7 Great Acting Books for Writers

7 Great Acting Books for Writers

For those of you who want to pick up a few acting tools to learn how to create better characters, write more compelling dialogue, and craft stronger scenes, you might take one of my “Write Like an Actor” workshops and then read some of the following books about acting

Recommended Books on the Craft of Writing

Recommended Books on the Craft of Writing

Often when I teach a writing workshop, my students ask for my favorite books about the craft of writing. So here’ s my odd list—a combo of books about writing prose, screenplays, and even musicals to help you find the kinds of books you want to read to improve your craft.

Writing Historical Fiction: Choose Better Details

Writing Historical Fiction: Choose Better Details

(I teach writing classes all across the country. Check my Events page for upcoming classes) The question came as we were wrapping up the discussion about my novel, Oil and Marble: "How do you find and choose specific details in your...

Find Other Leonardo da Vinci Novels

Find Other Leonardo da Vinci Novels

If you're anything like me, you're eager to read Walter Isaacson's upcoming biography of Leonardo da Vinci. But it doesn't come out until October 17th, so what are you going to do until then? To tide you over, here's a list...

Scratching Out a Little Girl’s Dream

Scratching Out a Little Girl’s Dream

Today, the Slovakian translation of my novel arrived. That’s two translations so far (the first was Spanish), and my publisher says there are more on the way. Oh, if I could’ve shown myself this picture when I was seven… or sixteen… twenty… thirty-eight.

First Draft Done. Now What?

First Draft Done. Now What?

I’m a novelist, so I know the feeling: You conquered your fear and started your novel. You wrote for months or maybe years. You survived the long desert known as “the middle.” You wrote your favorite parts; the parts that made you want to write the story in the first place. And then, you wrote the last sentence. Added the last period. The End.

10 Unique Books for Writers

10 Unique Books for Writers

Now that my debut novel has hit the Los Angeles Times bestseller list and garnered glowing reviews (including from The New York Times), other writers often ask which books helped me develop my craft.

How to Write When You Don’t Have Time to Write

How to Write When You Don’t Have Time to Write

We’ve all heard it a million times: to be a writer, you must write every day.

But in a world of jobs and kids and cooking and sleeping and shoveling snow, how are any of us supposed to find the time to sit down and write? Every day? Impossible…

Historical Fiction: History or Fiction?

Historical Fiction: History or Fiction?

I’m an art-historical novelist, so I’m very familiar with the on-going debate at the center of historical fiction: Is it the novelist’s duty to serve the HISTORY or the FICTION? Readers expect to learn something from historical fiction — to …

Top 10 Writing Lessons from a TV Producer

Top 10 Writing Lessons from a TV Producer

The other night, I went out with a group of fellow television producers (I’ve been a TV producer for fifteen years). As always, we shared stories about shows, executives, production disasters, talent (actors/writers/directors celebrities) and potential gigs. Per usual, we had a great time, but I left thinking about how much I have learned from TV producing