The Fake

Claire is secretly finishing paintings for her famous artist father. Grayson is caught up in a life of petty crime and Claire's dad is his next target.

Journal entry #14


Jun 5, 2015 · 20 Comments

Hi all! I've been terrible at journaling lately! Life just got too busy for me, but I'm back with my take on one of the really tricky areas of writing. How to handle backstory without resorting to infodumps. First, I should probably explain what these things are. Backstory is made ... Read More

Journal entry #13

That of which we must not speak!

Apr 30, 2015 · 64 Comments

It's been ages since I published a journal entry. Shame. On. Me. My only excuse? Writer's block--two words that writers fear so much that quite a few of us refuse to believe it exists. I've read so many great writers who say writer's block is all in the imagination and ... Read More

Journal entry #12

Writing a good good guy!

Apr 3, 2015 · 49 Comments

Now that we've covered the things to think about when writing a bad guy, I thought we could talk about what it takes to make a good hero. In the same way that bad guys need to be more than just bad, the good guy (or protagonist) can be really ... Read More

Journal entry #11

Writing under pressure

Mar 29, 2015 · 45 Comments

I thought today I would answer this question by HPHGaddict: "Hey, @Natalie_Wen I was wondering if you guys could answer this question: What do you do when you feel pressured to do another chapter by some of your SB fans, but really want to get three or more other books ... Read More

Journal entry #10

Writing a good bad guy

Mar 24, 2015 · 38 Comments

Hi guys! Sorry it's been a while between journal entries! If you have any ideas about topics you'd like me to cover here (can be anything really, things you'd like to know about THE FAKE, its characters, etc, or Wrong Side of the River, writing techniques, etc.), let me know ... Read More

Journal entry #9

How do two people go about writing one book together?

Mar 10, 2015 · 44 Comments

This post is about the nuts and bolts of how Natalie and I go about writing a book together. I'm sure everyone who writes a story together goes about it differently, but this is how we do it. Both of our stories so far have been ideas Natalie came up ... Read More

Journal entry #8

Critique Partners

Mar 3, 2015 · 36 Comments

One of the most useful people you'll ever find as a writer, is a good critique partner. If you can find the perfect one for you, your critique (or crit) partner will do more to shape your writing than just about anyone else. They will usually be the first person ... Read More

Journal entry #7

Let's talk about talking.

Feb 27, 2015 · 32 Comments

So, we've covered either end of the story with beginnings and endings, so let's tackle some of the bits in between! Dialogue is a good place to start, since it's one of my favorite things. It's a really great way for the reader to get to know your characters, and ... Read More

Journal entry #6

And now, endings!

Feb 25, 2015 · 26 Comments

sierrabookbattler asked me to give an explanation of endings. Beginnings are all about hooking the reader, and introducing the reader to your character's normal life before all the action starts. Endings are all about giving the reader an idea of what the character's life will be like now that everything ... Read More

Journal entry #5

Beginnings (part two)

Feb 22, 2015 · 28 Comments

While reading the comments on yesterday's post about beginnings, I realized I'd missed out a lot of important stuff. For a start, I forgot to mention the things that don't work as well for beginnings, and not just first lines, but first scenes as well. Bear in mind, though, these ... Read More

Journal entry #4

Beginnings (and those pesky first lines)

Feb 20, 2015 · 42 Comments

When I first started writing, I kept remembering a scene I saw in this old movie called Throw Momma from the Train. In that movie, the main character was a writer with a bad case of writer's block because he couldn't think of a great first line to start his ... Read More

Journal entry #3

What is Voice?

Feb 11, 2015 · 44 Comments

It's not just a judgey TV show, that's for sure! One of the things you will hear writers, agents, and editors say a lot is how important "voice" is. When I started writing, the whole concept boggled me. At first I thought it had something to do with dialogue, which ... Read More

Journal entry #2

Natalie’s take on writing real characters

Feb 10, 2015 · 43 Comments

It’s funny to me that Wen and I have known each other for more than five years now and we’ve written together for two, but I never really understood her characterization process until she wrote the journal entry last week about "How to make your character seem like a real ... Read More

Journal entry #1

How to make your character seem like a real person--hopefully!

Feb 6, 2015 · 52 Comments

I thought we should probably move our journal posts for THE FAKE over here, but I'll cross-post everything here to the Wrong Side of the River journal as well, with links so you can find this one easier! There have been a lot of comments on Chapter Two that mention ... Read More