Category Archives: Uncategorized

Critiques 4 U!

Hello, beautiful people! I hope you’re all having productive, efficient, kick-butt weeks. It’s time for March’s critique contest, but I wanted to take a moment and thank all of you for your encouragement. Your kind words, reviews, and support, yes, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 47 Comments

Deepening Our Story: Theme It Like You Mean It

Our story’s themes—our messages to readers of what to value or believe—can add depth and meaning to our writing, but to avoid being too on-the-nose, our themes are usually developed in the story’s subtext. Unfortunately, working in subtext means we … Continue reading

Posted in Resident Writing Coach, Subtext, Theme, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 28 Comments

Occupation Thesaurus Entry: Rancher

Jobs are as important for our characters as they are for real people. A character’s career might be their dream job or one they’ve chosen due to necessity. In your story, they might be trying to get that job or … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Raise the Stakes By Making It Personal

Compelling novels have many different ingredients that make them fascinating to read, but one standard components is a healthy, continual dose of ACTION. The protagonist is always doing something: weighing alternatives, choosing options, making decisions and then acting on them, … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Fear, High Stakes, One Stop For Writers, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 6 Comments

Garlic Breath For Writers (aka, Bad First Pages)

“If you cannot write a compelling opening scene, from the opening sentence, I’m not going to finish your proposal.” – Agent, speaking at a recent writers conference The opening page of your novel is your big introduction. It’s what an … Continue reading

Posted in Openings, Point of View, Resident Writing Coach, Show Don't Tell, Uncategorized | 15 Comments

Occupation Thesaurus Entry: Corrections Officer

Jobs are as important for our characters as they are for real people. A character’s career might be their dream job or one they’ve chosen due to necessity. In your story, they might be trying to get that job or … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Three Ways The Setting Can Steer Your Story’s Plot

The setting is a powerful force. Not only does it evoke mood, create tension and conflict, allow you to share critical backstory in a non-dumpy way, and draw readers deeper into the story through powerful sensory detail…it can also steer … Continue reading

Posted in Description, Mood and Atmosphere, Plotting, Setting, Setting Thesaurus Guides, Show Don't Tell, Tension, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 13 Comments

Critiques 4 U!

Happy almost March, everyone! There are a lot of things about life that drive me a little bonkers—so much so that I often need to remind myself of the good stuff that’s happening. Snow days wreak havoc on my work … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 52 Comments

Occupation Thesaurus Entry: Architect

Jobs are as important for our characters as they are for real people. A character’s career might be their dream job or one they’ve chosen due to necessity. In your story, they might be trying to get that job or … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Want Memorable Characters? Focus on the Little Things

I love building characters. In fact, “building” is apt, because for me, they come a piece at a time. A brick or two might lock into place as I wrestle with that hateful night demon, Insomnia. Another may manifest with … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Hobbies, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Description, Emotion, Motivation, One Stop For Writers, Reader Interest, Show Don't Tell, Software and Services, Subtext, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons, Writing Resources | 19 Comments