Perfecting your Craft

Struggling to master the art of writing? Reedsy shares top tips from industry giants on perfecting your craft. Read to find actionable advice on plot, character, storytelling and more!

How To Come Up With A Character Name: an Author's Guide

Aug 16, 2018 – Perfecting your Craft

What's in a name and why does it matter? We answer this once and for all with 12 steps to help you figure out how to come up with a character name. Read more →

What is an Unreliable Narrator: Definition and Examples

Aug 15, 2018 – Perfecting your Craft

An unreliable narrator can make for gripping stories that keep readers on their toes. Or they can be so sketchy that they turn readers off. If you're looking to learn more about these questionable raconteurs, the different types of unreliable narrators, and how to go about using one in your story, read on. Read more →

12 Character Archetypes Every Writer Should Already Know

Aug 08, 2018 – Perfecting your Craft

‘Character archetypes’ are something you imagine bohemian writers talking about at length — perhaps while smoking a cigarette and stroking their pointy beards. And when they move onto the topic of Jungian theory, you can see yourself tuning out of the conversation altogether. But despite their se... Read more →

What is the Theme of Your Story? A Guide for Authors

Aug 07, 2018 – Perfecting your Craft

With the help of a stunning infographic and a quick quiz, learn to understand the role of themes in fiction — and to write your next novel from a thematic perspective. Read more →

What is a Flat Character? Definition, Examples, and Tips

Aug 03, 2018 – Perfecting your Craft

“Riddled with flat characters” is perhaps the most damning thing you can hear from an editor or reviewer. An accusation that your characters read like a cardboard cut-outs is like a knife in the heart of any fledgling writer. But having a flat character or two isn't the end of the world — or even... Read more →

What is a Plot Point?

Jul 26, 2018 – Perfecting your Craft

What is a plot point and how does being able to identify them help authors? In this guide, we apply a 7-point structure to The Handmaid's Tale. Read more →

20+ Writing Strategies (That Helped Bestselling Authors Finish Their Books)

Jul 13, 2018 – Perfecting your Craft

So you've decided today that you want to write. Great! Now how exactly are you going to do it? Luckily, we have a precedent to which to turn. From idea generation to the art of editing, there are thousands writing strategies out there to get you past the finish line — and we gathered the best o... Read more →

10 Writer's Block Memes to Keep Your Book Afloat

Jul 13, 2018 – Perfecting your Craft

If you’re a writer, you’re 99% guaranteed to agree that writer’s block is not a lot of fun. Whilst we can offer tips and help you try and overcome writer’s block and writing strategies, we can also reassure you that you are not suffering alone. The fact that you’re here — possibly having searche... Read more →

6 Things Almost All Writers Get Wrong When Self-Editing

Jun 28, 2018 – Perfecting your Craft

Lisa Lepki is the Editor of the ProWritingAid blog. A word nerd, she loves the technical elements of writing almost as much as the writing itself. In this post, she reveals a few of the most common editing mistakes that authors make. As an editor, I see writers making the same mistakes over an... Read more →

How to Title a Book: What Do Good Book Titles Have In Common?

Jun 27, 2018 – Perfecting your Craft, Book Marketing

In this post, learn how to title a book that will help you sell more copies. We'll also look at elements shared by good book titles. Read more →

What is Plot? An Author's Guide to Storytelling

Jun 15, 2018 – Perfecting your Craft

So, what is a plot in fiction? Let's check your understanding with a pop quiz: which of the following is the best example of a plot? a. A boy finds a new family in a traveling circus run by orphans. b. An immigrant comes to the United States to start a new life. c. A king dies and then the queen ... Read more →

How to Outline a Novel: an Author's Guide (with Template)

Jun 05, 2018 – Perfecting your Craft

Are your eyes tired of staring at a blank Word document? Are you sick of crashing and burning every time you try and start a novel? Well, we have the not-so-secret key to success right here: it involves learning how to outline a novel. Book outlines have saved the neck of many a bestselling writ... Read more →

Fiction 101: What is a Denouement? Definition and Examples

Jun 01, 2018 – Perfecting your Craft

The denouement is the “beginning of the end” — the final outcome of a novel. In this post, we talk about how to write a denouement that results in a satisfied sigh from your readers as they wistfully think of what might have happened next. Read more →

