Category Archives: Writing Lessons

Worldbuilding, Demystified

As a fantasy writer, one of my absolute favorite parts of the writing process is worldbuilding. I love creating new worlds, cities, and people groups from scratch. I probably either have a God complex or am fighting OCD tendencies, but whatever. … Continue reading

Posted in One Stop For Writers, Setting, Uncategorized | 6 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 | 22 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

What American Horror Story Taught Me About Anti-Heroes

Every time I search Netflix, Hulu, or primetime TV for a new show to watch, I’m convinced that anti-heroes are taking over the world. Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, the Sopranos, Nurse Jackie, Dexter—all popular shows with a less-than-traditional protagonist. The anti-hero … Continue reading

Posted in Character Flaws, Characters | 21 Comments

Three More Lesser Known Archetypes

Back in January, Jonathan Vars was here to talk about some lesser-known archetypes and how utilizing them can bring a sense of freshness to our stories. Because of the positive feedback on that post, he’s back with three MORE archetypes you might not … Continue reading

Posted in Characters | 11 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 | 10 Comments

Angela’s Fantastic Finds for Writers

People who follow me in social spaces know I curate A LOT of content–enough to supply 3 twitter accounts, 3 facebook pages, one personal FB profile and then of course a massive database on Pinterest. And…I find a lot of … Continue reading

Posted in Agents, Basic Human Needs, Characters, Critiquing & Critiques, Marketing, One Stop For Writers, Social Networking, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons, Writing Resources | 34 Comments

Planning the Perfect Love Triangle

It’s spring. The sap is rising. Let us talk of love triangles. These are potent story devices, even if the triangle isn’t the story’s main concern. When I work with authors, one of the most common issues is underdeveloped plot situations, … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Romance, Uncategorized | 10 Comments

The Efficient Writer: Using Timelines to Organize Story Details

FACT: when we sit down to write a novel, most of us already have almost a book’s worth of notes tucked away in computer files, stored in writing apps, scribbled on notepads, or stuffed into the coffee-glazed ridges of our … Continue reading

Posted in About Us, One Stop For Writers, Plotting, Story Structure, Time Management, Uncategorized, Writing Resources, Writing Time | 16 Comments