as a USA Today Bestseller.
The Sister is a book about a grieving girl who thought there was nothing as frightening as being alone – she was wrong.
The Gift is Louise's second book, due for publication on the 16th December 2016.
Louise also writes flash fiction, and features and articles for both magazines and online publications. Louise specialises in writing about mindfulness, chronic pain and mental health.
How to write a romantic book: 5 mistakes to avoid
Learning how to write a romantic book also means learning to avoid common romance writing mistakes. The best romance writers excel at finding romantic story ideas and fleshing them out with memorable character relationships. Here are 5 romance writing mistakes to avoid:
1: Avoid immediate, total attraction between your story’s lovers
The process of characters falling in love is half the adventure and excitement of many great romance novels. You might ask ‘What about Romeo and Juliet?’
Continue reading at Now Novel >>
The Top Three Story Pitch Mistakes
If you’ve read Fix My Story for very long, you probably know that I’m big on story pitches. I call them by their Hollywood name of loglines. I’ve even written a book or two about how to make your story pitch amazing. It’s a passion of mine to make sure every storyteller who comes into my sphere of influence knows how to write a great story pitch.
Today, I want to go back to basics on story pitching. To do that, let’s look at the top three mistakes I see most often in story pitches.
Continue reading at Fix My Story >>
The road to becoming a published author is winding and long and emotional. We get it. It’s easy to stumble and lose your way. And if you’ve made a few mistakes along the way, hey, don’t worry about it. You’re in good company. The best thing you can do is learn from those mistakes, and share what you’ve learned so others can take heed. Here are a few of the top mistakes our authors discovered on their road to publication:
The Complete Guide to Point Of View
Point of view is probably the largest single area of novel writing that aspiring writers have problems with. More specifically, they can't decide whether to write in the first person or the third person…
Both viewpoints seem so tempting in their different ways... and choosing one over the other can feel like closing the door on a whole world of exciting possibilities.
Just about everything in literature boils down to the writer having to make choices. And you could argue that the whole "1st person vs. 3rd person" debate isn't going to make one heck of a lot of difference at the end of the day...
Continue reading on Novel Writing Help >>
I like reading about monsters. Creepy crawlies that make you wonder about that sound in your closet after you turn out the lights. I also read a fair amount of post-apocalypse fiction, usually involving zombies or some other horde of creatures who want to snack on mankind. It’s dark, scary, intense stuff and I rarely venture outside my ghoulish little literary bubble.
However, regular readers of this blog probably know that I challenged our editor Jennifer, a long-time romance reader, to take a walk on the wild side and give a book in my favorite genres a try. To my surprise, she actually agreed (check out her review of the post-apocalypse series The Purge of Babylon I dared her to read). I wish I could say I was surprised when she issued a similar challenge for me to crawl out from my horror crypt and take a ride down the gooey, happily ever after, lovey-dovey romance road. Given that she’d already stepped up, declining the dare wasn’t an option.
The Bestseller Code: Anatomy of the Blockbuster Novel
Back in the spring of 2010, Stieg Larsson’s agent was having a good day. On June 13, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest—third in the series from a previously unknown author—debuted at number one in hardback in the New York Times.You can imagine the lists would have been a pleasing sight over morning coffee. Hornets’ Nest straight in at the top, Dragon Tattoo at number one in two paperback formats, and The Girl Who Played with Fire a roundly satisfying number two. This had been going on for forty-nine weeks in the U.S., and for three solid years in Europe. It would have been hard not to be smug.
Continue reading on Huffington Post >>
If you’ve read any of our romance novel reviews, you know that if there’s one thing we hate here at Knockin’ Books, it’s weak, spineless heroines. (And also country music, camping and reality TV, but we digress...) But fortunately, for every too-stupid-to-live heroine we’ve encountered on our reading adventures, we’ve found at least one outstanding, kick-ass woman. Here’s our top 10 favorites (listed in no particular order):
Is your writing a hobby, an art, a business, a vocation, a profession? Let’s discuss
This question was raised in a Facebook group this week: if you’re not earning much from writing, does that make it a hobby rather than a serious pursuit? My gut reaction was ‘no’, and I’d like to examine why. What follows will be a few attempts at definitions, a few assumptions – and I want this to be the start of a discussion rather than the last word. So do let me have your thoughts at the end.
Continue reading on Nail Your Novel >>
I’m an avid romance reader. I very rarely venture outside of my nice, comfy, and-they-lived-happily-ever-after comfort zone. But I’m also not one to say no to a dare. So when The Design Dude double-dog dared me to read his favorite genre, post-apocalypse/dystopian, I said what the hell? I enjoy The Walking Dead. I’ll give it a go.
Here’s the results of our little social experiment:
Points to consider for writers describing people of color
By Scott Sigler
Did you know that certain skin tone descriptions can piss some people right the fuck off?
We contracted a new editor to do the copy edit for my scifi/thriller EARTHCORE (out Nov. 29 in print, eBook and audiobook). This editor did a solid job. She’s quickly getting the hang of my particular style and the Siglerverse as well (if you’re new to my work, most of my stories are in the same continuum). She’s currently doing my next short story collection, FIRE IS ORANGE, and also THE REEF, a GFL novella.
But back to the topic of pissing people off. As the editor was working on EARTHCORE, she came across this phrase:
He started out of bed but stopped when a hand with long, purple fingernails lightly scraped his back. He turned to see Chloe smiling up at him, her caramel skin beautiful against the white sheets, her lush lips slightly parted, her black eyes glinting with sex.
Continue reading on the Scott Sigler blog >>