31 Days: The Mechanics of Great Fiction


UPDATE: When I set out to write this series of posts, I NEVER imagined it would be as popular as it has become. But in the almost year since I published this series, it’s gotten consistent traffic, and remains my highest trafficked post via Pinterest to date. So…


I have decided to publish this series as an ebook. 30 Days to Becoming a Writer will release on Amazon on August 25, 2014. 

Click here to purchase your copy today!



No, that’s not a typo – The book is a 30 Day Guide, not 31 Day Guide. I condensed the material into readable chapters, and organized it in a way that gives readers a comprehensive guide to writing and publishing in an easily digestible format. 


I will be removing the posts from this space in an effort to preserve the integrity of the book, but as soon as the book goes live, I will include the link where you can purchase these posts for your online library.


My hope and desire it that people will be inspired to continue to create, to write, and ultimately, to author the words that float in their heads and hearts. I’m so honored to have you all on this journey with me. I hope that you will benefit in your career as a writer from the tips offered in 30 Days to Becoming an Author. For more information on the book, and for more Pinterest-worthy images to promote it, go to KelliStuart.com.


Thanks for taking this journey with me!




  1. I think its funny you used Les Mis because I’ve been reading it and while I relish Hugo’s wonderfully thick character descriptions I have to admit I skipped entire gigantic sections of his eloquent details concerning the French Revolution. I skimmed to make sure I was not missing anything really important, but I could NOT drag myself through it otherwise. But I’m finding Hugo to be a masterful storyteller.

    The Poisonwood Bible is my all-time favorite. It should be required reading for anyone considering missions work. I also love Fahrenheit 451, Frankenstein, The Giver, and Lowry’s other three follow-up tales.

    • Ha! Well, admittedly, I skimmed quite a bit of Les Mis as well. And Pride and Prejudice. The old authors got a little wordy. However, they were masters at weaving emotions and detail into story and that’s why all those books will be around forever!

      And The Poisonwood Bible? It’s a masterpiece. I think I will re-read it at every stage of life and will probably be affected differently each time. Such a beautiful, beautiful, heart wrenching book.

      I’ve never read The Giver. Off to look it up! I have also never read Frankenstein (I KNOW?! Can you believe it?) I did enjoy Fahrenheit 451, though it took me some time to get into it.

      Ah, I just really love books! 🙂

  2. One of the more recent books I read that impacted me is “A Prayer for Owen Meany” by John Irving. Even though I knew what was coming at the end, I still cried! The first sentence alone sucks you right in. Fabulous read. To me, Owen Meany does exactly what you recommend – uses descriptions to make you feel the characters’ plight right to your core. It’s not just words on a page, but living, breathing characters, at least in our minds.

    Other books that impacted me are Pawn of the Prophecy, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Dracula , Pride and Prejudice, Gone With The Wind, Out of Africa, The Hunger Games, and To Kill a Mockingbird. Ah, just too many great books to list!

    • I will look into A PRayer for Owen Meany. Never heard of it. Another book that I really loved reading way back when was The Secret Life of Max Tivoli…which was basically the story of Benjamin Button. Really great book. I have never read Gone with the Wind (can you believe it?!), but oh my I did love The Hunger Games. I tried not to love those books, but they got me. And To Kill a Mockingbird! Haven’t read that in years. I think I need to revisit that one. 🙂

  3. I love that you clarified twice that this was just a short list, not a complete list of faves! I get that.
    Anna Karenina is beyond brilliant, isn’t it? I adore that book. Jane Eyre and I have a complicated relationship, unfortunately. But I’m willing to work on it.
    On my often re-read list is The Secret History by Donna Tartt (it is brilliant, just brilliant), East of Eden by John Steinbeck (love, love, love) and Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates (heartbreaking and beautiful). I’m also up for book suggestions, so feel free to keep suggesting!

    • I have never read Revolutionary Road or The Secret History! I am loving all these suggestions rolling in! I also love East of Eden.

      Honestly, it’s been awhile since I read a book that really got under my skin. I’ve read some good books lately, The Winter Garden, Orphan Train, The Mark of the Lion series. I’ve enjoyed all these books, but they have left me feeling goose bumpy and swooney at the end. The books that really get under my skin are the ones that immediately popped in my mind when I decided to list my favorite books. I’m ready to read another one like that. I will check out those two you suggested! 🙂


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