Tension for your Readers

Tension. Without it, your novel falls flat. With it, you keep your reader hooked until the very last page. But sustaining tension is a tricky thing — even in one scene. Expanding that feat to an entire story can be especially challenging for first-time authors. In working with clients, I often encounter moments that lack tension. By showing them a few tweaks, they’ve been able to turn a lackluster scene into a gripping one. Here are three ways to keep the tension flowing in your novel:… Read More

Show Dont Tell

One of the thorniest issues most beginning novelists have is what is meant by “show, don’t tell.” Certainly, a good novel will have a balance of showing and telling. If authors showed everything, then one novel could end up being as long as a library shelf of books, and readers would feel more like they’ve just completed a triathlon than reading an enjoyable story. You want to engage your readers, not exhaust them. But what exactly do we mean by “show, don’t tell”? And how do you strike the right balance? Here are some common traps writers fall into with showing and telling:… Read More

Just as there are recipes for making dinner and formulas for mixing drinks, there’s advice for writing great novels. Novels involve a lot of moving and evolving pieces, from the way characters speak and behave to the twists and turns of your plot. Here are some quick tips and great advice for sharpening your storytelling skills. Character Tips To make your characters really compelling, put them on the therapist’s couch and ask them about their deepest, darkest secrets.… Read More