December 28, 2012


Now is the time to write “THE END” at the bottom of your manuscript.

Typing those words is a huge accomplishment that makes you feel like a warrior. And you are a warrior, a writing warrior!

Seeing “The End” beneath your carefully crafted manuscript that you spent months, maybe even years, writing fills you with triumph. You conquered the goal of writing a book from beginning to end! CONGRATULATIONS!!!! You are a writer!

But after the excitement of finishing your book fades away, sadness comes over you because it is over. You created these characters with your mind, found them deep inside you, and brought them to life. Now the story is over and your characters are stuck within the pages of your book. Their lives may not have ended, but as the writer who gave birth to them, it certainly feels that way.

Photo by Chrys Fey

Buck up! This doesn’t have to literally be the end of writing. You can start right now on a sequel or begin searching for ideas for another story. Since you have written one book, it will be easier to write another. And if you ever need guidance, these blogs are just a click away to give you assistance.

Fortunately, Write With Fey is not going to end either. As I am still writing the last book of my series, I am going to keep writing blogs with even more writing tips straight from my story. They will be coming soon! Until then...

Keep writing!

Keep dreaming!

Keep Believing!

I know I will!

                                                            THE END

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December 21, 2012

The Very Last Sentence

Just as the very first sentence is important to hook a reader, the very last sentence is equally important to satisfy the reader.

The sentence that ends your book is the last sentence that your readers read; it sticks with them long after they set the book down. If it is an exceptional sentence, it will cause your readers to wish the story hadn’t ended at all and could make them rush to pick up your next book if you’re writing a sequel. On the other hand, if the last sentence is horrible it can affect their overall opinion of your story.

Your entire book is literally riding on the last sentence!

In the first book of my series, the last sentence states the title of the book, bringing insight to its meaning. In the second book, I tricked my readers with a jaw-dropping sentence. In the third book, the last sentence is a triumphant one, but also another trick that unfolds in the next story. Finally, with the fourth and last book, which I am currently writing, the goal of the last sentence will be to draw the entire series to a much anticipated close.

Now think long and hard about the impression you want to make on your readers with your book. Use the last sentence to conquer this goal. And make it good!

SHARE: The secret behind your last sentence. What is its main purpose/goal?

December 14, 2012

Epilogue Or Not To Epilogue?

An epilogue is a piece of writing at the end of a work of literature or drama, usually used to bring closure to the work.

You can use an epilogue for one or two reasons.

The first is to explain to your readers that the story has indeed ended. As I mentioned in the previous blog (“Is Your Book Ready To End?”), you can either write a couple of paragraphs at the end of the last chapter or create another chapter to bring your book to a full close.

In the first book of my supernatural-thriller series, I added a chapter to the end of my book after the shocking and explosive climax. I used this chapter to continue the story after the BIG event. However, instead of writing another chapter, you can write an epilogue to do the same thing. This is ideal for romance stories to give a brief telling of everything that had happen after your two characters fell madly in love. For instance, they shared vows and have a family now with two children and one on the way.

The second reason for using an epilogue could be to trick your readers. Writers just love to do that, don’t we? I know I do!

In the second book of my series, I included an epilogue to bring that story to a close with an event that was long overdue for one of the characters, and was very heart warming, but I ended the epilogue with a twist that would make my readers curious and full of questions.

Using the trickery method for an epilogue is perfect for mysteries and thrillers. It is a teaser that could indicate that what the reader thought they know, or what we (the writers) made them believe, is not true. Perhaps the suspect the detective arrested was not the real murderer but an accomplice.

Look at your story and decide if it needs an epilogue. If it does, go for it!

QUESTION: Have you ever read a good epilogue to a book that has stuck with you ever since? (Don’t forget to mention the title and authors name!)

December 07, 2012

Is Your Book Ready To End?

Sometimes what you think will be the last chapter isn’t the end of your book. You can always add another chapter or indicate a scene break with the pound sign to write a page or two that will bring your book to an official close like this:


Before you write the “THE END” at the bottom of your manuscript, you need to make sure that you really did write the end of your story.

