Serve the Story

Nat Russo Basics, How-To, Writing 20 Comments

Many of you who follow me on Twitter have seen this tweet that I send out periodically: It’s all about the story. When deciding what to cut, ask yourself: does it serve the story? #writetip Those of us who have been writing for a while have this ingrained in our DNA. Make no mistake about it, though. We didn’t start our writing career that way. Like any other element of the craft, this is something we had to learn over time. Writing is like a muscle. The more you write, the stronger you get. “Also, the Harry Potter novels are just fun, pure story from beginning to end.” – Stephen King on the Harry Potter series. Even Uncle Steve seems to be …

5 Writing Tips From Robert Pruneda

Nat Russo Guest Posts, Writing 12 Comments

It’s with great pleasure that I hand over the reigns to my friend and fellow author Robert “Sharky” Pruneda for today’s post. Robert is the author of Amazon bestselling horror Devil’s Nightmare, is a gamer like myself, and is an all-around scholar and gentleman! Oh, and if that weren’t enough selling points, he’s a fellow Texan! In today’s post, Robert shares 5 writing tips I wish I would have known when I was starting out.      

Honesty In Writing

Nat Russo How-To, Voice, Writing 38 Comments

There are many bits of common writerly wisdom that I tweet on a regular basis using the #writetip hashtag. Some of these nuggets are mine and others are parroting the masters. Most are widely held to be axiomatic, but some are confusing or enigmatic. Such is the limitation of 140 characters. One of the more confusing writetips deals with honesty in writing. Above all else, be honest in your writing. Readers sense fakes a mile away. #writetip Whenever this one comes up in the rotation, I get a flood of questions. I get some heated, sarcastic answers as well, but that’s to be expected from time to time. In general, there’s an overwhelming confusion among aspiring authors about just what it means to …

Eddie Izzard on Talent

Nat Russo Basics, Writing 21 Comments

Many of you are aware that I had the opportunity to see Eddie Izzard in concert last week as part of his “Force Majeure” tour. What I didn’t mention on social media that night, however, is that I had the great privilege of attending a Q&A session with him after the show.   Most of the questions that evening were the usual, non-professional interview type questions: What’s the one thing you’d tell your younger self if you could go back to the past? What inspired you to become a comedian? What shade of lipstick do you wear? You know…the usual. But the last question of the evening made me devote my full attention to the answer.

Point of View – The Basics

Nat Russo Basics, How-To, Point of View, Writing 31 Comments

Choosing the right point of view (PoV) for your story is the most important—and sometimes the most challenging—decision you will make before you begin the writing process. It isn’t a decision to take lightly. Through your story’s point of view, your reader will experience your world, your story, your characters, and your very purpose for writing the story to begin with. It’s a good idea to become familiar with the various point-of-view options before you set about creating your masterpiece.

8 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

Nat Russo How-To, Idea Net, Lists, Process, Writing 9 Comments

[Updated September 20, 2018] Nothing strikes fear into the heart of a writer quite like these two words: Writer’s Block. Whether you’ve been writing for 20 days or 20 years, you’re likely to find yourself staring blankly at the computer screen eventually. But, what’s the solution? In my writing journey, I’ve come across at least 8 things you can do right now to break through that feeling of emptiness and helplessness.

My Writing Process: A Blog Tour

Nat Russo Process, Writing 22 Comments

[Updated April 29, 2020] I was asked to participate in the “Writer’s Process Blog Tour” by a wonderful friend (and #1 bestselling author!) Nicholas Rossis, author of the Pearseus epic fantasy series. When you get a chance, take a moment to visit him at http://www.nicholasrossis.com/. Thanks, also, to JL Morse for including me in the tour! The Writer’s Process Blog Tour requires that I answer 4 questions about my process and works. In today’s post, I’ll take a stab at those 4 questions in the hope of shedding some light on the rusty innards of my mind.

Do Your Characters Have an Attitude?

Nat Russo Basics, How-To, Voice, Writing 10 Comments

There are few things more elusive in the craft of writing than the notion of “Voice”. But what many new writers fail to grasp is that “Voice” is far more than just what a character says. It’s about how they say it and how they feel about the world around them. In other words, it’s at least partially about their attitude. You have an attitude. You may not realize it, but you have one. I’m sure you’ve heard the words “don’t give me that attitude!” on more than one occasion. I’m willing to bet you’ve answered a question with a smile on your face, all the while concealing the seething rage beneath your calm exterior. Am I right? Of course I am! …

What Is The Right Chapter Length?

Nat Russo Plot and Structure, Process, Writing 21 Comments

New writers invariably get around to asking me the same question: “What is the right chapter length?” So let’s dig into this in a little bit of detail and figure out the answer! Let me just preface everything I say in this article with “In the case of my style of writing…” That should drive the point home that I’m not trying to establish any “rules” I think people should follow.   For me, chaptering is a tool that serves at least four different purposes, and sometimes each at the same time.    

4 Common Attributes of Successful Writers

Nat Russo Opinion, Writing 28 Comments

If this is the first time you’re putting pen to paper, or finger to keyboard, in an effort to produce a poem, short story, novel, or even some other form of art, know that you’re going to doubt yourself. You’re going to struggle to “get it right”. You’re going to feel like a fish out of water. And you’re going to want to quit. Each of those things is a signpost on the road to success, because each is one of the four common attributes of successful writers.