Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine

Want to Write Better and Sell More?

Are you happy with where your writing career is right now? The Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine is a free monthly e-zine for novelists who want to learn the secrets of developing their craft and marketing their fiction.

Don’t be satisfied with where you’re at! Move up to the next level . . . and the next, and the next. Fill in your first name and primary email address in the box at right, and change the direction of your writing career.

Privacy policy: I won’t rent, sell, or give away your email address to anyone. I loathe and despise spammers!

Free 5-Day E-mail Series: “How To Publish Your Novel”

Why do some writers get published and some don’t? I’ll send you a a FREE 5-day e-mail series, “How To Publish Your Novel” when you sign up for my Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine. Every day for the next 5 days, you’ll get an email with the next lesson. Find out the 3 things you MUST have to publish your novel — and how to get them. If you want to navigate the wild waters of traditional publishing, this series will give you a map.

Back Issues of the Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine

You can view the older issues as either text files or PDF files. Text files are quicker to download. PDF files are more nicely formatted for printing. Take your pick! The newer issues are available only as HTML files.


  • April 2017: HTML: Think Time. World-Building and Taboos. Your Call to Action.
  • March 2017: HTML: Your Weekly Review. World-Building Your Economy. Your Privacy Policy.
  • February 2017: HTML: One New Skill. World-Building and People Groups. Google Analytics.


  • November 2016: HTML: The Gift of Security. World-Building and Social Networks. What’s Social Media Good For?
  • October 2016: HTML: How to Keep Focused. The Story Equation.
  • September 2016: HTML: Tracking Your Time. Your Character’s Dark Moment. Things of Lasting Value.
  • August 2016: HTML: This is How We Do Things Here. How to Write a Scene List. Amazon Cracks Down.
  • July 2016: Vacation! No e-zine this month!
  • June 2016: HTML: Becoming an E-mail Ninja. How to Create a Character, Part 2. Breaking in to Publishing.
  • May 2016: HTML: Ridiculously Easy. How to Create a Character, Part 1. Does Permafree Still Work?
  • April 2016: HTML: Eat Your Broccoli. How to Write a Synopsis. Less is More.
  • March 2016: HTML: Breaking Good. The Second Layer of Plot. Getting Accepted by BookBub.
  • February 2016: HTML: My Secret Organizing Weapon. The First Layer of Plot. Doubling Your Odds of Success.
  • January 2016HTML: The Habit of Making Habits. Trust the Magic. Your Positions of Strength.


  • December 2015: HTML: Why Scrivener Rocks. How to Make People Hate You. Your “Dear Reader” Letter.
  • November 2015: HTML: Why Vellum Rocks. Concept and High Concept. Growing Your E-mail List Faster.
  • October 2015: HTML: Taking Control of Your Clutter. Mastering That Pesky Point of View. Growing Your E-mail List.
  • September 2015: HTML: How to Fill Up Your Calendar. What Makes The Girl on the Train Fly? A Strategy for Your E-mail List.
  • August 2015: HTML: On Gaming the System. The Incredible Rewards of Being There. A Vision for Your E-mail List.
  • July 2015: Vacation! No e-zine this month!
  • June 2015: HTML: When Can You Quit Your Day Job? Building Believable Characters. Every Novelist Needs an E-mail List.
  • May 2015: HTML: Focus on Focus. Test Driving Grammarly. The Golden Trifecta.
  • April 2015: HTML: The Power of Asking for Help. The Power of Free. The Power of Flash Fiction.
  • March 2015: HTML: Will I Save Your Life? Super Structure. How To Track E-book Sales.
  • February 2015: HTML: Whitespace in Your Life. Viewpoint, Characters, and Protagonists. Comments on Author Earnings.
  • January 2015HTML: The Success Equation. Managing Large Casts of Characters. The First Deadly Sin of Writing.