If you have been writing a romance novel, tell your readers about your character's happily-ever-after. Do not just state that they lived happily for the rest of their lives. This is not a princess fairy tale! Did they get married? Is the woman pregnant? Do they have a horde of children that take after them in looks and personality? These are the things that romance readers want to know at the end of a book. If you don’t give it to them, they may be disappointed. 

If it has been a mystery novel you’ve been slaving over, punctuate the fact that the detective got the suspect and that the case is closed once and for all. Or if you’ve been dedicating your time to writing a thriller, relish in the protagonist’s victory over the evil antagonist. 

In conclusion, you want to let your readers know that life is good again. Your main character found love, defeated their enemy, and completed the goal they were aiming for.

Can you hear the sighs of relief? Can you hear the applause? That is the sound of happy readers. Bask in it! You’re allowed to.

QUESTION: Are you excited or nervous to write “THE END”?

November 30, 2012

Writing The Last Chapter

Here it is ladies and gentleman the chapter we have all been waiting for!

Chapter Twenty (or the final chapter of any book) is what you have been building up for ever since Chapter Ten (the middle of the book). This is when the climax is at its peak, all the secrets that your characters have been keeping are out in the open, and the bad guy is finally revealed!

Now is the moment to unleash that big, final event that you have been keeping locked up in her mind. Let your fingers run free upon the keyboard. Let your pen spill excited ink all over your paper. Set your muse free!

For a mystery, your detective knows, without a shadow of a doubt, who the culprit is. And they are taking him/her down! Make this event something that will make your readers catch their breath and hold it until your detective has the murderer in cuffs. This may be the end, but that doesn’t give you permission to skimp on the suspense now. Add as much suspense, fear, and gore as you want.

For a romance, have your lovebirds declare their love, if they haven’t already. Let them shout it from the rooftops! After everything that has happened in your book, and all that you put them through, they deserve their happily ever after!

For a thriller (horror, supernatural, etc.), bring on the battle! Now is the time for the protagonist and antagonist to have their final duel to the death. Use the action tips from blog # 25 (How To Write Action) to help you write an epic fight. Let blood spill and bones break. You can even trick your readers into believing that the protagonist may not win after all.

In other words, light the fuse for the deadly explosions and/or romantic fireworks because this is it! Do not hold back! Make your readers proud to have found such an excellent book, and make your characters proud to be in your novel.

SHARE: A few details about the climax of your book.

November 23, 2012

Review Your Story; The Finale Is Coming

You’ve finished writing the chapters that lead to the big finale of your book, and you can’t wait to dive right into the ending.

But wait! Take a brief pause before continuing so you can review what you’ve written thus far. You don’t have to read every sentence from the beginning, but checking your plot to make sure your book is on track, and that you haven’t left anything important out, is great practice.

It would be disappointing for a reader if your story suddenly jumped from one story to a different one midway through the book. Make sure that every event, big or small, links together perfectly to create a whole. 

The story needs to flow from beginning to end. There can’t be lazy detours to reach the end faster that leaves questions unanswered, or roads that became a dead end. Once you start writing a plot twist or event, finish it and make sure the rest of the book hasn’t forgotten about it.

Reviewing your work is a great way to find things that you might have forgotten you added, or even characters that were in the beginning but faded away. Now is a great time to incorporate those characters back into the story and expand on parts that need more attention. 

Don’t forget that everything you have written, and everything you add or fix, has to make sense to the story and the ending you need to write.

Now hustle. Your characters are waiting for the climax.

QUESTION: Are you happy about the outcome of your book so far? You should be!

November 16, 2012

Reaching "THE END"

When you sense that you are getting closer to writing “The End” and according to your plot, you only have a few more events to write, then this is the moment when the intensity of your book must heighten to new and higher levels.

Chapters Seventeen, Eighteen, and Nineteen are meant to do just that. These chapters contain the last blasts of excitement before the finale, which is Chapter Twenty.

(Remember: your chapter numbers do not have to be identical with my previous statement. This is just a simple format for most books. Regardless of what chapter number your book will end on, the role of the two or three chapters before it is to raise the suspense, thrill, and/or romance. The first book in my series actually ended on Chapter Thirty-One. There are no rules for how long/short or how many chapters you can have in your book. It is your choice!)

