how to write a book

Create the Perfect Villain: a 6-Step Master Plan

Create the Perfect Villain: a 6-Step Master Plan

Mu-ha-ha-ha!

In my last article on Fiction University, I laid out 6 Ways to Make Readers Fall in Love With Your Characters.

If you’re writing a story or novel, pay attention. Because now I’m going to flip all of those techniques upside down.

I’ll show you how to use the opposite of those exact same methods to create a villain that your readers will love to hate.

How? Find out on Fiction University.

Want more free fiction writing tips, plus a chance to win free books? Sign up for my author newsletter. >

Categories: For Writers, how to write a book, how to write a novel | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Podcast: making The Leap to full-time writer

Listen to my interview on The Leap podcast, where we talk about making major life changes, being creative, conquering fear, and striving for the life you really want to live.

Here’s an excerpt:

THE LEAP: Laurence, what can you tell people about making the leap themselves? What should they look out for? What should they avoid?

LM: I would say the number one thing is to trust yourself. Have faith that you know what you need to do.

I would also say: go ahead and break some rules. Go outside the box. Do things that people think are not necessarily the way you should do them.

Do something a little bit crazy. But not so crazy that you expose yourself or others to great harm.

In other words, don’t go all in. Don’t say, ‘Oh, I’m going to write this book, or do whatever, and if this fails, I’m done.’

Go in knowing that you’re going to learn the skills that you may not have today. Don’t be afraid to fail.

Emphasize to yourself that you need to go and learn how to succeed. And then go out there and put massive effort into it.

And when you start having success, give something back. Start telling other people how to do it. Just like we’re doing on this podcast today.

It’s important to connect with other people who are trying to do the same things you’re trying to do, and be positive about it.

Listen to the interview here. >

 

P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for my author newsletter for freebies, sneak peeks, and a chance to win my new book. >

Categories: For Writers, how to write a book, how to write a novel, Self Help | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free for writers: Instant Plot workshop tomorrow

Instant Plot: Planning Your Novel the Easy Way

Tired of struggling with outlining your book? Find out how to do it the easy way.

Writing a book? Live in the Denver metro area?

Join me tomorrow evening for a fun, free workshop that explains exactly how to outline any novel or story in just minutes.

Find out how to take charge of your plot, avoid the three dumbest plotting mistakes, spot the warning signs of a dead-end story, and master the core principles of dramatic structure.

Through classroom exercises, you’ll map out the spine of your story and walk out with a solid plan to get your novel finished.

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Free workshop! Instant Plot: Plan Your Novel the Easy Way

Instant Plot: Planning Your Novel the Easy WayHey, who doesn’t like free and easy?

If you’re a writer in the Denver metro area, you should join me for a fun, free workshop that explains exactly how to outline any novel or story in just minutes.

(By the way, even if you aren’t in the Denver area, don’t despair. Just shoot me an email, and I’ll send you a free copy of the new Instant Plot ebook when it comes out this summer. And yes, it’s free!)

What will you learn?

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7 Keys to Writing Irresistible Plots

Flaming Horse of Doom

Why? Because, hey, Flaming Horse of Doom! That’s why.

If you’ve ever tried to write a book, you’ve probably struggled with plotting.

Plot is more than just what happens in the story. There’s a bigger structure to what happens, and when, and why.

Do it right, and you’ll create a gripping story. But do it wrong, and your story will get nothing but yawns.

Want to know the secret to writing irresistible plots?

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Categories: For Writers, how to write a book, how to write a novel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

11 Tips for World-Building in Science Fiction and Fantasy

How do authors create an imaginary world from scratch? This weekend, I’ll offer writers some world-building tips at MileHiCon in Denver.

Can’t make it to the convention? No worries. Here are the answers to eleven of your burning world-building questions.

MileHiCon: How do authors go about building a world?

World Building, World Destroying Ray Gun

Don’t “zap” your story with world-building mistakes!

Laurence MacNaughton: Personally, I immerse myself in the strangest real-world research I can possibly find.

My novel The Spider Thief sprang from a real-life case of amnesia, a real lost city in the Amazon, a frighteningly real tarantula migration, and a scientific mystery about a real-life toxin that can steal your memories.

Truth is, of course, stranger than fiction. So the most interesting place to start a story is with the truth.

MHC: What are some mistakes other authors have made, and how do you avoid them?

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Categories: For Writers, how to write a book, how to write a novel | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Short, Sad Saga of Mississippi Jones

Don't eat me!

Scary. Freakin’. Fish. That is all. Move along.

Some names stick with us.

Bridget Jones, Holden Caulfield, Nero Wolfe — these names are all indelibly stamped into our literary consciousness.

Those names are evocative. Memorable. Unique.

Some writers are incredibly good at coming up with names.

I am not one of them.

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Categories: For Writers, how to write a book, how to write a novel, Uncategorized, writing, writing a book, writing a novel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 3 Questions of Aspiring Writers

Thriller Author Interview

with Yours Truly

I’m always happy to answer questions from aspiring authors. This week, I got some tricky ones:

Q: How do you know when to end one chapter and start the next chapter?

A: You end a chapter as soon as the lead character either achieves their goal or fails.

The best place to end a chapter is immediately after you raise a new question in the reader’s mind. The desire to answer that question will make them turn the page. Continue reading

Categories: For Writers, how to write a book, how to write a novel, Uncategorized, writing, writing a book, writing a novel | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

12 Bestselling Authors Taught Me This

The light bulb moment

The light bulb moment for me was meeting an African storyteller and learning the universal truth of story.

Over the years, I’ve interviewed dozens of bestselling authors — and they all had the same advice.

I’ll tell you what it is in this interview at the Littleton Writers Critique Group.

I’ll also reveal the surprising advice my literary agent gave me . . . the “old school” trick to stop procrastinating and get more done . . . and the secret to writing every day.

Plus, I’ll talk about the African storyteller who taught me the key to writing a good story.

And I’ll even share the hidden formula to every story ever told — no kidding.

Click here to read the interview on the Littleton Writers Critique Group website >

What was your “light bulb moment”? Leave a comment!

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Categories: For Writers, how to write a book, how to write a novel | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

How to Write Anything

How to Write Anything

Forget fancy software. Just grab a pen and follow along!

Have you ever needed to write something, but you didn’t know how to get started?

As a professional writer, I face that problem daily.

Luckily, I’ve discovered a super-simple way to organize any writing project.

And I’m about to share it with you.

Continue reading

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