Below you will find the printable versions of the tools found in our bestselling books. You can download, share, and print these as needed. And, if you keep scrolling, you’ll find even more worksheets, handouts, lists, and even a free ebooklet we created just for you.

Happy writing, friends. 🙂

Character Arc Progression Tool (PDF)

  • Did you know that a character’s arc is tied to the wounding event from his past? Traumatic events are formative, impacting a character’s basic need, determining his story goal, generating sources of inner conflict, and more. The Character Arc Progression Tool can help you explore all the pieces and see how they fit together. For a deeper understanding of this resource, please reference The Emotional Wound Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Psychological Trauma.

Backstory Wound Profile (PDF)

Setting Planner (PDF)

Emotional Value Tool (PDF)

Setting Checklist (PDF)

Setting Exercises (PDF)

Character Pyramid Tool (PDF)

Character Target Tool (PDF)

Character Profile Questionnaire (PDF)

Reverse Backstory Tool (PDF)

Weak Verb Converter Tool (PDF)

  • Transform all those generic, boring verbs into power verbs

Scene Revision/Critique Tool Level 1 & Level 2 (PDF)

  • A ‘light’ and ‘in-depth’ revision checklist for creating compelling characters and scenes

Emotional Movie Scenes (PDF)

  • A list of specific scene examples from movies that showcase different intense emotions

Crutch Words (PDF)

  • Those little, annoying overused words that hide in our manuscripts…finally a list for Search & Destroy during the revision process!

Write in Japanese?

No problem! Some of these PDFs are available to you in this language.

Simply click on the image of our Japanese Foreign Editions and you’ll be taken to our page at Film Art Sha, and these translated tool downloads.



Networking & Promo: Getting The Most Out Of Facebook

Platform: Getting The Most Out Of Blogging

Networking & Promo: Getting The Most Out Of Twitter

Social Media Triple-play: Facebook, Twitter & Blogging

Creative Book Launch/Event Ideas for Social Media Platforms

NEW! * Inside a Book Launch Swipe File For Rock The Vault Book Launch:  this PDF contains the email communications sent out to the launch team, includes organized content for social sharing, marketing materials, and gives writers a great idea of how a book launch should be handled from the inside. Also, check out the original post that links to an insightful Q & A that delves into this particular book launch. (Spoiler Alert: LOTS of marketing help in this interview!)

NEW! Influencer Hot Sheet: Struggling to reach your exact reading audience? Maybe you should connect with a few people who have influence with your market. this handout guides you through the process of finding the right influencer, learning from them so you can engage with your audience better too, and how to reach out and create a relationship with them.For the article that accompanies this Hot Sheet, visit Jane Friedman’s blog here.

NEW! How Authenticity Attracts Readers for a Successful Book Launch Podcast: If you are trying to understand how to build up your website and online platform to attract readers through your brand, this will help. We also discuss finding your ideal audience, and how to launch a book effectively, encouraging people to participate in your online events.



Emotion AmplifiersEmotion Amplifiers High Res

Free Download Options Here (Kindle, PDF, B & N, Kobo & more)

This companion to the bestselling resource, The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression is a body language tool for describing your character’s PAIN, STRESS, ILLNESS, HUNGER, DEHYDRATION, ATTRACTION & other conditions that ‘amplify’ an emotional reaction.

For a full description, go here.

Logo-OneStop-For-Writers-mediumSaving the best for last: 


Wonder what would happen when the mind behind Scrivener for Windows and the authors of The Emotion Thesaurus collaborated to bring you something new and amazing? Well, wonder no longer!

Writers Helping Writers is proud to bring you One Stop For Writers®, an online creative library unlike any other, filled with tools, story maps, resources, education, and a powerhouse description thesaurus collection that must be seen to be believed.

Join Becca and Angela as they continue their passion for helping writers. Click over to the One Stop library for a first hand look at our Features and Tools, or to read testimonials from writers just like you. Registration is ALWAYS free.

Looking for a thoughtful gift to send to your favorite writer or critique partner? Try a One Stop For Writers Gift Certificate.

























126 Responses to WRITING TOOLS

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  4. Victoriah Lloyd says:

    Okay, that really did help me a great deal. Thanks again, so much for these great helpouts. Thank you even more for sharing.

  5. Victoriah Lloyd says:

    I have a question about the Character Target Tool. I have the Positive Trait Thesaurus, and I’m wondering if in the “target” tool, these are attributes that present conflict for the antagonist. I’m a bit confused on the term “target” if you could shed some light on it. Please.