  • December 2014: HTML: Make Your Annual Plan Now. Music and the Muse. Is Blogging Dead?
  • November 2014HTML: “How to Make a Living as a Writer.” Writing Deeper Characters. Best Writing Conference Ever.
  • October 2014: HTML: The Author Entrepreneur. One Strategy for Writing a Series. The Two Legs of Marketing.
  • September 2014HTML: Revisiting the 500 Club. Planning Your Series. Kindle Spy and Your Competitive Analysis.
  • August 2014: HTML: Your Production Plan. Collaborating on Your Novel. Indie Versus Traditional.
  • July 2014: HTML: You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know. You Are What You Read? Every Writer Needs a Mastermind.
  • June 2014HTML: Escaping Password Hell. Writing From the Middle. Why I Adopted a Mentor.
  • May 2014: HTML: Living by the 80/20 Rule. Proactive and Reactive Scenes. Should You Accept That Advance?
  • April 2014: HTML: The 500 Club. The Novelist’s Secret Weapon. A Free Tool to Track Your Sales.
  • March 2014: HTML: Keystone Habits. Making Three-Dimensional Villains. How Much Do Authors Earn?
  • February 2014: HTML: My #1 Secret For Being Productive. There’s No Substitute for Being There. How To Tell If Your Web Site Sucks.
  • January 2014HTML: Knowing When To Not Quit. Your Hero Has Two Brains. The Two Percent Solution.


  • December 2013: HTML: Purgery. Can You Spot a Liar? The Currency of Marketing.
  • November 2013HTML: Eat Move Sleep. Your Brain is Wired For Story. Why You Need Peers
  • October 2013: HTML: Why Word Count Matters. Don’t Waste Your Disasters. Are Author Web Sites Worth It?
  • September 2013HTML: Your Hate List. Emotional Structure. Is Kindle MatchBook Good For Authors?
  • August 2013: HTML: Dealing With Overwhelm. The Elements of Surprise. How Content Marketing Works.
  • July 2013: : HTML: Why I Switched To Scrivener. Larry Brooks and Story Physics. How To Find A Guru.
  • June 2013: Text or PDF: Your Fragmented Life. Must Your Lead Character Be Likable? Does Google Know You Wrote That?
  • May 2013: Text or PDF: The Trouble With Backups. The Golden Rule of Fiction. WordPress Web Sites.
  • April 2013: Text or PDF: Increase Your Productivity In 60 Seconds. Would The Godfather Really do That? A Hot New Book Promotionsl Tool.
  • March 2013: Text or PDF: Meta Advice. Naked Dialogue. Why Did You Buy THAT Book?
  • February 2013: Text or PDF: Eat Dessert First! Dialogue Is War. Clicking On Buy.
  • January 2013: Text or PDF: Targets Versus Goals. Every Scene Is A ______.  Why Google Analytics Rocks.


  • December 2012: Text or PDF: Your Creative Superpowers. Too Little Backstory. Is Your Marketing Better Than Nothing?
  • November 2012: Text or PDF: Rescuing Your Time. How To Wreck An Apology. Customized Marketing.
  • October 2012: Text or PDF: Journaling Your Business. Is Headhopping A Sin? Being First.
  • September 2012: Text or PDF: A Tale of Two Terrors. Why People Groups Matter. Measuring Your Marketing.
  • August 2012: Text or PDF: How and Why To Track Your Writing. Life Interrupted. Why the Future is Bright for Writers.
  • July 2012: Text or PDF: Taming Unpredictability. White Space Magic. Long Game Discoverability.
  • June 2012: Text or PDF: Story Threads in The Hunger Games.
  • May 2012: Text or PDF: Formatting Your Manuscript Like a Pro. More Magic in The Hunger Games. What To Do With Your Horrible Reviews.
  • April 2012: Text or PDF: The Incredible Power of a Challenge. The Magic in The Hunger Games. 24 Secrets of Ebook Publishing Success.
  • March 2012: Text or PDF: The Book With the Horrible Title. Why Downton Abbey Rocks. Beginning With the End in Mind.
  • February 2012: Text or PDF: Tactics of the Winning Novelist. Should You Answer That Question? How Fascinating Are You?
  • January 2012: Text or PDF: Strategizing Your Writing Career. Your Creative Paradigm. 10, 100, and 1000 Dollar Work.


