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Forget NaNoWriMo—Take The Writerland Challenge

Let’s Set Our Own Writing Goals This Month Yesterday marked the first day of the 14th annual National Novel Writing Month, and I wish all participants the very best success. For those of you who, like me, do not plan to participate because you’ll likely write 1666 words of crap every day in order to […]

Constance Hale Has a Crush on Verbs

I am thrilled to welcome wordsmith Constance Hale, bestselling author of Sin and Syntax and the just-released Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch: Let Verbs Power Your Writing. Constance is here to talk about … you guessed it: VERBS.

My Crush on Verbs By Constance Hale

How can a person write a whole book, just on […]

How to Write Kick-Ass Character Descriptions

I’m guilty of it, too: The description of a new character who has just entered your story as having “big brown eyes and frizzy black hair” or “ginger hair that cascaded down her shoulders and eyes the color of jade.” No matter how creative you get, describing a person according to his or her hair […]

Five Things I’ve Learned About Memoir Writing

1. Your protagonist (you) should be 80-90% sympathetic with only a few flaws.

I used to think that the more flawed a character was, the more people would be able to relate to him/her. I quickly learned that too many flaws make a character unlikable. Readers don’t want to read 200-300 pages about a […]

Ben Fountain: Author Interview

Today I had the pleasure to meet Ben Fountain, who came to lunch at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. Ben’s first novel, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, debuted this month. His short story collection, Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, won a PEN/Hemingway award, a Barnes & Noble Discover Award for Fiction, a Whiting Writers […]

18 Holiday Gifts for Writers

Yes! It’s that time of year. Time for the Writerland 2011 Gifts for Writers Buying Guide! In addition to the usual case of wine, Moleskine notebook, nice pen, and day-at-the-spa gifts that all writers love, here are 17 other great ideas:

1. Come On All You Ghosts by Matthew Zapruder I work with Matthew, and […]

Editor Alan Rinzler & Literary Agent Andy Ross On All Things Publishing

First off, we have a winner for a signed copy of A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception and Survival in Jonestown by New York Times bestselling author Julia Scheeres. That winner is:

MOLLY!

Molly, e-mail me your full name and address, and I will pop the book in the mail to you […]

Finding Your Story with Gerard Jones

Today I am thrilled to bring you the incredibly talented Gerard Jones (see bio below), who is currently teaching a workshop at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto called Finding The Story.

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The Hunger Games: It’s all about plot, plot, plot.

I have a guest post over at Sierra Godfrey’s blog today about plot in the Hunger Games. With the movie coming out next year, I finally read it (although I don’t typically read YA novels) and what a fun ride. Also, if you’re new to this blog, I would love if you would “follow” it […]

Memoir Monday: Point of View

I know, I know, it’s TUESDAY, not Monday, but “Memoir Tuesday” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. It is also Memoir May here at Writerland, which means I’m editing memoirs for 30% off my regular rate while my own memoir is being marked up with red ink. (E-mail me for a free estimate!) […]