Category Archives: Subtext

Making Characters Stuck in the Background Pop Out

Maybe you have had some of the experiences I’ve had when writing a manuscript, one of which is finding yourself with a character–could be a side character, a secondary character, or even a viewpoint character–who seems to be sort of … Continue reading

Posted in Character Flaws, Character Traits, Characters, Description, Resident Writing Coach, Show Don't Tell, Subtext, Uncategorized | 7 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

Keep It Fresh: 10 Ways To Show Your Character’s Emotions

Years ago, Becca and I grumbled about how our characters always expressed emotion the same way. My big thing? Frowning. Did my characters EVER know how to frown. They were savage at it. Becca’s characters? Smilers, all of them. SO … Continue reading

Posted in Character Wound, Characters, Conflict, Description, Dialogue, Emotion, Emotion Thesaurus Guide, Experiments, One Stop For Writers, Setting Thesaurus Guides, Show Don't Tell, Subtext, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 6 Comments

The Secret of a Successful Mystery: Making the Reader a Participator

A lot of great stories have a mystery in them. The mystery may not be the primary focus; it might be the secondary, or the mystery might be so minor it lasts only a few chapters. But whatever the case, … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Resident Writing Coach, Show Don't Tell, Subtext, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 4 Comments

How To Accurately Write About Your Character’s Pain

The best thing about this online world of ours is you never know who you are going to meet. I don’t know about you, but one of the areas I struggle with is writing a character’s pain in a way … Continue reading

Posted in Conflict, Description, Emotion, Empathy, Fear, Guest Post, Show Don't Tell, Subtext, Tension, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 15 Comments

Describing Your Character: How To Make Each Detail Count

Describing a character’s physical appearance is a tough job. Most writers either really get into it and share every dimple, curl, and laugh line, or they sprinkle in just a few details so readers can make up the rest. No … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Cliches, Description, Emotion, Empathy, Motivation, One Stop For Writers, Pacing, Show Don't Tell, Subtext, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 15 Comments

5 Things Psychology Can Teach Writers

From our books, most of you know Becca and I love psychology. This is largely because the most captivating fiction pieces are those that closely mirror the real world, especially when it comes to characters. Knowing who a character is … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Emotion, Empathy, Fear, Guest Post, Motivation, Show Don't Tell, Subtext, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 18 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

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