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

  1. Pingback: Tips, Worksheets, and Writing Guides | A.R. Beckert

  2. Pingback: Spark a Story with the Setting Exercises in The Rural Setting Thesaurus | The Winged Pen

  3. John Pepper says:

    I wondered about the Character Target and Reverse Backstory tools for a while and how to use them. But I finally managed to get the Positive and Negative Trait Thesauruses yesterday and I was finally able to see an example for each of them. But I still have questions about them, if you wouldn’t mind answering.

    What would be a good place to start on each of these tools? Just with finding out what are the most defining traits, or by figuring out your character’s backstory or lie? For both tools, about how many traits are necessary to make a well-defined character? And when using both for a single character, how can you bring the results together?

    Thanks for answering all my questions in all the pages around this site. I’ve been looking forward to getting your books for a long time and I can’t wait for the new ones.

    • Hi, John. I’m sorry for the confusion about these tools; while I’m glad you were able to get some answers from our books, this tells me that having an example at the blog for these tools might be a good idea, too.

      In terms of where to start, I would begin with the Reverse backstory tool, since that fills in all the important blanks. And with that tool, you can start literally anywhere within the spreadsheet. If you’re plot driven and know what your character’s outer motivation is, you can start there and work downward. If you know your character well and you know their personality, you can start there and work your way backward and forward. If you know what wounding event is motivating them, start there. I love this tool because of its versatility.

      Once you’ve gotten all the blanks filled in, I would then go on to the Character Target Tool, because you’ll already have an idea about some of the traits. I like to identify a defining moral trait first, since moral traits will determine what other traits he might have and which ones he definitely won’t have. I would shoot for around two traits per category; some will have a few more. But you don’t want to have too many or the character becomes hard to define. Then you’ll want to figure out which of those traits your character will really own throughout the story. You may end up with 10 traits for him, but you can’t focus on all of those or he’s going to come across as scattered and not well defined. I would pick two, maybe three, of those traits to focus us on when you’re writing the character so the reader can get a good bead on him. Think of how you want him defined; to do this, think of your favorite characters who are clearly drawn. Which traits define them, and how many? Scarlett O’Hara (determined, self-serving, clever, manipulative). Sam Gamgee (loyal, organized, simple). For your own character, figure out which the traits are the important ones both for him and the story, and make those his defining traits.

      I hope this helps! Best of luck!

      • John Pepper says:

        Hello, Becca

        Thank you for your reply. I have been using both tools for some time now to practice creating characters or try and develop or break down characters I’ve seen elsewhere.

        However, I have come across a bit more confusion in terms of the Positive Trait tool. I am a little confused about the distinction between the Morals and Identity attributes. As I understand, morals are natural beliefs held by the person in terms of right and wrong, while identity is who the person is naturally? In that case, adding in the Interaction aspect, it becomes more confusing, as people can act differently from their actual selves in public. What I mean to ask is, can I get a little more explanation/clarification on the four attribute types? Thank you.

        • Ok, let’s back up a little bit. We know that personality traits are formed based on our positive experiences and the people who have influenced us. So before you can figure out which traits your character embodies, you have to know about those positive things and people from the past that have caused those traits to form. What role model had a positive influence on your character, and which traits did they embody? What positive experiences and exposures allowed them to form positive ideas about culture, society, and community, and what traits would naturally emerge from those? When were they able to successfully navigate a difficult situation, and which traits enabled them to do that? These are where positive attributes come from. Knowing these important people and events from your character’s past will enable you to figure out which positive traits he would likely embrace.

          Digging into the backstory will give you a long list of possible attributes for your character. You’ll want to narrow it down to a manageable size that will enable you to focus on the really defining traits and write them clearly into your story. That’s where that Target Tool comes in handy. To answer your question, yes, moral traits are ones that tie into what we believe to be right and wrong. Sometimes a character adopts a character trait simply because he believes it’s the right way to be: just, honest, generous, kind, etc. (possibly because a role model exemplified that trait, or because that trait enabled him to overcome something difficult, etc.). So when I’m building a character’s personality, the core moral trait is the one I usually unearth first, because it will determine what other traits will (or won’t) follow, since the others have to align with that one. Interactive traits are relational ones; they determine how we interact with other people. Ask yourself: what is my character like when he’s with others? (extroverted, enthusiastic, nurturing, etc.). Achievement traits are ones that help us succeed at life (and help the character succeed at his goals): organized, responsible, cooperative, thrifty. And identity traits are ones that often make your character unique; they make him who he is and help him stand out from the crowd: spontaneous, talented, wholesome, curious, etc.

          I like to shoot for 2 traits from each category. This is just a ballpark, or course, not a set-in-stone rule. Out of that final short list of categories, there will probably be 2 or 3 that really define who your character is and also help him in the story. Those are the ones I focus on when writing. Those become his defining traits.

          Does this clarify things for you? This response field is getting narrower and narrower ;). If you need more info, please feel free to email your questions to me at becca.puglisi@yahoo.com.

  4. Jan says:

    This information is so valuable for new writers. Thank you for your help.

  5. Thank you for sharing such a wealth of information. This is great.

  6. Kthleen Cooke says:

    I’m a young teenage writer, and everything on the website has helped me so much.

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  10. John Garbi says:

    Hi, thanks for the great tools!

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  13. JC says:

    Having so much fun with the Settings Exercises tool. Done 12 and can’t stop – addictive! Thanks for these tools, and so much more.

  14. Krisna Starr says:

    Awesome tools, Angela! Thank you so much for sharing this with the rest of us 🙂

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  17. Your weak verb converter is the most complete list of non-specific verbs I’ve ever seen (or concocted myself). I’m going to send the members of my Reno Writing Clinic to this site to 1) download the list, and 2) to discover this incredible blog. As I compared your list to mine, there were three I had that you didn’t. Novice writers that come into my group constantly use three “telling” verbs, and I’m constantly harping for more specific verbs that will create an image in the readers’ heads. They are Gesture, Motion, and Head. My neophyte writers constantly “gesture” and “motion” to other characters before “heading” toward the bathroom.

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  26. Kate says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this amazing IP … so useful and a real blessing!!

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