    • Hi, Victoriah. The traits in this tool are ones that define the character. We call it a “target” tool because at the center of the target lies the character’s moral traits, which will determine or rule out many of his other attributes. The rest can really be added in any order. If you look at the Aragorn example, you see that his moral traits are honorable, honest, and just. His achievement, interactive, and identity traits all fall in line with his moral ones. All of the traits listed are traits that he embraces, that are true for him. This tool is just one way to create a snapshot of who your character is at his core—which traits are most important in defining who he/she is.

  6. T.K.Ware says:

    Wonderful Site!!! Very Informative! I have recommended it to others.

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  8. As a newbie indie author, I’ve found your downloads incredibly helpful. I often find myself stumped to find different words for the same condition that my character is going through. I went through this with my lastest short story, Sharpshooter. I found it difficult to describe the character’s injuries in new and different ways. I’d love to purchase the thesaurus, are they available in print format, I just find it irksome to keep turning on my Kindle when I want to check out something lol.
    Love the site, keep up the great work 🙂

    • Hi, Michael. I know what you mean. While I like digital books, for nonfiction, there’s something about being able to flip through a print copy and find what you’re looking for. The Emotion Thesaurus and The Character Trait Thesaurus (in two volumes) are all available in print. You can find links to each book at the various distributors on our Bookstore page. We’re currently working on turning The Setting Thesaurus into a book; that one will be out hopefully by the end of the year.

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  10. Micheal Shaw says:

    I have always found it difficult to add emotions to my writing, especiially due to the show and don’t tell rule. Your Emotion Thesaurus changed that and I am now expanding my descriptions, word count and the depth of my work. I just turned a rough draft of a oneshot into Short Story, mostly due to the added emotional depth. I have bought all three books and downloaded your PDF as well, which I hope will help me write my current WIP Novel. I just wish I knew about these books when I wrote my anthology submissions. Thank you.

    • Hi Michael,

      Thanks so much for stopping in–I am so glad that our books are helpful to you. Emotions are especially difficult, aren’t they? Keep at it – you will rock those stories! 🙂


  11. Alex Mandel says:

    Just a few dozen pages into your book on negative traits, and I knew I had to have your other guides. So now I have them all, and the free downloads. They are treasure chests filled to the brink with indispensable advice and ideas, from cover to cover. I’ve never seen writing guides this clearly presented, matter-of-fact, and completely unpretentious. Thank you for doing such a brilliant, thorough job. My writing has taken leaps in the right direction, and I am a better writer for reading this material.

    • Alex, thank you so much for taking the time to write us and let us know you’re finding our books so helpful! I am thrilled you are working so hard to improve your craft and find our material useful. There is a lot of stuff here on our website as well, so I hope you’ll stop in and poke around here and there. Happy writing–wishing you much success!

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  14. Ron Hope says:

    I’m starting my writing career (well–for about 20 years I have been hampered by re-writes, research, self-doubt and A LOT of other junk that got in the way) I absolutely LOVE the trio of thesarus’s (how does one refer to multiple thesaurus?) and I bought them up all-at-once from Amazon.
    One of my biggest struggles has been to create in-depth characters, ones that don’t seem like those ‘paper-doll’ cutouts of action heroes Indiana Jones or Han Solo. I have bought books on personality, adjusted astrology charts to match characteristics of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. While I have had some success in these experiments, I have found that simply adding some positive, negative and emotional traits from you trio of go-to books have really helped me improve overall depth to my characters, whether they be an Aries or a Gemini or no matter what 4-letter alphabet soup Myers-Briggs assigns them.
    I also have greedily downloaded your tool/helpsheets as they offer great advice and points on writing.
    I intend to finish my 1st book this year (and in no small-part due to the help these 3 AWESOME books have provided) and there is no greater feeling than to realize your lifetime goals. I would hope you both have felt this way, as I doubt even winning the lottery feels this good.
    Thank you, Angela & Becca for these truly great resources.

    • Congrats, Ron, on realizing the dream of writing your first book! Angela and I have both been there, in the finishing of our personal fiction books as well as the publishing of our thesaurus books. I’m so incredibly glad that they’ve helped you with your writing. We’ve been where you are as a new writer, and we just wanted to share the information that helped us get a grasp on characterization and showing instead of telling. Thank YOU for your kind words of encouragement this Saturday morning. Shoot me an email when you type THE END and I’ll celebrate with you 🙂

      • Ron Hope says:

        That will definitely be a red-letter date on my calendar. And I will certainly let you both know when it is done. Again, thanks for all your help.

    • I’ll echo Becca–we are so happy our resources help, and that you are getting full use out of what we provide! Another great resource for building characters is K.M. Weiland’s Helping Writers Become Authors. It is well worth checking out!