For a mystery, your detective at this point is right on the heels of the suspect that has been murdering people during the course of your book. During these last few chapters your detective should be at the murderer’s doorstep, maybe even literally. The danger must be so intense that the book will pulse with a heartbeat in the reader’s hands.

For a romance, your two characters at this moment should finally accept their feelings about each other, even if they don’t exactly voice them yet. If they already have expressed their undying love for one another, perhaps something happens that could threaten to tear them apart forever. Until the last chapter that is. Unless you’re one of those romance writers who like tragic endings...?

For a thriller (horror, supernatural, etc.), the protagonist must be on the cusp of conquering his or her goal. Now is the time for battles. Now is the time for good to come face to face with evil. Now is the time for the world to hang on the balance of extinction.

But save the fireworks and explosion for Chapter Twenty!

QUESTION: What book(s) have you read that had the most exciting chapters leading up to the climax?

November 09, 2012

Five Tips To Spice Up Your Writing

You can spice up your writing the normal way with clever similes and metaphors, interesting words, and neat adjectives, or you can do it the extraordinary way.

Here are five tips on how to spice up your writing:

1. Poetry is an excellent way to add something special to your book. If it’s relevant to the story and your characters feelings, you can include a poem or a few lines of one you’ve written in your manuscript. When using a famous poem, be careful of plagiarism. If you want to publish your book, you’ll have to get permission to use another’s work.

2. Similar to using poetry to liven up your story with emotion, lyrics to a song can provide the same effect. For my first book, I used a song for an event that involved my protagonist going undercover during a musical concert, and the song that the band sang was one that I wrote specifically for my book.

3. Philosophy intrigues us and adds a bit of intellect to our writing. Use famous philosophy that relates to your story, or even use your own. Whatever topic you’re writing about you probably have your own philosophy about it. This is your perfect chance to share it with the world, or at least your readers, but don’t push your opinion on them. There’s nothing more annoying or rude than a writer who forces their opinion on a reader.

4. Tidbits of history can be fascinating –especially if it is similar to what is going on in your story. Mentioning a person who made an impact on the world we live in today can also spark interest (especially if they were involved in something that is an important topic in your story). As far as history goes, don't exclude mythology.  

5. There are facts and statistics about everything from animals to crimes. Include interesting facts related to your story to spice up your writing, such as psychology. Who wouldn't want the chance to teach a reader something that they may not know while also entertaining them? I wouldn't!

SHARE: Your techniques that you use to spice up your writing.

November 02, 2012

Write Full Days

Each morning we wake up, we go through our daily lives, and each night we go to sleep to start the cycle all over again for 365 days a year, and every year after that.

When you’re writing, don’t just jump from event to event. Your detailed plan may be compiled of events that make up the beginning, middle, and end of your book, but merely writing those events is not a story. You need to have moments in-between those events to give your readers time to breathe and think. There needs to be dialogue and character building.

Just as we live day-to-day, have your main character live day-to-day, too. You don’t necessarily have to begin each chapter with the protagonist getting out of bed and end each chapter with them jumping back into it. After all, several chapters can be for a single day. However, you’ll want to follow your character’s life to make the story real, to give it substance, and to also avoid confusion over the timeline.

Whatever you do, don’t write hour to hour. A reader doesn’t have to know everything about your protagonists’ morning routine or each meal they eat, unless it is essential to the story. You can still give the illusion of a full day by using phrases like “In the morning” or “At dinnertime.” A simple way to show this is by starting a new chapter with a transitional phrase and then continuing the story.

Another trick is to cleverly hint at the time of day in your writing. Is the sun rising or setting? Is the sky ebony? Are morning birds chirping? Is it time for your protagonist’s two o’clock cup of coffee or chocolate hit? Use these things create a timeline.

As you write through your character’s days and the events in your outline, you’ll start to see a story taking place. That’s the goal.

QUESTION: What literary character’s life do you enjoy following the most?

October 26, 2012

Closer To "THE END"

You have written so much in your novel and you feel so accomplished! “The End” is right at your fingertips. Can you feel it?

Chapter Ten was where you set off the first stick of dynamite. Since then you have been writing the fallout (what happened immediately after the event from Chapter Ten) and material to link that first explosion with the nuclear blast that is yet to come.

