Do You Outline, or Do You Write into the Dark?

ACFWAdvice, Authors and writing, Brainstorming, Characters, Outlines, Plots, Plotting/Outlines, tips, writing 10 Comments

By Glynn Young @ gyoung9751 A problem developed while I was writing my fifth novel. The problem had to do with what I conceived as a minor character – a four-year-old boy who would grow to adulthood during the story. But he wasn’t the main character; far from it, in fact. He was supposed to have a bit role. Unfortunately, …

Mesmerizing Mysteries and How to Master Them

ACFWAuthors and writing, Mystery/Suspense, Organization, Plots, Plotting/Outlines, tips, writing 2 Comments

By Sarah Sundin @sarahsundin What makes a satisfying mystery? As in all novels, we need intriguing lead characters, a captivating premise, and a setting that supports the story on both a physical and emotional level. But mysteries also have a cast of suspects and an interwoven plot with suspects and investigators acting and reacting to each other. Ideally, the reader …

Plotter or “Pantser” – Is One Better than the Other?

ACFWAdvice, Authors and writing, Brainstorming, Friends of ACFW, Outlines, Plots, Plotting/Outlines, writing Leave a Comment

By Lori Domingo @LoriDomingo22 If someone had asked me that question a year ago, I would have proudly declared, “I’m a pantser. I never write from a plot outline. It’s too confining.” I had managed to complete one manuscript without it, and was hard-pressed when I was required to write one for one of my MA classes. It was something …

Honor the Craft

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By Henry McLaughlin James Scott Bell posted a blog called Don’t Ever Mail It In where he wrote about the attitude that we’ve reached a certain point in our writing where we don’t have to improve. What struck me most is his definition of a real writer. It’s someone who honors the craft and never settles. In this blog, I’m …