How to Create a Character Profile: the Ultimate Guide (with Template)

May 31, 2018 – Perfecting your Craft

Ask any great novelist and they’ll likely tell you that good writing starts with good characters. But sharp character development is also one of the toughest hills to climb, especially if you’ve struggled to think through those tried-and-true questions that keep you up at night: Are my charact... Read more →

Chekhov’s Gun: Don’t Shoot Your Story In the Foot

May 28, 2018 – Perfecting your Craft

“If in Act I you have a pistol hanging on the wall, then it must fire in the last act.” It's a literary rule that authors, screenwriters, and storytellers everywhere know, but perhaps struggle to define. In this post, we’ll outline just what is “Chekhov’s Gun” and give you pointers on how to (and how not to) use it. Read more →

How Writing about Death Saved my Life

May 22, 2018 – Perfecting your Craft

Christopher Noël is a professional on the Reedsy marketplace who has been a freelance editor for twenty-five years. He is the author of seven books, including the memoir In the Unlikely Event of a Water Landing: A Geography of Grief, which he wrote following a life-changing disaster. the worl... Read more →

What It Takes to Write a Book that Becomes a Movie

May 04, 2018 – Perfecting your Craft

The book editor of 'A Futile and Stupid Gesture' reveals her top 5 tips for writing a book that Hollywood will want to adapt into a film. Read more →

How to Start a Story: 11 Tips From Our Editors

Apr 19, 2018 – Perfecting your Craft

Most writers don’t begin the novel-writing process knowing exactly how to start a story. That comes later, once the narrative arc has taken clearer form. It’s also because the opening lines of a novel carry a lot of responsibility with them. They act as an invitation for someone who’s glanced at... Read more →

Writing Young Adult Fiction: An Editor’s Guide to Awesome YA

Apr 12, 2018 – Perfecting your Craft

Young adult is perhaps the fastest-growing category of new fiction today. Indeed, more authors are writing young adult fiction than ever before! There’s just something about adolescence — with all its incredible triumphs and heartbreaking failures — that makes it the perfect backdrop for powerful... Read more →

What is a Prologue? Definitions and Tips for Writers

Dec 21, 2017 – Perfecting your Craft

Not sure whether your novel needs a prologue? Not sure how to go about writing a killer prologue? With top tips from our editors, this article will help you nail down how to start your story. Read more →

How to Revise a Novel: 6 Steps to a Smooth Revision

Nov 07, 2017 – Perfecting your Craft

Learn the 6 steps needed to smoothly revise a novel, with tips from a professional editor. Read more →

Chapter Length Matters. Here's Why

Oct 18, 2017 – Perfecting your Craft

Stop us if you’ve experienced this before: the clock strikes 8pm and you realize that you really need to pick up your drycleaning. But you’re right in the middle of your book! Well, you’ll put the book down when you get to the end of this chapter, you reason. 30 minutes afterward, you can’t resi... Read more →

How Blending the Past and Present Allowed Me to Ask: "What If?"

Oct 05, 2017 – Perfecting your Craft, From our Authors

Along with being an author, Finian Black is a doctor who served in the British Army. He lives in Winchester, which is chock-full of medieval reminders of the time and story inspiration. In this article, he talks about how playing with myths and legends — stories steeped in history but often in li... Read more →

A Century of Fantasy: How the Genre's Changed Since the 1920s

Oct 03, 2017 – Perfecting your Craft

The English word, "fantasy," sprang from Old French's phantasie, or "vision, imagination." But you wouldn't be entirely remiss if you'd thought that it came from the word, "fantastic." When you consider all the fantastic things in our world and our imaginations, it's no wonder there are so many d... Read more →

How I Wrote My Novel by Building a Community

Sep 14, 2017 – Perfecting your Craft, From our Authors, Book Marketing

Giuseppe Porcaro is the author of DISCO SOUR: an existential odyssey of a heartsick politician trying to save a war-torn, post-austerity Europe from algorithmic autocracy. In this article, he talks about the collaboration behind his latest novel, which was inspired in large part by interactive ev... Read more →

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