To understand how to construct your story from Chapter Ten to Chapter Fifteen see: Writing Filling Material

For Chapter Fifteen feel free to write something that could change the course of your story. Anything that will throw your reader off will work nicely. Here is a perfect place to raise the stakes in whatever way that you feel is fit.

Chapter Sixteen lays the groundwork for the climax. This is the moment when it appears that your protagonist is closer to their goal, even if there are more twists and turns waiting.

For a mystery/thriller, your detective could come closer to finding the suspect. Don’t worry though, this isn’t the end yet. You can still create obstacles for your protagonist. Maybe the person your protagonist believes is the suspect now will later on prove not to be.

For a romance, one or both of your characters may realize that they are really falling in love. You can make them struggle with their feelings or introduce a complication that makes love a “bad idea”, such as a returning ex or a problem that temporarily drives the two lovebirds apart. It’s up to you, after all this is YOUR book!

QUESTION: Are your writing a shocker near the end of your story? Do you care to reveal what that is?

October 19, 2012

How To Create Mystery

Mystery is not just a genre but an emotion that can be used in any story. Here are ten tips to help you create mystery in your story:

1. Setting and Tone. Yes, when it comes down to it, the setting and tone of your book is very important, and sometimes amateur writers take them for granted. A true writer will take advantage of the setting to play into whatever emotion they want to give. An effective setting can be scary, delightful, or even mysterious.

For example: A room suffocating with dust and clothed in cobwebs with newspaper clippings cluttering the walls is a mysterious place. It makes you want to know what is on those newspaper clippings and who put them on the walls.

By far, the best way to make your writing mysterious is by writing mysteriously. It’s all about your tone!

2. Give your characters a secret. When your protagonist has a secret, your reader will want to know what it is –especially when he/she fears that their secret is going to come out and vows to do anything to prevent that from happening.

3. Give your characters a past. Just as mysterious as a secret worth dying (or killing) for, is a past that keeps haunting your protagonist and/or antagonist. Revealing their past one piece at a time will keep your readers curious, but make sure that you tell them all there is to know by the time you get to the climax.

4. Put a mask on your antagonist. When your protagonist and readers do not know who the culprit is it guarantees mystery.

5. Show your characters point-of-view. I’ll say it again because I can’t say it enough: Revealing your protagonists’ and antagonists’ thoughts and feelings is extremely important to not only help your readers connect with them, but to also provide suspense and, of course, mystery.

6. Use emotional responses. How we react to certain things can be very mysterious. Perhaps your protagonist becomes angry when another character says or does something. The reader will want to know why they responded that way.

7. Pose questions. Bringing mystery into your story can be as simple as asking a question and not revealing the answer right away.

8. Reveal clues. This is especially important for murder mysteries. Start by uncovering small clues that seem strange and irrelevant but leads to the bigger picture, whatever that may be.

9. What all of the above boils down to is to be secretive! Even if you’re not writing a mystery novel and you don’t have an antagonist, you can still create mystery by being secretive and not telling your reader everything right from the get-go. Instead, draw out the anticipation by revealing the facts one at a time.

10. The most effective method in my opinion is to keep your readers guessing! Throw  something at them that makes them believe someone else is the murderer, or provide a plot twist that will cause your readers to doubt what they thought they knew.

SHARE: Your tips for creating mystery.

October 12, 2012

How To Build Suspense

Suspense makes your reader’s heart pound uncontrollably, their hands sweat around your book, and drives them to read faster so they can turn the page to find out what is going to happen next.

Not every genre calls for suspense, but if your story is driven by it then here are ten tips to help you build suspense.

1. Plot is the biggest key to suspense. To being with, you have to create events in your story that can be suspenseful like a fight, a kidnapping, a car accident, etc.

2. Setting and tone. A place can be very suspenseful –especially if it’s a dangerous place such as an alley, an abandoned building, or a drug dealer's home. Lighting is also a factor in suspense. If your protagonist is in pitch darkness and can’t see two inches in front of their face the suspense is much higher.

