Do You Really Have to Kill Your Darlings?

Do You Really Have to Kill Your Darlings?

With one flurry of keyboard strokes in On Writing, Stephen King set down what has become an ironclad rule for a generation of writers: Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings. It’s...
What Is ‘Theme’ in Writing?

What Is ‘Theme’ in Writing?

Theme is one of the primary concepts in writing effective fiction, yet it is often elusive for writers. Nail your theme consistently throughout a story or book, and you’ll leave a lasting impression on your reader. Without theme, though, your story is just a...
Should You Wake Up Early to Write?

Should You Wake Up Early to Write?

Little kids the world over and from time immemorial have been graced with the wise advice of their elders. When it comes to getting ahead in life, the counsel usually goes something like: “The early bird gets the worm!”. It’s trite and overused and...
Should I Use a Prologue for My Book?

Should I Use a Prologue for My Book?

The use of prologues is one of those discussion points — along with “plot v. pants” and cliffhangers — that can divide a roomful of writers in an instant. Fans of the technique will tell you that a well-written prologue is essential for certain...
Why Are Cliffhangers Bad?

Why Are Cliffhangers Bad?

One of the most common frustrations expressed by fans of fiction in TV, movies, and books is the proliferation of the cliffhanger. When a story seems like it’s building to a satisfactory ending and then just STOPS, the reader or viewer is first jolted out of his...