Writing Tips

Adding Depth to Your Story


I recently met with my book club for writerly types, where we’re reading Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. Confession, I hadn’t actually done the reading, but as I was flipping through the chapter and seeing highlights I’d made my first time through the book, I was reminded of some of my aha! moments.

Leave Room for the Reader.

Readers are smart (even/especially young readers). One of the worst mistakes you can make is to underestimate their intelligence. Not only will they be annoyed, but they’ll also get bored. To engage readers, you need to give them an active role in the story. Make them work for it. What’s the point of reading a story if you’re not going to be inspired/changed/horrified/heartbroken by the end of it? (more…)

Writing Tips

Find Your Voice

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Voice is that nebulous, often hard-to-define concept that makes your writing sing. At its core, voice reflects the unique lens through with you see the world. Like Neil Gaiman once said, “The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision.” We’ve all heard the old adage that every story has already been told. Editors and agents read hundreds of queries every month, many pitching stories with similar concepts to yours. The only thing you have that nobody on earth can replicate is the unique combination of life experience and DNA that you alone possess. Your voice should come from this deep-down, irreproducible place.


So how do you find your unique voice? Here are a few tips that have helped me along the way: (more…)