  • December 2011: Text or PDF: The Vision Thing. The Real Rules of Fiction Writing. 1000 True Fans.
  • November 2011: Text or PDF: Vision, Strategy, Tactics. The Moral Premise. The Future of Publishing Revisited.
  • October 2011: Text or PDF: Less is More. Nothing is More Important Than…. SEO 4 U.
  • September 2011: Text or PDF: The Pomodoro Technique. Selling Your Ending. Final Secrets of John Locke’s Success.
  • August 2011: Text or PDF: Why I Switched to Fractal Planner. Unlocking the Mighty MRU. More Secrets of John Locke’s Success.
  • July 2011: Text or PDF: Conquering E-mail. Making Your Reader Love Backstory. The Secret of John Locke’s Success.
  • June 2011: Text or PDF: Your Allies. Old Story, New Story. Fear, Rejection, and All That.
  • May 2011: Text or PDF: One Less Thing. Narrative Slips. Writing a Killer Product Description.
  • April 2011: Text or PDF: The Simple Power of Just Showing Up. Games People Don’t Play. The B-Word.
  • March 2011: Text or PDF: Protecting Your Data. Story Engineering. An Industry Pro Goes E.
  • February 2011: Text or PDF: Outsourcing U. Presuppositions. Studying the Industry.
  • January 2011: Text or PDF: Divide and Conquer. Plot versus Character. Those Pesky Writing Conferences.


  • December 2010: Text or PDF: Your Business Plan. The Villain Next Door. New Directions in Publishing.
  • November 2010: Text or PDF: National Novel Writing Month. Writing Cliffhangers. Your Ideal Reader.
  • October 2010: Text or PDF: The 4-Hour Workweek. What Makes The Dragon Fly? Growing Your Tribe on Facebook.
  • September 2010: Text or PDF: To E or Not to E? How to Create an E-book for Amazon. The Billion-Dollar Book.
  • August 2010: Text or PDF: What’s Holding You Back? The Resilient Character. One Tool Every Writer Must Have.
  • July 2010: Text or PDF: The Future of Publishing. Your Story Question. Marketing Fiction Using Non-fiction.
  • June 2010: Text or PDF: Doing Things Different on “Different Day.” Head-hopping For Fun and Profit. Book Review — INBOUND MARKETING.
  • May 2010: Text or PDF: Scheduling Success. Breathing Life Into Your Storyworld. Interview with Jim Rubart.
  • April 2010: Text or PDF: Small Chunks. The Opportune Moment. Interview with Thomas Umstattd.
  • March 2010: Text or PDF: Your Hopes and Dreams File. Some Things Are Impossible. Whither Twitter?
  • February 2010: Text or PDF: Does Multitasking Make You Stupid? The Path of Least Resistance. A Killer First Chapter.
  • January 2010: Text or PDF: Your Board of Directors. The Art of War For Writers. Why I Love Writing Conferences.


