Prolific writer DeAnna Knippling has written over 70 novels across multiple genres for herself and her ghostwriting clients. Analytical and methodical, she has broken down the writing craft into key concepts that she teaches to her coaching clients, and brings to the page in Writing Craft: Lessons in Fiction for the Working Writer.

Writing Craft by DeAnna Knippling

Fiction Writers: Lost? Stuck? Stressed?

What writer hasn't asked themselves how they will know when their story is ready to publish? Or how to handle feedback about their stories? Or what to do if they get stuck?

Or, worse, makes a mistake that causes a social media outburst?

Writing Craft Volume 1: Are You Ready to Publish? & Other Burning Questions will answer those questions and more, and give practical advice on a few topics that most writers don't think about ahead of time, like:

•How to set up reading goals that help you understand the genres you want to write in.

•How to study fiction in a way that improves your craft and helps you assess others' advice.

•How to start addressing the business aspects of a writing career so you don't get lost in the promotional weeds.

And, perhaps even more importantly, why.

Writing Craft Volume 1 is all about the care and feeding of writers, the big (and small) issues that can derail a career before it even gets started. But it also provides fundamental concepts about business and craft that can start (gently!) improving your career in the slow, everyday steps that make for lasting and versatile changes.

We'll even talk about how to move forward with your work when all you can see are its imperfections.

If you're struggling to turn a gift for writing into a sustainable, repeatable practice that doesn't depend on morod or inspiration, Writing Craft Volume 1: Are You Ready to Publish? & Other Burning Questions provides a road map for clearing practical and creative blockages out of the way, while introducing craft-development strategies that will last a lifetime.

If you're feeling like you can't write better because you're not writing much at all, Writing Craft Volume 1 is where to start.

Join DeAnna Knippling, veteran writer and ghostwriter of over 70 novels, on a deep, analytical, curiosity-driven dive into the fundamental concepts of good fiction writing in the Writing Craft series. Not only is Writing Craft a handbook breaking down well-known fiction techniques from pacing to red herrings, but at its heart, it is a method to research and invent your own.

Above all, Writing Craft is a book about writing that doesn't just tell you what to do…but addresses and explores the reasons why, so you can decide for yourself.

Buy a copy today, and start understanding why you feel lost—stuck—and stressed by one of the most enjoyable activities known to humankind: playing make-believe.


DeAnna Knippling has made a living as a writer for years. She has grappled with the tough questions, including when to publish and when to keep noodling with craft and strategy. Her book will help any writer who is on the fence…about everything. – Kristine Kathryn Rusch



  • "Knippling provides the nuts and bolts necessary for every serious writer. They do not deal with grammar or with churning out a quick success. Instead, the book is about mindset and the willingness to work (and how best to do the work). - Successful writers are prolific readers and this title offers useful and pertinent strategies about what reading as a professional writer looks like. For any writer who seeks to stand apart in the world of writing."

    – Amazon reviewer
  • "What I enjoyed about this book is it is a step-by-step guide with suggestions on getting published. It is easy to follow and has other suggested resources beyond the book to assist you even more with your quest to become a published author. Great read and suggest you read if thinking about getting published in the near future."

    – AER Creatives
  • "This really is a manual for life if you are a writer. It could serve as a manual for life for many people! Not only does Knippling give good advice for overall mental and physical wellness [how to not go crazy from writing too much], but navigating the world of negotiating with publishers and editors and such. She shows how to improve your skills by analyzing the work of others. She has good to-do lists and summaries at the end of each chapter. Get the e-book. Print those lists off, and stick em on the wall next to your computer. Follow them. You can't go wrong. Thank you, Deanna; I now have a lot of work to do!"

    – Amazon reviewer



Welcome to the Writing Craft series!

When I first started out writing, I was pulled in a dozen different directions at once. There was so much advice! And so much of it contradicted itself. I didn't know which way to turn.

Gradually, I started sorting out what worked for me, and what didn't. Finally came the day where I felt like I understood what most writing advice could tell me...and yet I still wasn't getting published or making a lot of sales on my independent work.


It turns out that a lot of writing books are meant for beginners, and as I slowly evolved past the raw beginner stage, there weren't as many sources of information.

I took a lot of classes from professional writers, attended conferences, and started studying authors directly on my own. I also turned to ghostwriting as a paid internship in writing, learning how to write quickly and without much editing or revision (most of the time).

As I did, I noticed something: while the things I had left to learn about writing seemed endless, it was possible to group those things into several broad categories:

•Techniques to immerse the reader in the story.

•Techniques to give the reader the information they need, when they need it.

•Techniques to give the story structure, so the reader could use their imagination in daydreaming, not organizing.

Beginning writers have a lot to learn. I wasn't ready for these techniques when I started out—I would have panicked! But gradually I was able to learn these more sophisticated techniques and use them to write what I really wanted to write, instead of what I thought I "should" write.

I may not have mastered these techniques (that's a journey far, far down the road!). But I've seen so many other writers struggle in the same areas that I decided to pass on what I know: how to turn any idea, in any genre, into a readable story.

I can't promise that you'll become a best-selling, award-winning writer after reading Writing Craft. That's up to your skills and a lot of luck. But I can give you the information you need to know to answer the question:

Is this book good enough to publish?

And, sometimes, that's all we writers really need.

But enough about me! What about you?

Why aren't I successful yet?

You've been writing fiction for a while. You're dedicated to your craft. You listen to writing podcasts. You read writing books. You're constantly doing research.

