Donald Maass is both a legendary literary agent and an incomparable writing teacher. His most recent blog in Writer Unboxed is about the relationship protagonists have with the worlds they inhabit. An excellent article for authors who want to create believable worlds, regardless of genre.

How do you think of our world? How is it organized, in your mind? Geographically? Planet, continents, countries, regions, states, counties, cities, neighborhoods, streets? Politically, by a ran…

Writers tend to write what they know, and this includes the ethnicity of characters. At the same time, there's the desire to be inclusive and to express diversity, which can result in the best friend or confidant being a person of color. Hallmark movies often have this, and I find myself wishing the roles were reversed. This terrific article by Jason Evans discusses this pitfall, and even better, identifies how to avoid it. I especially like the term "agency" that Jason uses to describe the process of creating believable secondary characters, which should be the standard for ANY secondary character.

The Magical Negro is a trope as old as American literature. Originally, the Magical Negro was there to show white readers that African-Americans could be wise, intelligent, and loyal, just like all…

Indie authors, this is for you.

Take your sales to the next level! The author of the award-winning, bestselling Let's Get Digital is back with an advanced guide for more experienced self-publishers.There are over 4 million books in the Kindle Store, with thousands more added every day. How do you get yours noticed? Visibil...

One of the most difficult hurdles writers face is letting go of a project so others can offer their analysis. If a writer wants to be published, one good way to jump into the pool is through writing contests. It's one way of garnering feedback and developing contacts. Regardless of the genre in which a writer is working, there are contests, some with cash prizes, and some with the real prize -- the chance to get the work in front of an acquiring editor. Becky Tuch makes a good argument in her article that encourages writers to take the plunge.

There are a lot of great reasons to enter writing contests. First and foremost, there is the possibility of winning one. That’s a mighty fine feeling. Then too there is the cash reward. No need to remind you, dear hardworking writer, how splendid is the cash reward.

The question authors considering self-publishing ask: Do I really need an editor. The short answer is, "Yes!." Even the most polished and experienced writer benefits from being edited.

Writers with a trade-publishing deal get automatic access to professional editors and proofreaders, but self-publishers have to source their own. Some writers think it’s fine to scrimp on this, but the truth is that every book needs to be edited and proofread, says Lucy Ridout.

Are you a fiction writer in need of an editor? Come check out my services.

Editing services offered by Sharon Mignerey include copy editing, proofreading, and manuscript review.

"'I just sit down and write, each and every day, following my gut, listening to my characters, and eventually the magic happens.'
And so, hungry writers who hear this may lean into the belief that the craft of writing a good novel is inexplicable."

Larry Brooks shares the crafting a novel goes quite a bit beyond this fantasy that many writers would like to claim as true

Please welcome author Larry Brooks to Writer Unboxed today! Larry is the author of six novels and three bestselling books on fiction craft, including Story Fix and Story Engineering. A little more …

This advice from John Grisham is basic, but is like the need to exercise regularly. A "conditioned' body that has regular exercise probably works better than one that sits on the counch all the time. A "conditioned' writing mind is the same thing.

“All suggestions can be ignored when necessary,” says the best-selling author, but ignore them at your own peril. (And put away that thesaurus.)

This is powerful advice for writers. "With characterization, you have to let go. You’ve got to release yourself from your grandiose intentions, your ambitions, your ideas about humanity, literature, and philosophy by focusing on the being-another-person aspect of it—which, by the way, is freeing, delightful, and one of the few real joys of writing. Stop worrying about writing a great novel—just become another human being." This is from Canin, author of the Doubter's Almanac Authors always think publishing is difficult, and 2016 was no exception. The Atlantic has gathered these observations and advice over the last year.

Highlights from 12 months of interviews with writers about their craft and the authors they love

If you know someone who is ready for editing support, please share my information. Thanks!

Editing services offered by Sharon Mignerey include copy editing, proofreading, and manuscript review.

I love this blog about staying focused -- since you're reading here, this may be an issue for you, as well (though I'm very glad you are visiting).

Anybody else having a focus problem these days? Silly question. Of course you are. News. It doesn’t even matter where you stand, which side you’re on, or Russia what you believe. The news has captu…

Terrific advice to create authentic historical characters and settings.

Spies, Lies & Suspense: eight thriller writers divulge secrets and share insights about the world of international espionage and geopolitics.

Have you ever thought about turning your novel into a screenplay? If so, there is still time to register for an online class at Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Check it out! #fictionwriting #screenplays #rmfw

UPCOMING CLASSES Want to Turn Your Novel Into a Screenplay? Karen Albright Lin Behind The Curtain: Removing the Mystique of Self-Publishing Lisa Manifold Character Building with Tony and Phil Jax B…

This article was written a while ago, but is still excellent advice.

Before you hire an editor, you need to know what kind of help you’re looking for. It's important you know the following ...
Reprinted with permission from
by Sharon Mignerey
Our world seems more in turmoil than ever. Each time we turn on the news, there’s too much to absorb. Each headline is more concerning than the last, and we may be tempted to unplug and move to a desert island. Worse, I’ve had a nagging suspicion that what I do is unimportant, maybe even trivial. Recently I was at a party where I met a psychologist. “Now,” I thought, “there’s work that is important. She’s helping people make sense of their lives.” When she found out that I am a novelist, her face lit up, and she said, “You must...

Almost every day, I encounter people who ask about publishing on Amazon, but who believe they don't need an editor. I think part of the reluctance is not knowing how to find the right editor.
This article by Harry Dewulf sheds important light on the topic.

Publishing is about product, writing is about process. ~ Emma Darwin Why do you want any kind of edit? Writing fiction is a unique creative exercise, because unlike every other creative art (except perhaps music), fiction depends on rules, guidelines and conventions – it depends on being recognized…