Category Archives: Villains

No Shortcuts, Please: Myths and Misconceptions of Villains & Mental Health

I love the internet–I get to meet all sorts of wonderful people. Today I’m happy to welcome Sacha Black, who knows a heck of a lot about the baddie in your story…someone more important than some writers may realize. This … Continue reading

Posted in Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Conflict, Guest Post, Show Don't Tell, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 23 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

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

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 | 24 Comments

The Subtle Knife: Writing Characters Readers Trust But Shouldn’t

I don’t know about you, but I love reading books where the author encourages me to draw conclusions that are wrong. Case in point–untrustworthy characters who I trust anyway. Like all writers, I am ultra aware of character cues and … Continue reading

Posted in Character Flaws, Character Traits, Characters, Experiments, Positive & Negative Thesaurus Guides, Subtext, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 21 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 | 21 Comments

The Secret to Creating a Really Good Bad Guy

Becca and I are welcoming Susanne Lakin today, who is a writing coach, author and editor all rolled into one. Susanne is our go-to expert for all things editing, and has a great new book out called the The 12 … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Guest Post, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft | 19 Comments

Personality Traits: Building a Balanced Character

If writing the Positive Trait & Negative Trait Thesaurus books have taught me anything, it is that compelling characters are neither good nor bad, perfect or fundamentally flawed. Instead, they are all of these things. Each has a set of … Continue reading

Posted in Balance, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Emotion, Empathy, Fear, Positive & Negative Thesaurus Guides, Show Don't Tell, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft | 20 Comments

The Cure For CARDBOARD VILLAIN SYNDROME

Today I’m sharing an excerpt from The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Flaws. Flaws play a HUGE role in each character’s arc, so understanding how to build them into the personality of our novel’s cast is key … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized, Villains | 31 Comments