Here is the bread and butter, the meat and potatoes, the . . . other food metaphor. Here is where we talk and learn about craft, which for our purposes, will be all the things you can take conscious, cognitive control over in your story to improve upon it.

The “Art” page will cover all the fancy-shmancy indie-coffee-house stuff, like character and theme.

“Craft,” on the other hand, is going to be the nuts and bolts page that makes you responsible for all the editing and revising you need to do before your story is ready for the public. It’s the harder part of Art and Craft, but also a lot of fun.

To get you started, here are two resources on how to improve your dialogue: A PDF e-book (top button) and a free download PDF (bottom button). Take a look!


Meanwhile, if you have a finished or nearly-finished manuscript, consider a one-on-one mentorship with author Tom Leveen…but read the entire ad first.



But you won’t “get” my story if I don’t send you the first (10, 20, 100) pages!
Exactly. While readers may give you a whole chapter or two, agents and editors have to move fast, so if your first page doesn’t grab them, chances of them turning to page two are remote. Again, anything wrong with page one is probably wrong throughout the entire story.

How do I know you won’t steal my idea?
Then don’t send it. Having said that, I won’t. Nobody does. As of this writing, I have more than 30 titles in various states of revision, so I don’t need one more idea to add to my pile. At a rate of one book per year, I have enough ideas to take me well into my 70s.

Will you critique any genre?
I will. Storytelling and fiction writing have certain factors that are true across genres.