What are the 10 writing tricks I teach all my clients?

  1. Write in scene. This is another way of saying SHOW DON’T TELL. Let us see it happening, don’t just summarize it.
  2. Show your character DOING things. Passive characters who let other people make all the choices (even the villains) aren’t interesting to read about.
  3. Let your character talk in dialogue. This is where a lot of character development and conflict comes from.
  4. Make sure your reader feels emotional impact from every event that happens.
  5. Don’t go for the cliches. Brainstorm 10 things and then throw those out. Go to the next 10 things.
  6. Know where your book will be on the bookstore shelf. It’s not for everyone. It’s a mystery or a YA book or a romance or a self-help book.
  7. Let yourself write a crappy first draft. You’re not going to know what your final book looks like yet. Let that come slowly.
  8. Always make things more complicated. If you don’t know what to do with the messy middle, make things more difficult for your main character. Make more problems they have to solve—or that keep them from their goals.
  9. Stop going back to make things “perfect” before you go onto the next chapter. Unless there are major plot or character changes, keep writing to the end. You will learn important things about writing to the end of a book, even if it’s messy.
  10. Build a world. Even if your book is set in contemporary America, there are rules about living where your character does that help make this story unique. This specific high school. This town. This religion.
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