Category Archives: Writing Lessons

What Does Your Protagonist Want BEFORE the Story Starts?

Imagine getting up in the morning and not wanting anything (not even coffee). No, seriously, try. Imagine having no agenda. Sure, that may sound great for a bit – especially given that crazy-busy seems to be the new normal. But … Continue reading

Posted in Character Arc, Characters, Motivation, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 3 Comments

How To Write Characters With PTSD

So excited to have Lisa Hall-Wilson here today to share some insight on how to write PTSD realistically… Hey hey! *mittened fist-bump* 😊 Thanks so much for having me! Writers are always looking for ways to add authenticity to their … Continue reading

Posted in Character Wound, Characters, Emotion, Show Don't Tell | 15 Comments

Best of the Best: Free Resources to Power Up Your Writing

It doesn’t take many visits to see that providing writers with what they need to succeed is pretty serious business around here. And because the ‘ol pocketbook can be a bit flat this time of year, we wanted to shine … Continue reading

Posted in About Us, One Stop For Writers, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons, Writing Resources | 24 Comments

Three Powerful Techniques To Harness A Reader’s Curiosity

Psychology has spent over a century studying human behavior; our emotions, thoughts, needs and wants, what draws us in and what pushes us away. This means psychology can teach us a lot about our stories, our characters, and how to … Continue reading

Posted in Empathy, Reader Interest, Reading, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized | 17 Comments

Episodic vs. Epic: Go Bigger with Your Writing

One of the most common reasons given by authors for why they write is a desire to create something meaningful for their readers, something that will stick with them or make a difference. One thing that helps our stories feel … Continue reading

Posted in Conflict, Experiments, Pacing, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 21 Comments

3 Tips To Creating A Time Bomb Plot Device

One of the things we always want as writers is to keep readers engaged, to hold their interest all the way from Page One to The End. The Ticking Time Bomb scenario can be really effective for this, and Jonathan Vars … Continue reading

Posted in High Stakes, Tension, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 7 Comments

How to Tell If Your Story Needs a Resolution

One of the last things you’ll consider for a story is whether to write a resolution. This short sequence of scenes (or a single scene) after the climax can conclude secondary storylines, offer a glimpse into the protagonist’s new life, … Continue reading

Posted in Endings, Story Structure, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 14 Comments

10 Methods to Make Your Character Likeable

A key point of writing a successful story is to have likeable characters. This is usually a must for the protagonist, but the cast overall should have a number of likeable characters. Here are 10 methods to accomplish that. 1) … Continue reading

Posted in Character Traits, Characters, Empathy, Uncategorized | 12 Comments

Diversifying Your Characters’ Voices

“Voice” is one of the things we authors agonize over—finding the character’s unique and authentic way of speaking. It’s especially critical to get this right when we’re writing in multiple viewpoints, so each character sounds like him or herself and … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Voice | 10 Comments

The Mother Lode of Links on Writing Emotional Wounds

Hi everyone! I thought with the release of  The Emotional Wound Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Psychological Trauma, I’d do a round up of posts on emotional wounds to help with this super-challenging area. Today I am over at Jane … Continue reading

Posted in Character Wound, Emotional Wound Thesaurus, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 9 Comments