  • December 2009: Text or PDF: Holding Yourself Accountable. Writing in the Shadows. How to Run a Book Rush.
  • November 2009: Text or PDF: Special issue celebrating the forthcoming release of my book, Writing Fiction for Dummies, with four excerpts from the book: Defining Your Ideal Reader. Creating a Great Storyline. Psychoanalyzing Your Characters. The Agent Decision.
  • October 2009: Text or PDF: Three Big Chunks. Your Characters Aren’t You. What’s Your Tribe?
  • September 2009: Text or PDF: Lining Up Your Scenes. A Failure To Communicate. Query Letter ABCs.
  • August 2009: Text or PDF: Writing When the Spirit Moves You. Personality Types and Characters. The Dreaded Synopsis.
  • July 2009: Text or PDF: Where Have All The Hours Gone? Choosing Your Creative Style. Your E-mail Signature And Marketing.
  • June 2009: Text or PDF: Accountability and You. Scenes and Chapters. Earning the Right to be Read.
  • May 2009: Text or PDF: Coauthoring Without Murder. The Dark Art of Description. Want Fries With That Endorsement?
  • April 2009: Text or PDF: Your Approximately Perfect Life. Plot Pacing and Narrative Summary. Your Biggest Bang For The Buck. The Novelist’s Eleventh Commandment.
  • March 2009: Text or PDF: A Tool Every Writer Can Use. Practical Pointers on Plot Pacing. Branding — the “B-word”.
  • February 2009: Text or PDF: If Not Now, When? Pacing Your Novel. Making Connections.
  • January 2009: Text or PDF: What You Did Right Last Year. Self-Editing Your Novel. Web Sites and Blogging, Part 10.


  • December 2008: Text or PDF: Controlling Your Space. Tactical Writing — POV. Web Sites and Blogging, Part 9.
  • November 2008: Text or PDF: Evolution and Revolution. Fiction is Like Chess. Web Sites and Blogging, Part 8.
  • October 2008: Text or PDF: The Most Important Thing To Do Today. Actions and Subtexting. What a Publicist Can Do For You.
  • September 2008: Text or PDF: Special Feature: How To Talk To An Agent.
  • August 2008: Text or PDF: The “HELOC Trick.” More Subtexting in Dialogue. Web Sites and Blogging, Part 7.
  • July 2008: Text or PDF: Do You Need a Mid-Course Correction? Subtexting in Dialogue. Web Sites and Blogging, Part 6.
  • June 2008: Text or PDF: A Backup Strategy 4 U. Pattern and Formula in Fiction. Web Sites and Blogging, Part 5.
  • May 2008: Text or PDF: Managing Your Drafts. Your Novel’s First Paragraph. Web Sites and Blogging, Part 4. Interview — John Olson’s Promotion Strategy.
  • April 2008: Text or PDF: The World’s Scariest Question. The Novelist’s Dilemma. Web Sites and Blogging, Part 3. Interview — Scratching that Niche.
  • March 2008: Text or PDF: What Cool Writing Software Would You Like? Dissonant Nonverbal Communication in Fiction. Web Sites and Blogging, Part 2.
  • February 2008: Text or PDF: Habits, Interruptions, and Achievements. Nonverbal Communication in Fiction. Web Sites and Blogging, Part 1.
  • January 2008: Text or PDF: After You Set Goals, Then What? Five Steps To Continuous Improvement. The One Marketing Tool Every Writer Needs.


  • December 2007: Text or PDF: A Roadmap For Your Next Book. Self-Editing Your Fiction. Launching Your Book.
  • November 2007: Text or PDF: Using Best Practices. Time Management for Writers. Interview With a Publicist.
  • October 2007: Text or PDF: Treating Your StoryWorld Like a Character. Public Speaking To Market Your Fiction.
  • September 2007: Text or PDF: A House-Of-Cards StoryWorld. Using Your Authority To Market Your Fiction.
  • August 2007: Text or PDF: The Importance of StoryWorld. Those Brutal Numbers.
  • July 2007: Text or PDF: Creating Characters–part 5. Marketing is About You.
  • June 2007: Text or PDF: Creating Characters–part 4. Measuring Your Market.
  • May 2007: Text or PDF: Creating Characters–part 3. Building Your Writing Platform Via SuperArticles. Do You Need a Critique Group?
  • April 2007: Text or PDF: Anatomy of a Writing Conference (Special Report).
  • March 2007: Text or PDF: Creating Characters–part 2. How To Have a Great Conference. Off-Topic and Yet Strangely Relevant.
  • February 2007: Text or PDF: Creating Characters–part 1. On Writing Proposals–part 5. Anxiety and Writers.
  • January 2007: Text or PDF: Planning Your Year. Are You Acting Like a Professional Writer? Taxes For Writers. On Writing Proposals–part 4. Tiger Marketing Is Dead!


