Category Archives: Resident Writing Coach

Is It Necessary to Write EVERY day?

Some time ago I was asked by Writers Digest to participate in a feature with nine other writing teachers. We’d each take a position on a well-known writing “rule.” Then another expert would be matched up taking the opposite side.  It was … Continue reading

Posted in Goal Setting, Resident Writing Coach, Time Management, Writing Time | 4 Comments

Writing for Carrots

Are you writing for carrots? It’s a weird question that I’ve had bubbling around my brain lately, so I probably need to explain.  You’ve seen the old cartoons where the horse was constantly chasing the carrot, right? It’s always there, … Continue reading

Posted in Balance, Goal and Milestones, Goal Setting, Motivational, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized, Writer's Attitude | 15 Comments

Improve Your Novel Writing: 11 Tips For Newbies

Writing a novel is flipping difficult. It often takes years to complete your first novel (and even more years after that to write a good one). You heard that right — writers’ first books are usually a hot mess. That … Continue reading

Posted in Critique Groups, Critiquing & Critiques, Grammar, Pacing, Plotting, Reader Feedback, Reading, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Story Structure, Uncategorized, Voice, Writing Craft | 15 Comments

Surprising Your Readers in Every Scene

Often we think of surprising audiences with large twists and turns, with thrilling midpoints or shocking losses, but bringing surprise into smaller story pieces, like interactions and beats, can sometimes be equally satisfying in their own way. They also hook … Continue reading

Posted in Action Scenes, Characters, Dialogue, Emotion, Motivation, Pacing, Reader Interest, Reading, Resident Writing Coach, Show Don't Tell, Subtext, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 11 Comments

Diversity in Fiction: Writing the Character You’re Afraid to Write

In the last two years, diversity in fiction has become more and more prevalent. We’ve seen blockbuster film and TV hits from award winning books like The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas or Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. The … Continue reading

Posted in Diversity, Emotion, Reader Feedback, Resident Writing Coach, Stereotypes, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 10 Comments

Writerly Procrastination: Why It Happens & How To Break Free of It

I don’t mean to brag, but procrastination is my superpower, one that I’ve honed through years of dedicated training. In the course of writing this post, I’ve come up with an idea for another post (and made notes on it), … Continue reading

Posted in Focus, Goal and Milestones, Goal Setting, Motivational, Resident Writing Coach, Time Management, Uncategorized, Writer's Attitude, Writer's Block, Writing Time | 16 Comments

Meet Our Newest Resident Writing Coaches!

It’s hard to believe, but we’re about to kick start Year 4 of our popular Resident Writing Coach program! For those of you new to the blog, the RWC program is where we invite some of the best minds in … Continue reading

Posted in Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized | 12 Comments

Goal-Oriented Storytelling: Satisfaction

Welcome to the final post in this four-part series on ANTS. As I mentioned in my first post, ANTS is a goal-oriented framework for storytelling. It’s what you’re trying to achieve by making great characters, settings, and plots for your … Continue reading

Posted in Action Scenes, Character Arc, Characters, Conflict, Endings, Motivation, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Tension, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 6 Comments

Avoiding Change: What’s Stopping Our Characters?

Stories are about change. Our characters’ world is changing around them, or they’re changing internally—or both. Yet at the same time, we know change is hard. In our own lives, we struggle to change our habits or take steps to … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Wound, Characters, Conflict, Emotion, Middles, Motivation, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Tension, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 10 Comments

How Realistic Should Your Action Scenes Be?

At a conference some time ago I was on a panel with some fellow thriller writers. During the Q & A we got this question from the floor: “How can I learn to write a good action scene?” I answered … Continue reading

Posted in Action Scenes, Resident Writing Coach | 4 Comments