The most critical question for any writer to ask

Susan DeFCreative Writing, fictionLeave a Comment

Recently I returned from teaching at the Writer UnBoxed conference in Salem, Mass.–and while I was there, I did something I’ve never done before with adults. I built a story with my audience, live. I did this because I figured after four full days of craft talks, the conference attendees needed another PowerPoint presentation like they needed a hole in … Read More

The Power of a Well Placed Inciting Incident

Susan DeFCreative Writing, fiction, Recommended ReadingLeave a Comment

Aspiring novelists are often bombarded with advice on how to create an effective opening for their novels. One common suggestion is to get the inciting incident on the page as quickly as possible. However, as a seasoned editor and book coach, I’m here to caution against this approach. Rushing into the inciting incident can lead to openings that are hard … Read More

Men on the internet being wrong

Susan DeFCreative Writing, Writing resourcesLeave a Comment

It wasn’t so long ago that I shared with my newsletter, a comment left by a Man Who Shall Not Be Named on a recent article of mine for Jane Friedman‘s blog, in which he (man)splained why taking a stand for what you believe in your fiction was impossible without committing the sin of Bad Art. I couldn’t disagree more–and … Read More