  • December 2006: Text or PDF: Cruise Update. On Writing Proposals–part 3. How To Write a Fight Scene–part 3. Tiger Marketing — How To Make Money Off Other People. The Death of Tiger Marketing as We Know It.
  • November 2006: Text or PDF: Fiction 201 Announcement. Cruise Update. On Writing Proposals–part 2. How To Write a Fight Scene–part 2.
  • October 2006: Text or PDF: Would You Like to Go On a Cruise? On Writing Proposals. Time Management for Writers–Summary. How To Write a Fight Scene.
  • September 2006: Text or PDF: How to Find an Agent. Dialogue and the Art of War–part 5. Time Management–part 4. Tiger Marketing for Scaredy Cats.
  • August 2006: There was no August e-zine because I was in the middle of relocating with my family halfway across the country.
  • July 2006: Text or PDF: Avoiding Scammer Agents. Dialogue and the Art of War–part 4. Time Management–part 3. How to Write a Query Letter.
  • June 2006: Text or PDF: Dialogue and the Art of War–part 3. Strategic Time Management–part 2. Tiger marketing–what does your reader see? The hazards of being famous.
  • May 2006: Text or PDF: Dialogue and the Art of War–part 2. Strategic Time Management. Tiger marketing–what’s a metatag? Scenes and Sequels for multiple points of view.
  • April 2006: Text or PDF: Dialogue and the Art of War. Back pain and the working writer. Tiger marketing–when Google mistreats you.
  • March 2006: Text or PDF: Are you a Spammer? Privacy and the working writer. Tiger marketing–a real-life example. The brutal numbers on Google advertising.
  • February 2006: Text or PDF: Release of Fiction 101, tips on novel formatting, and analysis of Three Disaster Structure of The Merchant of Venice and also North by Northwest.
  • January 2006: Text or PDF: Protecting yourself from spam, a time-management tool, and all about the Three Disaster Structure, with examples from Pride And Prejudice and Pirates of the Caribbean.


  • December 2005: Text or PDF: Announcing a new e-zine, a great site on PyroMarketing, and my thoughts on Tiger Marketing for prepublished writers.
  • November 2005: Text or PDF: A Tiger Marketing makeover, some thoughts on those pesky rules of fiction, and a couple of cool free web browser tools.
  • October 2005: Text or PDF: Tiger Marketing, a web site makeover, NaNoWriMo, and some ideas for how I’m thinking of expanding my range of services to my readers.
  • September 2005: In view of the havoc raised by Hurricane Katrina for many of my readers, I chose not to publish a September issue.
  • August 2005: Text or PDF: More MRUs chosen from Alice Sebold, plus a Tiger Marketing column on optimizing those pesky search engine keywords, with some thoughts on the famous Snowflake, and ruminations on life and death.
  • July 2005: Text or PDF: An intervew with Randy Ingermanson and an analysis of the MRUs in selected passages from Leif Enger and Audrey Niffenegger, plus an account of my first foray into Tiger Marketing.
  • June 2005: Text or PDF: An interview with Lee Silber and an analysis of the MRUs in selected passages from Tom Clancy, Dan Brown, and Michael Crichton.
  • May 2005: Text or PDF: An interview with Sue Brower, a tutorial on Those Pesky MRUs, my regular column on Tiger Marketing, and more . . .
  • April 2005: Text or PDF: An interview with Brandilyn Collins, Where Do Baby Ideas Come From?, Who Needs a List Provider?, Tiger Marketing, and more . . .
  • March 2005: Text or PDF: An interview with James Scott Bell, a Roadmap for Your Writing Career, an Introduction to Tiger Marketing, and more . . .
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