Past Tense or Present Tense?

July 1, 2017

Why the past tense is almost always better than the present.

A completely rewritten and expanded version of this article. Read it here.

And look out for loads more new and updated articles in the near future!

Novel Writing Help: VIP Edition

January 25, 2017

Red carpet for the VIP Zone launch

I'm thrilled to announce that the "VIP Edition" of Novel Writing Help is open! Click here for details.

How to Use Dialogue Tags Like a Pro

November 11, 2016

Dean Koontz: Books full of inept dialogue tags get published all the time. Not all published writers are good writers.

Dialogue tags are like punctuation marks - they should be invisible, guiding the reader, but never getting in the way of the story. [read more...]

9 Rules For Writing Dialogue

Want to know the most important thing about writing dialogue in fiction? If it sounds like a conversation you'd hear in the real world, you've gone horribly wrong somewhere. [read more...]

Creating Characters In Novels

Creating characters is arguably the single-most important part of novel writing. At the very least, knowing how to create a character is as important as plotting a novel. [read more...]

Is Second Person a Smart Choice for a Novel?

In purely commercial terms, second person point of view is so rarely used in novel writing that you'd have to conclude that there's not a huge market for it. Otherwise everyone would be writing in the "you" of second person! [read more...]

Writing About the Weather in Fiction

Writing about the weather in your novel, and writing about it well, is critical for an atmospheric story. It's also a great shortcut...

A simple description of storm clouds gathering on the horizon, say, can foreshadow troubled times ahead in the plot and save yards of complicated explanation about the character's mood. [read more...]