Tone is equally important. Actually, aside from plot, tone is more important than anything else is. If you use a dark suspenseful tone then you heighten the suspense just with your voice. Imagine you are telling a scary story, how would you talk to your audience to create suspense and fear?
3. A good protagonist and a good antagonist can make all the difference. See Blog #33 Protagonist VS. Antagonist to help you create characters that can drive your story and cause suspense.

4. Show your character’s point-of-view. Whatever sort of suspense you are creating, it should always be your top priority to reveal what your protagonist is thinking and feeling. When you show their fear to the reader, then your reader will fear too.

Don’t just focus on the protagonist though. Take the opportunity to get into your antagonist’s mind. Just by revealing their twisted thoughts and motives, you are building the suspense.

5. Use short sentences and fast pace. Just like when you’re writing action, a fast pace means there’s more action and more suspense.

6. Set a time limit. Nothing creates more suspense than a ticking clock, like a bomb that is counting down its last seconds. Perhaps your character is a detective investigating a series of crimes and they have to catch the suspect before they kill again. Have the antagonist reveal that he/she is going to kill again in a certain amount of time then make your protagonist scramble to try to stop him/her.

7. Create high stakes. Your character’s life (or the life of someone they know), their sanity, or the fate of the whole world could be on the line. It’s up to you! Whatever the stakes are, make the threat and the danger real. If there is a bomb, make it come within seconds from going off. Heck, make it go off just as your character is escaping. Now that is suspenseful!

8. Set the odds against the protagonist. If there is no struggle, there is no suspense! It has to seem almost impossible, or that the protagonist may not win after all. Throw complications and dilemmas at your protagonist left and right, something that will make them stumble in their investigation or cause a problem.

9. Fear! Using the protagonist’s fears against them is a sure way to build suspense because when you use fear, suspense is right around the corner. You can even play into your reader’s phobias by writing about fears many people share, like the fear of spiders, drowning, heights, etc.

10.  And my favorite weapon to use to build suspense is… SURPRISING THE HECK OUT OF YOUR READER! This is the best way to build suspense and is quite fun to do when you know that your reader won’t ever suspect what you just wrote. A twist in the plot will make their jaws drop and their minds race. After all, when your story is unpredictable it has suspense written all over it.

SHARE: Your tips to building suspense.

Get Ready, Set, Tone!

October 05, 2012

Writing Filling Material

Chapter Ten was one of your BIG BANG chapters that thrills, excites, and shocks your readers. You wrote something explosive like a grisly murder, a steamy love scene, a tragic car accident, etc. You made your readers bite their nails and hold their breath.
Chapters eleven and twelve is the fallout to the drama that happened in chapter ten. This is where you wrote about your detective investigating the horrid crime scene, what your two characters did after they made love, or the chaotic events at the hospital following the terrible car accident.
Now chapters thirteen and fourteen are once again filling material and small events that link what happened in chapter ten with what is waiting to happen in later chapters. Remember to consult your detailed plan to make sure you keep on track and don’t forget something important.
Chapters thirteen and fourteen can literally be anything that you can think of that fits your genre and storyline. For a mystery/thriller this is the perfect time for your detective to bring in a suspect (or two) for interrogation about the murders that have been consuming your novel.
For a romance, your two characters could fight, or something (or someone) could split them apart just when they are beginning to fall in love. They may struggle with their feelings for each other and even try to bury them.
Whatever happens in your book, just remember that now is the time to slow down the pace (even if you slow it down just a tad for a thriller) and create material that can gradually build your story back up for the real BIG BANG at the end of your story.

QUESTION: Do you have an author that you look up to and aspire to become?

September 28, 2012

Your Writing Desk Is Where Magic Happens

My desk is where magic happens. Every time I sit down, I escape into an unknown world and write the whisperings of my heart. 

I spend most of my days at my desk where I live, breathe, and thrive, as do many writers, as do many of you. Our desks are sources of power. We work at our desks. We create at our desks. Therefore, our desks should reflect that.

However, writing often leads to neglect, like postponing your lunch break to finish writing (which reminds me, I need to eat my lunch!), forgetting to wash the dishes, or feed a pet. Very often, a desk can become dusty, cluttered, and unorganized due to a writing frenzy. Well, no more!

