Category Archives: Motivation

Tips for Weaving Romance into Your Novel

Romance is a part of life, and so it should also play some part in our novels—if we intend for our characters to mirror real life. Even if you don’t write in the romance genre, don’t be too quick to … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Needs, Characters, Emotion, Motivation, Pacing, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Romance, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 6 Comments

Happy Holidays: Our Most Popular 2016 Posts For Writers

It’s that time of year where Becca and I sneak off to the liquor cabinet for some adult beverages to drink some rich hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire so we can enjoy some family togetherness and reflect … Continue reading

Posted in About Us, Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Conflict, Description, Dialogue, Emotion, Emotion Thesaurus Guide, Empathy, Experiments, Fear, Mood and Atmosphere, Motivation, One Stop For Writers, Pacing, Positive & Negative Thesaurus Guides, Setting, Setting Thesaurus Guides, Show Don't Tell, Story Structure, Subtext, Symbolism, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 6 Comments

How Character Attributes and Flaws Work Within Character Arc

Like real people, characters have mixed personalities that contain both positive traits (attributes) and negative traits (flaws). Flaws are especially interesting as they develop  when a person has experienced a painful life lesson: the world, and the people in it, … Continue reading

Posted in Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Experiments, Motivation, Positive & Negative Thesaurus Guides, Setting Thesaurus Guides, Story Structure, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 3 Comments

Understanding Inner Conflict with Story Expert Michael Hauge

All stories are built on a foundation of three basic components: character, desire, and conflict. A hero or protagonist desperately wants something, and must overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles to achieve it. The greater that conflict is, the greater the emotional … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Wound, Characters, Motivation, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 10 Comments

Generic Settings Won’t Do: Choose Locations That Have Emotional Value

As writers, we try to draw readers fully into each scene. Not only do we want them to picture what’s happening, we want them to feel as if they are sharing the POV (point of view) character’s experience. Shared experiences … Continue reading

Posted in Conflict, Description, Empathy, Experiments, Fear, Mood and Atmosphere, Motivation, Pacing, Setting, Setting Thesaurus Guides, Show Don't Tell, Subtext, Tension, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 9 Comments

Struggle With Show, Don’t Tell? Try This Ultimate Description Toolkit

Today I’m sharing some amazing tools as part of Verbaleyze’s  My Writing Toolkit event, in hopes you might find some new weapons in the battle for strong, compelling description. For those not familiar with VerbalEyze, they are a 501(c)3 nonprofit … Continue reading

Posted in About Us, Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Conflict, Description, Dialogue, Emotion, Emotion Thesaurus Guide, Empathy, High Stakes, Motivation, One Stop For Writers, Positive & Negative Thesaurus Guides, Revision and Editing, Setting Thesaurus Guides, Show Don't Tell, Subtext, Tension, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons, Writing Resources | 7 Comments

Deepen The Protagonist to Readers By Challenging His or Her Moral Beliefs

When we sit down to brainstorm a character, we think about possible qualities, flaws, quirks, habits, likes and dislikes that they might have. Then to dig deeper, we assemble their backstory, plotting out who influenced them, what experiences shaped them … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Conflict, Emotion, Fear, Motivation, Positive & Negative Thesaurus Guides, Show Don't Tell, Tension, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 7 Comments

How Your Character’s Failures Can Map A Route To Self-Growth

So, failure. Ugh, right? Well, I was feeling like a failure today, like I’d let the team down because an idea of mine went sour. It sucks when that happens, but that’s how it goes sometimes. I found myself retracing … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Wound, Characters, Emotion, Fear, Motivation, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 23 Comments

How Your Hero’s Past Pain Will Determine His Character Flaws

Authentic characters are usually modeled after real people. I don’t mean pulling traits and quirks from those we know (say, taking Aunt Judy’s laughter and blending it with the overly-smiley bus driver who takes us to work on Tuesdays and … Continue reading

Posted in Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Wound, Characters, Fear, Motivation, One Stop For Writers, Positive & Negative Thesaurus Guides, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 13 Comments

Planning a Novel: Character Arc In A Nutshell

So, you’re ready to sit down and plan a new book. Are you excited? I hope so. You’re about to create a new reality! Can you imagine it, that fresh page that’s full of potential? Your main character is going … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Description, Emotion, Emotion Thesaurus Guide, Empathy, Fear, Motivation, One Stop For Writers, Plotting, Positive & Negative Thesaurus Guides, Show Don't Tell, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 20 Comments