Why aren't I successful yet?

You've taken classes on writing, marketing, and a dozen other topics. You're following all the big-name advice.

Why aren't I successful yet?

Why does the writing of some authors seem good, but you have to force yourself to stay involved in their books? Why are you so addicted to your "guilty pleasure" books? Why are some famous authors famous, when their work is so offputting?

Why aren't I successful yet?

· · ·

We've all done sung this song before, chorus and verse.

There comes a point in every writer's career when they know there must be a secret to writing well. It becomes clear that some writers know this secret down in their bones, and can use it in book after book. Others luck upon the secret once or twice, then disappear. Other writers seem truly beloved, but you can't understand why anyone would read their work.

What is this secret? Why doesn't anyone tell it to beginning writers? Where is the information you need? You keep looking…but you haven't found the answers yet.

Why aren't I successful yet?

Here's the straight answer:

Because you don't know what good writing is yet.

Writing is complicated, more complicated than it is possible to consciously grasp, both because good writing affects the reader's (and the writer's) subconscious, and because writing is constantly evolving. There is no end to what you can learn about writing.

When we first start out writing, we think we know what good writing is: writing that takes us away from our real lives and makes us feel and think. Writing that sticks with us long after we have put the book down.

We have a vision in our head of a story that could do the same thing to other readers. And we think that all we have to do in order to write well is to write that down. But good writing isn't just writing down our vision as we experience it.

But that's what we tend to do, and soon end up singing that same old chorus:

Why aren't I successful yet?

Good writing is writing down our vision so the reader can experience what we experience, and that is a lot different than just writing down what we experience.

It's the difference between describing a magic trick being performed (our vision) and actually performing a magic trick (good writing).

So how do you perform the magic trick?

Read on…

Welcome to the Writing Craft series

Writing Craft is a series of ebooks meant to help writers who are:

•Past the beginning stages of their craft but who feel like they are stalling out.

•Not getting published (or not selling as well as they want).

•Having difficulty finding additional materials to help them improve their craft.

•Feeling overwhelmed by conflicting advice.

This series will not cover all possible topics of use for all possible writers. What it will cover are some major points that must be addressed for the first time—or re-addressed and redefined—by intermediate writers.

The underlying principle behind this series is:

If you made it this far, then you're a decent storyteller. You don't need anyone to tell you what you "should" or "shouldn't" do.

What you need is advice on how to get away with what you really want to do.

This series will not give yet another set of laborious instructions on how to plot, or advise you that if you don't follow a certain type of plot, your book will fail. Instead, we will look at how to construct scenes that drag the reader through your plot whether they want to do or not.

Not all advice will work for every person; whatever doesn't work for you should be tossed, inelegantly, in the deleted items folder.

How it works:

The volumes of this series are structured so that you can read them individually, but I highly recommend that you read them in order. In places where one book is definitely required in order to understand another, I will list that book in the beginning of the introduction to that book.

Who am I:

I am a freelance writer, ghostwriter, editor, and book designer. I have written and ghostwritten over 70 novel-length books since 2013, from nonfiction to horror, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, suspense, thriller, adventure, romance, and more, plus my own work.

You can find out more about me at


At the back of each book you'll find some extras, including:

•Analysis examples for whatever we're studying at the time.

•Worksheets, study projects, and checklists as needed.

•A resource list for other material on the same subject.

To sum up

•Read the Writing Craft series if you need more advice on craft.

•But not more rules.

•Read the books in order if you can.

•This is advice from an actual writer.

•Nerdy extras can be found in the back of the book.

Intro to Volume 1: Are You Ready to Publish? & Other Burning Questions

This first part of the Writing Craft series will cover areas of writing that are more about mental blocks and best practices than actual craft. As much as I'd like to dive straight into the craft of writing, I've found that not talking about how to practice a craft as a craft rather than as a hobby slows everyone down over the long run.

Authors are a temperamental bunch, and we need reassurance and clarity about some big-picture questions if we're going to be productive daydreamers.

Addressed in depth in this volume

In Volume 1 of Writing Craft, we will be talking about how to decide whether you're ready to start publishing. Then we'll talk about how to read and study fiction like a professional, two fundamental and essential skills that most writing books already assume you know how to do. Finally, we'll examine some assumptions and issues common to writers and that can derail careers.

Some quick caveats

It can take time to sort through solid writing advice; not only do you have to read the advice, but your mind has to come to accept it. Here are some quick caveats about writing that I'd like to make sure you read first, before your head starts spinning. I hope they'll save you some heartache!

You don't owe anyone else your process. Telling someone where you get your ideas from, how you set up your business structure, what you're currently reading, trying to write along with National Novel Writing Month (, what you like best about another writer's newsletter, and so on, is a favor. But not actually any of anyone else's business.

You don't owe editors perfection. Editors are used to working with writers who haven't perfected their craft yet. Any agent, editor, or other "professional" who is contemptuous in public about writers' lack of perfection has lost their sense of professionalism.

No rejection is personal until you attack an editor personally. Editors don't owe you their process, or any sort of explanation of why they rejected you. It's none of your business, either! So don't ask.

Beware free criticism. Professionals rarely have time to write a thoughtful, objective critique for free. Other factors than professionalism may apply.

•Yes, so-and-so says that you "should" do something in a particular way. Beware anyone bearing "shoulds." There are many ways to address any given issue in a story, business, or career. You don't have to "should" anything. I recommend taking all advice at arm's length.

Always include advice you read here as advice you don't ever have to follow!