Writing Advice

3 Mistakes when Writing Flashbacks

When writing flashbacks, a well-crafted, vivid one can have powerful impact on a story. In Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild, her flashbacks offer poignant windows into her internal struggle. They explain why she embarks on a journey to begin with. In the film Slumdog Millionaire, flashbacks of the protagonist’s impoverished past inform and ramp up the tension of the game show at present. In The Godfather: Part II, the juxtaposition between the early 1900s and the 1950s creates a fascinating, dramatic parallel between the mirroring ascents of father and son. When used wisely, a flashback can bring a lot to your novel: boost emotional resonance, infuse richness, and add essential depth. However, flashbacks are so tricky to get right that I know some editors or writing… Read More

Book Signing Author Career

It’s one thing to take yourself seriously as a writer. You may already devote yourself to your craft: enrolled in a writing class, sought guidance from coaches or editors, or attended conferences or writer’s retreats.  Building an author career, however, is different. Call to mind some of today’s bestselling authors. They don’t just write—they helm their careers with an entrepreneurial pizzazz, prioritizing marketing and reader-engagement right alongside their writing craft. No matter what publishing route you choose, it’s vital to build your author brand. In today’s competitive market, being proactive about promoting yourself isn’t just smart, it’s expected. My three steps will steer you toward making your own success and elevating your thinking from “writer” to “author.” 3 tips for forming your identity to build… Read More

5 Quick Fixes for a Sagging Middle

Your eyelids are heavy. You’re losing steam. You can barely navigate the twists and turns. No, you’re not slogging through the last half of a marathon—you’re reading a novel with a sagging middle. Even the most inspired novels can fall victim to clumsy, lackluster plotting as the story progresses. There’s a term for it: Sagging Middle. I’ve seen it happen with countless manuscripts: It starts out strong, with a promising character and a meaty conflict. But soon, tension dissipates. The story development stalls. Maybe the events feel convoluted. The plot sags and the reader quickly loses interest before the story ends. Below are 5 effective ways to revive a sagging middle and make your novel as marketable as possible. 5 tips for reviving a wilted… Read More