L.A. Kennedy

Beyond the story

An August 1989 Writer’s Digest articles encourages writers to say no to their characters—in other words, create compelling conflicts in their stories. Writers Digest Staff Writer’s Digest, August 1989 Say no to your fiction characters—put obstacles in their paths—or else editors and readers alike will say no to your stories. Hard-working Ted had a crush …

Continue reading

Whether discussing movies or books, most agents and editors are eager to find projects that are high concept. In this post, learn how to develop high-concept book ideas to find more success with your writing. Robert Lee Brewer Whether discussing movies or books, most agents and editors are eager to find projects that are high …

Continue reading

Where do ideas for the best mystery novels come from? Use targeted questions to craft a premise that will hook your readers from the first page. Bestselling author Hallie Ephron shares how to develop a fascinating premise for your mystery novel. Hallie Ephron I used to think that I couldn’t write a mystery novel because I’m …

Continue reading

by Amanda Patterson Many writers struggle with plotting. In this post, What Is A Plot?, we define a plot and tell you how to use it in a story. What Is A Plot? A plot is a series of events that make up a story. Plots have beginnings, middles, and endings. The first quarter of your …

Continue reading

Nicole Hill You’re reading this article because you love books. I’m writing it for the same reason. But how much do you know about the books themselves? Why are they shaped the way they are? Why are there so many different book formats? How can you fit all of these different sizes of books on …

Continue reading

Jory Mackay Charles Dickens didn’t just have a great mind, he had great calves as well. On any given day, Dickens averaged 12+ miles of walking through the lush Kent countryside or the bustling streets of Victorian London. This post originally appeared on the Crew blog. One particularly dreary night in October of 1857, Dickens …

Continue reading

The only way to save journalism is to make readers direct participants in making, and paying for, the media. Foreign Policy Jimmy Wales and Orit Kopel Photo by Uli Schmidt / Getty Images. When pollsters ask Americans whether they trust the news they read, listen to, and watch, the answer is increasingly negative. This sentiment …

Continue reading

Serina Hartwell Nobody told me when I started this whole pursuit, just how hard the journey was going to be. The worse thing about being new to any job is that you don’t know where anything lives. You spend most of your first week, looking through cupboards and bothering your colleagues with questions like, “where do …

Continue reading

Maria Popova “Setting words on paper is the tactic of a secret bully,” and other selections from Why I Write AP Images The question of what propels creators, especially great creators, is the subject of eternal fascination and cultural curiosity. In “Why I Write,” originally published in the New York Times Book Review on December …

Continue reading

A writer who’s afraid to tell people what they don’t want to hear has chosen the wrong trade. George Packer Staff writer for The Atlantic Editor’s Note: The Hitchens Prize is awarded annually by the Dennis & Victoria Ross Foundation to an author or a journalist whose work, in the spirit of the late Christopher …

Continue reading