Author, Writing Coach, Editor

​What is a hook and how can you use it in your stories? Whether you've never heard of hooks or have been writing hooks for years, this book will take you through the whole gamut of ways to write hooks and use them effectively. You will learn how to evaluate and create hooks for all kinds of uses in your fiction writing, with a focus on hooking readers in the crucial story opening. The information in this book goes well beyond the opening hook, showing ways to hook readers throughout an entire novel. You will learn about ways to generate book titles, make the reader care about what happens next in every scene, build tension and micro-tension with internal hooks, and tie up hooks in a satisfying way. In addition, the book explains how to create hooks for queries and pitches. Practical exercises will help you focus your precious writing time and put your new knowledge right to work.

Learn to identify common sentence pattern types and take full advantage of the way sentence patterns and variety in sentence structure will improve the flow and rhythm of your fiction writing. Topics in this book address fiction styles, the pros and cons of first-person and third-person points of view, dialogue, showing versus telling, figurative language, techniques for highlighting important details and some elements of story structure.This is also a lesson and exercise book for writers who want to learn and practice grammar techniques to enhance their fiction writing. It includes a review of basic, intermediate and advanced grammar including parts of speech, capitalization and punctuation, clauses, phrases and common grammatical and usage errors, and active versus passive voices, all geared to fiction writers.

The look and feel of your story world should include the kinds of details that can resonate with many different kinds of readers. With the information in this book you can learn more about those important details and how to use them to reflect your theme and message. Details are what this book is all about. When you are finished reading this book you will be able to immediately apply the strategies and techniques from this book in your writing. The examples and thorough explanations will guide you through eye-opening techniques that will build your toolbox of writer's skills whether you are prepublished or already on the cybershelves and bookshelves.​

Many authors have a troubling writing condition I call Tension Deficit Disorder or TDD. This condition frequently occurs with new writers, writers who are struggling to move beyond the basic levels of writership, or those who write for own enjoyment. Tension brings out the best and the worst in all of us, and if that is true of real human beings, it should also be true of characters. If you have developed TDD you may experience such symptoms as difficulty plotting novel-length stories, struggles to write scenes where anything of actual story-worthiness happens, worries about the pacing of your drafts and a general reticence to put your characters into hot water. You created your characters, your darlings, your babies, and of course you want them to be fulfilled, loved and successful in their story world lives. But through their suffering they will become better people and when they succeed in their post-suffering world (also known as the end of the story) readers will be delighted. Your job is to make your characters suffer, not you! Don't fall into the lull of low tension scenes where all goes well. Put your suffering into your novel and save the joy and happiness for your own life.

Story structure is not usually one of the first issues new writers worry about. First stories often already have beginnings, middles and ends. What more do you need? As new writers begin the process of revision, they will often notice that other writers are asking one another, "What plotting method do you use?" There are plotting methods? "What's your story's premise?" What's a premise? Soon after this the budding writer realizes there is a whole world of information about how to go about crafting a story. This book aims to give you an overview of some of those methods and ideas along with some techniques to help bring you up to speed quickly and with luck, painlessly. This is not a comprehensive text on how to write creative fiction. It contains only those methods I have come across and tried out for myself. In it you will find a discussion of ways to describe your book, figure out what genre your book fits, help with choosing points of view, subplots and sagging middles. I hope you can use this information to guide your journey through the maze of possible ways to write fiction.