how to write a book

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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How to Outline a Novel (Even If You Hate Outlines)

how to outline a novel

Outlining a novel is kind of like building a wall — one brick at a time. Flying monkeys optional.

Getting overwhelmed at the prospect of starting (or finishing) your novel? Feeling the pressure of hundreds of blank pages staring at you, waiting to be filled?

No sweat. Planning out a story is like building a wall:

You just do it one block at a time.

Just like a towering brick wall is made up of individual bricks, your manuscript is made up of individual parts.

You just have to break it down into small, easy-to-handle chunks, and then build it up from there. Here’s how.

Continue reading

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

The Art of Getting Things Done

Sun Tzu Ruined My Life

Don’t make them get medieval on you!

Sun Tzu ruined my life.

Don’t get me wrong, “The Art of War” contains some gems of insight for anyone engaged in a difficult struggle, like running a business.

(Or fighting a war with chariots and spears.)

But the problem is that Sun Tzu puts a great deal of emphasis on lightning-fast strikes intended to leave the enemy off-balance and lead to a swift victory. He recommends avoiding a prolonged conflict at all costs.

And he makes some good points.

But sometimes, you can only win the battle — or write a book — with a slow and steady application of force.

Continue reading

Categories: book business, For Writers, how to write a book, how to write a novel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Why You Should NEVER Carry a Notebook

Levenger Index Card Holder Pocket Briefcase

Don’t carry a notebook in your pocket. Instead, carry index cards!

For many years, I carried a writing notebook with me everywhere I went. That’s what all serious writers do, I’ve always heard. But in truth, it’s a terrible idea.

Here’s why.

  • First, when you write in a notebook, your notes are locked in rigid sequential order. If you tend to think of things randomly (and who doesn’t?), you’ll spend a lot of time flipping back and forth through your pages to find something.
  • Second, it’s difficult and time-consuming to transcribe your notes from your notebook into the files for each project. I suppose if you’re the sort of person who only works on one story, ever, then this isn’t such a big deal. But I’m always working on a huge list of projects.
  • Third, notebooks get gnarly quickly. They get creased, folded, bent, ink-stained… It’s not pretty.

The Un-Notebook Solution

The secret is deceptively simple:

Continue reading

Categories: book business, For Writers, how to write a book, how to write a novel, writing | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Arnold Schwarzenegger Can Pump Up Your Writing

Hear me now and believe me later:
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s rules of
success can help you write a novel.

by Laurence MacNaughton

What could Arnold Schwarzenegger possibly teach you about writing a novel?

A lot, as it turns out.

Schwarzenegger likes to talk about his “6 Rules of Success”. Believe it or not, these rules just might hold the key to your success as a writer. Continue reading

Categories: For Writers, how to write a book, how to write a novel, writing a book, writing a novel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to outline a novel – 3 things you need

By Laurence MacNaughton

Dear Laurence: What do I need to know beforehand in order to write a novel? I’ve been told by several different people that an author has to have a character outline (with a biography, as if he or she was a real living person), then a story outline, and I don’t know what all else…  Continue reading

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How to revise a novel until it’s perfect (or not)

By Laurence MacNaughton

Dear Laurence: I recently got a request for pages from an agent that I pitched to at a conference. At the same time, I had also submitted my query to a workshop, and that editor emailed me and requested pages, too. I didn’t realize I would get this kind of response, so I was caught unprepared. What do I do? Continue reading

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How to Write A Novel a Year

Think you don’t have time to write? You’re probably right. Between a day job, a family and all of the obligations of modern life, the goal of finishing a novel is clearly impossible. Much less writing a novel every year. And yet, though common sense tells you no, the truth is that you can do it. Continue reading

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The Surprising Secret to Snappy Scenes

Got a scene in your novel where a group of characters argue and discuss, but no matter how important the subject is, somehow the tension falls flat?

You can fix this scene, and I’ll tell you the trick right up front: get rid of some of your characters. Why?  Continue reading

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

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