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  16. Celia Lewis says:

    I kept seeing great tips from Angela on the NaNo column in my TweetDeck… and finally, today, I poked into this website!
    Okay, I’ve bought the Emotions Thesaurus, and am digging through it today.
    Wish you had your “Weather” tips as a pdf as well. I’ve bookmarked and will be back again!
    Thanks for your very helpful tips.

    • HI Celia, very glad you found your way here! Apologies there’s no PDF yet – Becca and I are slowly transforming these blog entries into book sized entities, but because we continually strive to offer value, we greatly expand on the content found here for the books. This requires a lot of time to do right, but we think it’s worth it! Happy Nanoing! 🙂

  17. Kathleen Ruth says:

    Do you ladies have a fan club? As the proud owner of all three thesauri and having recommended them to dozens and purchased them for my critique partners, it is fitting that I start such a group.
    I’m slogging through my first full-length manuscript, learning as I go. Having just discovered your website with all its cool resources, I have taken a breather to do some planning with the tools you offer. Just the thing to get me jumpstarted again, and this time, with more of a true sense of my protagonist. Yippee!!!

    • I am SO happy to hear this, Kathleen! Angela and I started our writing journeys at about the same time, and I remember both of us being really confused and overwhelmed at certain points, needing direction. It makes me glad to think that our resources might be offering you the kind of answers that other writers were kind enough to share with us along the way. Best of luck with your writing!

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  20. Heather says:

    I just bought three books (positive traits, negative traits and emotion thesaurus) and could not have found better tools for writing my first screenplay! It has all been an amazing learning experience, especially with writing to show instead of to tell. These books have really helped in finding my character’s driving force and how they look and what they do when they are “mad”, or “upset” instead of just blatantly saying that they are mad or upset.
    I have to admit, my favorite part is the list of conflicting traits for secondary characters to help in creating the drama.

  21. houda says:

    just starting to write my first book, those tools will help me for sure. thank you for sharing.

    • Congrats, Houda! That’s such a big step, starting to write the first one. We’ve blogged about so many aspects of writing over the years. As questions come up, feel free to use the search engine to see related content that we may have shared in the past. Best of luck!

  22. A.K. Leigh says:

    Love all of these tools. Great for the new and more experienced writer. Thank you Angela and Becca!

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  24. Sia McKye says:

    Very well thought out tool box, Angela! I do use a few of these and do have a toolbox but these must be added.

    Good reminders too, since my writing group has decided that next *fun* contest is trying your hand at writing a Sci-Fi story. I’ve always enjoyed reading Sci-fi but never really written it. My brain is running through ideas and also kicking me for saying sure, lol! One of the cool things with my Wombats is they get you into trying new genres.

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

    • I think that’s awesome! What a great way to encourage writers to stretch themselves. You never know–you might just find you enjoy writing in that genre! Glad the toolbox goodies will be a help. Good luck on your submission!

  25. Ladies, you have built a book that I keep wearing OUT as I’m writing. I couldn’t live without my Emotions Thesaurus & highly recommend it to ALL of my writerly people. When my next birthday &/or Christmas come around, I’m going to be getting the rest of your lovely collection.

    This collection should be on a list somewhere of writer’s tools you MUST have if you’d like to succeed in writing. 😀

    Thank you ever so much for doing this. The writerly community is so much more the richer for having the two of you in it. I’m in absolute platonic love with the two of you! *mwah*

    • Oh my gosh, what a tremendously kind thing to say! Thank you so much, Monica, both for taking the time to write to us and for letting us know we’re on the right path. The next time doubt hits, I am going to re-read this. It means the world–you rock!

  26. Anna Dobritt says:

    The one about crutch words is a great one. One word I noticed I use a lot is ‘thought’. Currently doing a line by line edit of my manuscript.

  27. Sue Frye says:

    Angela, I was so excited to find this page! Thanks so much for sharing all of these fantastic, time-saving writing tools. Sometimes it becomes very stressful trying to write, rewrite, and then do endless edits. I bookmarked your website!

    Cheers, Sue

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  29. G. Velez says:

    I just want to say, thank you so much for actually having this site to help other writers. Personally, this is a huge benefit for me because I now have a great resource I can turn to when in doubt. I will keep checking as often as I can on anything that you post.

    • Thank you so much! I’m elated that you are finding the help you need here. 🙂 We love producing content others will use, and it’s very satisfying to aid others in their writerly pursuits!

  30. Meg says:

    I have all your three books and they are awesome tools for me as a writer.

    Thanks a lot for giving us these extra writing tools. They are wonderful too! (it is, for example, really handy to have a PDf version of some appendices of the books)

    Thanks a lot!
    And I hope you continue the great work you are doing helping writers 😉

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