Here are five easy steps that you can do right now to organize your desk for success:

1. Gather all of your runaway pens, pencils, and highlighters and slip them into a pencil caddy. If you don’t have a pencil caddy, you can make one, like I did, with an aluminum can. Go to your kitchen and make yourself a nice bowl of soup. After you enjoy the warm comfort, clean out the can, and decorate the outside with paper, fabric, or whatever craft materials you have lying around. Then slip all of your pens and pencils inside. Tada! Now you have a neat pencil compartment and you helped the environment by reusing an aluminum can! I’ve also used cups and glasses for this same purpose.

2. Make a junk drawer in your desk. Instead of junk, though, you will fill it with writing essentials like erasers, whiteout, and small memo notepads. Include other tools you use at your desk, too, such as a stapler and calculator, but just because this is a junk drawer doesn’t mean it has to be messy! Keep it neat by putting loose paperclips and rubber bands in a Ziploc bag and clipping small notes together. Create a special drawer for computer paper, envelopes, and printer ink as well.

If you don’t have drawers, get a box with a lid and make it your writing junk box.

3. Put all of your printed articles, short stories, poems, songs, etc. in folders. This keeps your documents organized and safe. Then put all the folders in a three-ring binder and use dividers for easy access. This strategy is also a great way to keep your publishing records orderly. Create a divider for agents and editors that you’ve submitted work to, want to send work to next, or the agencies you have to research. This will help you to stay stress-free in your pursuit of publication.

4. If you have limited drawers and not much desktop space, leave the notebooks, binders, and books that you use multiple times a week at your desk. All the rest you can store inside a plastic container or a backpack as I do. Place the container or backpack by your desk so whenever you need something inside it, it is within reach.

5. Lastly, clean your desktop. No, not your desk (although, you should perhaps dust it). I am talking about your computer. Delete those files that have been taking up space on your computer for years that you’ve probably forgotten were there. If you are afraid you may need it in the future, print it out and put it in a folder for safekeeping or email it to yourself and save it in an email folder. Use programs like Disk Clean Up and Disk Defragment to clear up any system clutter that may be slowing down your computer.

Now that your desk is organized for success, you can add a few decorative pieces for inspiration.

My writing career begins at my desk, where I am sitting right now, because this is where I can bring my dreams to life. The entire world is at my fingertips here, which is why I always keep it organized.

Your desk is just as magical. Every time you sit down to write, you give it power and it gives power back to you. Clean and organize your desk regularly to keep that power flowing.

 There is a saying, “Knowledge is Power.” I believe organization is power, too.

QUESTIONS: Do you have a messy or clean desk? If you have a clean desk, how do you keep it organized?

September 21, 2012

Writing Quotes

Quotes are a great way to find inspiration, wisdom, and motivation so I wanted to share some of my favorite quotes on writing. I hope they bring you insight as they have brought me.
"If you go deep enough in writing, it will take you everyplace." -Dainin Katagiri Roshi

“Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” -Anton Chekhov

“You must not write about what people like, but you must write so well that people will like what you write.” -Unknown
“Anyone who survived childhood has enough material to write for the rest of his or her life.” -Flannery O’Connor

"To write what is worth publishing, to find honest people to publish it, and get sensible people to read it, are the three great difficulties in being an author." -Charles Caleb Colton

"It is impossible to discourage the real writers - they don't give a damn what you say, they're going to write."  -Sinclair Lewis

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” -William Wordsworth
“Of course, there will always be more you could do, but you have to remind yourself that perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor.” -Anne Lamott

“If every time you sat down, you expected something great, writing would always be a great disappointment.” –Natalie Goldberg

“Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts and never hope more than you work.” -Rita Mae Brown

“Talent is helpful in writing, but guts are absolutely essential.” -Jessamyn West

“Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else.” -Gloria Steinem

“If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it.” -Anais Nin

“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.” -Isaac Asimov

"Usually, when people get to the end of a chapter, they close the book and go to sleep. I deliberately write my books so when the reader gets to the end of a chapter, he or she must turn one more page. When people tell me I've kept them up all night, I feel like I've succeeded!" -Sidney Sheldon

QUESTION: What is your favorite writing quote?