Category Archives: Resident Writing Coach

Suspense in Stories…the Big Tease

Suspense is one of the storyteller’s biggest teases. It’s a state of waiting, of growing unease in the reader. Most stories consist of raising questions and delaying the answers. Suspense in its purest form heightens that sense of uncertainty. This … Continue reading

Posted in High Stakes, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized | 15 Comments

How to Add Meaningful Subplots to Your Novel

Many people are familiar with subplots. They are those side stories that give a novel’s plot depth. A subplot may involve the main character or minor characters, but they enrich the story if done well. Subplots are everywhere. We see … Continue reading

Posted in Character Arc, Characters, Conflict, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Subtext, Theme, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 6 Comments

How to Boost Your Self-Editing Superpowers: The Four Perspectives

A vast number of writers are afraid of their own power. They fall prey to listening to what other people think their story should be—writing friends, Twitter pals, critique partners, the English teacher next door, agents they’ve met for a … Continue reading

Posted in Editing Tips, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Uncategorized | 9 Comments

A Question of When: Indicating Time Passage in Our Stories

Today, we’re going to discuss a question a WHW reader previously submitted to the Resident Writing Coaches. Nancy C. asked: “I would like to know more about how to show the passing of time between scenes (other than dates or … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Guest Post, Pacing, Resident Writing Coach, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 21 Comments

Let Your Characters Live and Breathe

In my collection of writing books is a 1919 title, A Manual of the Art of Fiction, by one Clayton Meeker Hamilton, a professor at Columbia University. It’s a bit academic, but I’ve found some gems in it. Among them … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized | 19 Comments

Using Real-World Locations to Ground Your Story’s Setting

Last month I went on a writing retreat in Iceland. (Yes, Iceland! In fact, you can learn more about the annual Iceland Writers Retreat here.) It sounds like a remote location for a writing event; and when I first told … Continue reading

Posted in Resident Writing Coach, Setting, Uncategorized | 27 Comments

Complex Characters and the Power of Contradiction

You’ve likely seen countless posts and resources related to creating great characters, but almost all of them seem to be lacking in one aspect I’ve found to be perhaps the most powerful: giving your characters contradictions. Some might read this and … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 8 Comments

Want To Grow As A Writer? Transform Your Critique Group

My  mentor Art Arthur, a successful Hollywood screenwriter for five decades, once told me, “There are four kinds of Hollywood producers: the ones that say, ‘Here’s what I don’t like about your script,’ the ones that say, ‘Here’s what I … Continue reading

Posted in Critique Groups, Critiquing & Critiques, Reader Feedback, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Uncategorized, Writing Groups | 20 Comments

Want to Write Romance? Layer Your Scenes for Success

When I began considering writing a romance novel, I asked some of my romance author friends about structure. I had no idea that romance novels, across the board, followed a basic structure that differed in many ways from traditional novel … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Resident Writing Coach, Romance, Story Structure, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 14 Comments

How to Rescue a Book in Danger of Dying

Some experts claim that as many as 82% of adults dream of writing a book. They have a story they are burning to tell or a message they are dying to convey. The advent of self-publishing has given all these … Continue reading

Posted in Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Uncategorized | 14 Comments