Author Archives: Writing Coach

About Writing Coach

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There Will Be Blood

This is something I say to almost every writer: Make no mistake, there WILL be blood! No, I’m not referring to the movie. Or even to literal blood. But to the fact that if what happens in your plot doesn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Character Wound, Characters, Emotion, Empathy, Resident Writing Coach, Tension, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 10 Comments

How Do You Lead Readers to Your Theme?

A good book, once finished, often leaves you with that feeling of something more. I like to think of it as the book’s essence. It kind of hangs around like a ghost, occasionally prodding you with reminders of the realization … Continue reading

Posted in Resident Writing Coach, Theme, Uncategorized | 13 Comments

How To “Level Up” Your Character’s Wound

Every writer who has spent time studying the craft writing knows of the character wound, and that they are the foundation of a strong, memorable character. Why? Because they make characters complex, authentic (I challenge you to find me a … Continue reading

Posted in Character Arc, Character Wound, Characters, Emotional Wound Thesaurus, Motivation, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 9 Comments

The Satisfaction of Excellence: The Growth Mindset for Writers

If someone had asked me in my early days as a book coach what quality was most critical to a writer’s success, I would have said perseverance. It was the thing that most obviously separated the writers who made it … Continue reading

Posted in Motivational, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Writer's Attitude | 9 Comments

Watch Out! Avoiding Sneaky Plot Holes

When judging a story’s quality, one of the first questions we might measure against is “Are there any plot holes?” Plot holes can cause a loud *record scratch* “Wait, what?” reaction in readers, pulling them out of a story, sometimes … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

The Writer’s Spice Cabinet

Some writers object to thinking about plot and structure because it may lead to formulaic writing. They miss a critical distinction. Why does something become a formula in the first place? Because it works! Here’s a formula for an omelet: … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Dialogue, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Setting, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 7 Comments

Conducting Informational Interviews for Story Research

Recently I hit a roadblock with my current manuscript. It wasn’t a typical “writer’s block,” though. Rather, I made an inspired decision first: My protagonist’s father would be the owner / manager of a home remodeling company. (I blame my … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 18 Comments

How to Convey an Established Relationship Quickly

I was recently reading two story openings that were frankly amazing at conveying an established relationship in a matter of pages or even paragraphs. While many stories revolve around the protagonist meeting new people, such as in a typical hero’s … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Resident Writing Coach, Romance, Subtext, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 9 Comments

Writing By Design: Using Color Theory

Writing by design means using techniques from the visual arts to inspire and inform your writing. So far in this series you’ve learned how to use the constraints of space to give your story a shape. You’ve also discovered how to … Continue reading

Posted in Experiments, Reader Interest, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized, Writing Lessons, Writing Resources | 14 Comments

How To Keep Writing When That Critical Inner Voice Won’t Shut Up

You know the feeling. You went to bed last night floating on air and wondering whether it really is too early to begin writing that acceptance speech for when you win the Pulitzer. But this morning when you reread your … Continue reading

Posted in Motivational, Writer's Attitude | 9 Comments