First Draft Friday: Conversations about author craft

A regular open house for the author community

Books by Authors A.I. authors
A few of the books by Authors A.I. authors.

By the Authors A.I. team

Welcome to First Draft Friday! We have a big team of authors here at Authors A.I. with lots of opinions to share — and we’d like to hear from you! Please join us for our every-other-week online conversation on Facebook Liv and YouTube Live. It’s open to all members of the author community.

Author Brett Battles
Cheers to all the aspiring and published authors in the house.

Rather than doing webinars, we think it’s better to be have a freewheeling back and forth. So we’ll do this as a live-stream on our public Facebook group at — please join our community!

Each week we’ll bring in a guest — a fellow author, editor or entrepreneur — to talk about the craft of novel writing and storytelling.

There are lots of sites that can help you with your book marketing, and we encourage you to learn the inside tricks of self-publishing. But there are few places devoted to writing craft.

So please return here and we’ll list upcoming events on topics such as narrative arc, pacing, character development, writing tips — and lots more.

Our next First Draft Friday!

FDF #9: Skeletons in Your Plot

Date: Friday, Sept. 25, at 5 p.m. Eastern

Host: Romance author Lucy Score

Details: Don’t have time (or the will) to create detailed book outlines in advance? Paranormal romance/urban fantasy author Steffanie Holmes will share her skeleton draft method. Steff writes a first draft for a book in a few days without any kind of plan or outline.

BONUS!: Get a free handout on creating skeleton drafts. Don’t miss this!


Authors Steffanie Holmes and Lucy Score

Past First Draft Friday events

FDF #1: What are your biggest writing challenges?

Date: June 5

Details: Romance author Alessandre Torre and historical romance author Cecelia Mecca discuss some of the top challenges they face as they write their fiction.

Free handout: How A.I. can enhance your fiction writing

Here’s a 30-minute video of our kickoff First Draft Friday chat about author craft.

FDF #2: Nailing character development

Date: June 19

Host: Alessandra Torre

Details: Romance author Alessandre Torre discusses how authors can flesh out their character development with veteran editor/publisher Lou Aronica.

Torre and Aronica discuss what goes into successful character development.  

FDF #3: Using A.I. to help with story beats

Date: Friday, July 3

Hosts: Alessandra Torre & JD Lasica

Details: James Rosone, a bestselling military thriller author, recently turned to writing a military sci-fi series. He discusses how he uses an artificial intelligence to help his storytelling at key parts of the rewrite process.

Free handout: Story elements cheat sheet for novelists

Thriller/sci-fi author James Rosone discusses how he uses A.I. to improve his novel’s story beats  with Alessandra Torre and JD Lasica.   

FDF #4: Can A.I. make your next novel a bestseller?

Date: Friday, July 17

Host: Alessandra Torre

Details: Matthew Jockers, PhD, co-author of The Bestseller Code and co-founder of Authors A.I., talks about how artificial intelligence can help authors enhance their storytelling and sell more books. Dr. Jockers is a pioneer in the applications of machine learning to the study of fiction. He is the creator of the groundbreadking new A.I. tool Marlowe.

Free handout: How A.I. can enhance your fiction writing

Dr. Matthew Jockers talks with author Alessandra Torre about how A.I. can help authors in the rewrite process.   

FDF #5: Productivity tips for authors

Date: Friday, July 31

Host: thriller author Danielle Girard

Details: Legal thriller author Robin James has a special superpower: writing through distractions. She and Danielle offer tips on how to be more productive with your writing and how to power your way to success.

Free handout: 6 key productivity hacks for authors

Thriller authors Danielle Girard and Robin James offer productivity tips for writers.  

FDF #6: The secret sauce of great editing

Date: Friday, Aug. 14

Host: fantasy author Charlie N. Holmberg

DetailsWhat are the benefits of working with a professional book editor? Jason Kirk and Charlie Holmberg discuss how good editors can teach authors to “fish” and improve their self-editing skills with each succeeding manuscript.

Jason is the award-winning editor of 100+ books with 20 years of editing and publishing experience. 

Free handout: Are you ready for an editor? 4 tips

Author Charlie Holmberg and editor Jason Kirk discuss the long-term benefits of working with a professional book editor.  

FDF #7: The turn-key technique to creating memorable characters

Date: Friday, Aug. 28

Host: Romance author Alessandra Torre

DetailsWhere do you start when creating characters for a new book or series that your readers will love? Veteran authors Judith Lucci and Fiona Quinn — who have more than 40 bestsellers between them — discuss a little-known technique they use to harness memory, sensory perception and logic to build engrossing characters and scenes.

Free handout: A technique to create memorable characters

Authors Judith Lucci and Fiona Quinn in conversation with Alessandra Torre.  

FDF #8: Flawed Heroes & Virtuous Villains

Date: Friday, Sept. 11

Host: Romance author Alessandra Torre

DetailsBestselling British crime and thriller author Andy Maslen discusses the art of creating complex, believable, three-dimensional characters, starting with your protagonist and antagonist. 

Free handout: 10 tips on creating flawed heroes & virtuous villains

Authors Alessandra Torre and Andy Maslen discuss creating complex characters on First Draft Friday.  

Have a topic you’d like us to tackle? Know an author who would make a good guest? Let us know!