Why the Inside of Your Book Needs Professional Design

After you’ve written an irresistible book blurb and put together a captivating cover, you still have one more piece of design: the interior of your book. Your book’s inside design disappears when done correctly and jars readers when incorrect. Interior book design is essential to your book’s success.

Read More
The Flower Man by Mark Ludy: How to Read Like a Writer

There are many ways to tell a story. It can be written, spoken, sung, even shown through images. Mark Ludy illustrates how one man can change a community through wordless, vibrant images in The Flower Man. If you need to brush up your characterization and body language techniques, start with this book.

Read More
How to Write an Irresistible Book Cover Blurb

Whether you’re self or traditionally publishing, the aspect of your book cover you have the most control over is the blurb, where you describe what your book is about. As the author, it is your job to find a short, impactful way to communicate your book’s concept and convince readers to choose your story.

Read More
How to Design a Sensational Back Book Cover

When people say your cover sells your book, they aren’t only talking about the image on the front. The elements of your back cover convince a reader to buy because that is where they are introduced to your story, your characters, and you. Your back book cover convinces a reader to buy.

Read More
The Sleeper and the Spindle: How to Read Like a Writer

The Sleeper and the Spindle is a young adult short story transformed into a graphic novel. Written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Chris Riddell, it is an excellent example of how the written word and visual art can come together to create an engaging story. If you’re thinking about combining text and image, or another kind of creative partnership, read this book.

Read More
How to Choose Powerful Fonts and Titles for Your Book Cover

Whether on the spine or the front cover, the first piece of writing your reader sees is your title. Combined with your font, your title is an essential part of your book cover. A powerful title makes a reader curious, so they pull your book off the shelf or click on its thumbnail to find out more.

Read More
Fra Keeler by Azareen Oloomi: How to Read Like a Writer

Insanity is a common theme in literary fiction and fear in people. If you’re using this dark, relatable trope, read Fra Keeler to learn how Azareen Van Der Vliet Oloomi uses stream of consciousness, symptoms of madness, and internal conflict, so her readers experience what it’s like to go insane alongside her narrator.

Read More
How to Survive Your M.F.A. in Creative Writing

If you’ve decided to earn a MFA in Creative Writing or are on the fence, you need to know what it’s like inside the program. You will study writing and have time to write, but you’ll also have to deal with genre favoritism, lack of professors, and other aspects out of your control. I survived my MFA. Here’s how you can too.

Read More
The Truth about a M.F.A. in Creative Writing

A MFA in Creative Writing is surrounded by myths of college teaching positions, publication, and more. If you’re considering earning your MFA, you need to understand what the degree will actually get you and what it won’t. I’m not certain mine was worth it.

Read More
How to "Show Don't Tell" in Creative Writing

Any writer who’s had taken a writing course or been a part of a critique group has probably heard the phrase “show don’t tell.” You may have even said it yourself. Why should you show? Showing — especially in instances like backstory, setting, and emotion where telling is easy — will advance your plot and deepen your characters.

Read More
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston: How to Read Like a Writer

Most authors have a favorite writer whom they wish to emulate in some manner. However, if your favorite is a classic writer, you may need to pick the aspects of their style you incorporate into your own writing carefully. Today’s readers are not the same as the readers of the past.

Read More
Ellipses and Dashes: How to Use Popular Pauses

Like in speech, a pause can be essential to conveying your message through writing. You have a variety of punctuation marks available to show those pauses, including ellipses and em dashes, but not all pause punctuation marks are interchangeable. Learn what the different dashes and ellipses mean.

Read More
Ghosts by Sophie Calle: How to Read Like a Writer

Sometimes the story we wish to tell is not our story. In Ghosts, Sophie Calle uses a collection of voices to tell the story of missing museum art pieces. Learn how to combine interviews to create a larger story and build distinct character voices from Ghosts.

Read More
When Demons Walk by Patricia Briggs: How to Read Like a Writer

Do you have a book you read over and over because you can’t stop thinking about the characters, world, and story? When Demons Walk by Patricia Briggs is that book for me. The novel lingers with its readers because Briggs breaks a few rules, conventions, and tropes, which you can learn to do too.

Read More
How to Punctuate Dialogue: Spoken, Written, and Telepathic

One of the best techniques to increase the pacing and characterization of your story is through dialogue. In order for your dialogue to be clear and effective, you have to know how to format and punctuate it. Discover the standard format for dialogue, when to use it, and when to chooses a different option.

Read More
Europeana a Brief History of the Twentieth Century by Patrik Ourednik: How to Read Like a Writer

When an author wants to create a specific effect or tone, sometimes the traditional layout of text on a page doesn’t work. You need something slightly or vastly different. Patrik Ourednik experiments with form in nonfiction Europeana to generate an objective historical account. Other authors can learn from and borrow his form.

Read More
Syntax: Sentence Organization and Voice Creation

When it comes to sentence organization, many writers nod off or only care enough to be clear, but the kind of syntax you use has a tremendous impact on voice. A child is going to arrange their sentences differently than a psychologist. Your sentences will look different than another author’s. Syntax is a key aspect of your story’s voice.

Read More
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur: How to Read Like a Writer

If you want to take your readers on an emotional journey and focus on the internal conflicts of your characters, read Milk and Honey. Rupi Kaur uses the hurting, the loving, the breaking, and the healing of her life to create an emotional story arc in her poetry collection. Through different points of view, form, and the economy of words, she brings emotional truths to the forefront of her text.

Read More