story

How to Get on the New York Times Bestseller List

  by Lindsay Flanagan The New York Times  Bestseller List. The very name sends shivers down your writer’s spine. You envision your books will one day be emblazoned with the badge of honor that counts you as a New York Times  Bestselling Author. You know it’s a pretty cool list, and you know you’d like…

Top Three Short Story Mistakes

by Kristin Ammerman Bestselling authors such as Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Jeff Wheeler, Cassandra Clare, Neil Gaiman, and others write novels as well as short stories. There are several reasons why novelists also write short stories. Sense of accomplishment: Writing something shorter that can be accomplished in a month rather than a year (or…

The Most Common Advice May Be the Worst

  by Angela Eschler Next to “Write what you know,” the most common piece of advice I hear at conferences is “Just write every day.” I always cringe a little when I hear that. Not because it’s not good advice. It is. But because it’s not the best advice for a newbie. There’s a context…

Avoiding Narrator Intrusion

by Emilee Newman Bowles Hello, “dear reader” As a young English Lit  student, I laughed to myself when a story addressed the reader like this. It used to be common to tell the “dear reader” the moral of the story. These days it’s passé. Even if you know you should avoid speaking directly to the…

What Makes a Bestseller? Part 2

A Strong Premise: Your Story’s Hook by Sabine Berlin with Angela Eschler In part 1 of our articles defining “high concept” and what makes for a bestseller, we listed one requirement as a “hook that’s easy to describe.” Think of the hook  as the heart of your story: your fresh idea + the main conflict…