Lastest Articles

Literary vs. Genre: Do I Have to Choose?

So, just how wide is the gap between Literary and Genre Fiction? I found two relevant recent articles that helped me think about this topic: Firstly, “Literary Fiction vs. Genre Fiction” by Steve Petite, in The Huffington Post. This article concludes, “In essence, the best Genre Fiction contains great writing, with the goal of telling a captivating story to escape from […]

Taking Notes on Life

Writers are in the business of noticing. Just as the skilled eye of a painter takes in a sunset and sees subtle undertones of color and the play of positive and negative space, writers look at a stranger’s face or a tree branch or the slant of afternoon light and see a story. Everything we ever write is an attempt […]

A Dragon Named ‘Publishing’

The journey of writing a novel, or other lengthy work, is a bit of a hero’s journey unto itself. For months or even years you keep your head down, diligently doing your work, the daily effort of writing. Maybe you get feedback from a few trusted others, you make changes, you cycle through edits and polish paragraphs. Then the day […]

What’s In a (Pen) Name?

At this week’s meeting, as a number of writers have recently completed first drafts of their novels, our leader Greg Smith was gathering official titles and author names with which to update our website (agilewriters.org). This mere housekeeping activity opened into an organic discussion by the group of the decisions surrounding Pen Names. Of course there is strong historic precedent […]

Quiet the Chatter of Your Mind

Here at Agile Writers, we have a mantra “Constantly Move Forward.” There are so many ways to get stuck. A novel is a long project. A snafu at any juncture can derail the whole venture. We explored one common obstacle to the writing process this week in our weekly “Craft of Writing” installment. Periodically, we choose a book about the […]

5 Reasons WordPress.com is for Authors

One of the first recommendations I give to my writers is to create a website and a Facebook page. This is the beginning of creating a platform for selling their book. Even if the book isn’t written yet, the new writer needs to create an interested following. The easiest way to do this is through social media. As a writer, […]

Storyboard: Night at the Museum 3

The following is a digest of a movie in the format of the Agile Writer Method. The Story Abstract gives a high-level overview of the story. The Hero Abstract gives an overview of the Hero (protagonist). The Storyboard is an 8-stage breakdown of the story along with elements of the Hero’s Journey (by Joseph Campbell and Christopher Vogler). You can learn more […]

The Hero’s Journey – In a Song

At Agile Writers we use the Hero’s Journey and break it down into 8 stages to tell a compelling story. But compelling stories don’t come just from novels. Here is the Agile Storyboard in a nutshell: The Hero – learning about the hero in her ordinary world The Special World – something happens to the hero and she is cast into […]

The Hero’s Journey

When I started on my journey to discover the secrets to great stories, my first stop was Joseph Campbell’s book “The Hero With a Thousand Faces.” In it, Campbell dissects the elements of the great mythical stories from antiquity to today and from around the globe. He observes that the same patterns emerge. A hero starts out in their ordinary […]

What is a Novel?

What is a novel? I have a lot of people coming to Agile Writers not knowing what makes a book a novel (and not a short story or an essay or some other form). At Agile Writers we believe these things define a novel: The Agile Novel is Fiction The Agile Novel is Genre Fiction The Agile Novel is Hero-based […]