Category Archives: Reading

Taking a Character from Good to GREAT

FACT: Characters are the heart of a story. The stronger one is, the more powerful your novel will be. In today’s competitive fiction market, there’s no room for okay-ish characters. This is why most writing courses, books, workshops, retreats, etc. … Continue reading

Posted in About Us, Backstory, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Description, Emotion, Fear, Motivation, One Stop For Writers, Reader Interest, Revision and Editing, Show Don't Tell, Stereotypes, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Resources | 1 Comment

4 Keys to a Powerful Denouement

Often as writers, we put a lot of our focus on the starting, climax, and middle of a story, and the denouement or falling action may be somewhat of an afterthought. If you grew up like me, you were kind … Continue reading

Posted in Backstory, Character Arc, Characters, Endings, Motivation, Plotting, Reader Interest, Reading, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 13 Comments

Goal-Oriented Storytelling: Novelty

In the first post of my four-part series, I introduced ANTS, my framework for helping storytellers make strategic choices that increase reader engagement. ANTS stands for the effects a storyteller should seek to cultivate in their story: attachment, novelty, tension, and satisfaction. … Continue reading

Posted in Cliches, Reader Interest, Resident Writing Coach, Show Don't Tell, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 8 Comments

HELP! What Do I Do With My 1st Edition of The Emotion Thesaurus?

As the expanded 2nd edition of The Emotion Thesaurus hits the shelves, we realize we’ve created a conundrum for writers upgrading their copy: what should they do with their first edition? We love the original Emotion Thesaurus and know you … Continue reading

Posted in About Us, Book Review, Buying Books, Contests, Critique Groups, Emotion Thesaurus Guide, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing Groups | 13 Comments

Look Forward, Not Backward, to Pull the Reader In

A lot of writers have the tendency to look “backward” when writing. They might use a lot of flashbacks, they might have a character think “back” on things, or they may simply refer to events that happened in the past. … Continue reading

Posted in Empathy, Experiments, Flashbacks, Pacing, Reader Interest, Reading, Resident Writing Coach, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 21 Comments

Top Gifts For Writers: 2018 Edition

It’s that time again! Shopping for people can be crazy-making, except when it comes to writers. Then it’s  a super fun time, because there are just so many neat, fun, thoughtful gifts we can pass on to our writing friends…or … Continue reading

Posted in About Us, Buying Books, One Stop For Writers, Software and Services, Stocking Stuffers, Tools and Resources, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Resources | 1 Comment

Can Writers Get an MFA Experience Without the Expense of College?

In many ways, writers are lucky. Our community has many knowledgeable people to help us learn and grow so we can turn our writing into a sustainable career. One of the most generous and innovative people Becca and I know … Continue reading

Posted in Critiquing & Critiques, Experiments, Focus, Guest Post, Motivational, Publishing and Self Publishing, Reading, The Business of Writing, Time Management, Uncategorized, Writer's Attitude, Writing Craft, Writing Groups, Writing Resources, Writing Time | 8 Comments

Build Character Empathy in Your First Few Pages

You may not be aware, but I’m kind of obsessed with first pages and chapters. They’re not the end-all-be-all for keeping your audience engaged, but it’s definitely true that if you lose readers in the opening, you risk losing them … Continue reading

Posted in Character Traits, Character Wound, Empathy, Openings, Reader Interest | 12 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 | 15 Comments

Essential Marketing Tactics For Children’s Authors

When we aren’t working on thesaurus books, Becca and I write for children and young adults. This means we know that one of the biggest challenges for Kid-lit & YA authors in is marketing. In most cases, the book buyers … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Post, Marketing, MG & Kidlit, Promotion, Publishing and Self Publishing, Reader Interest, School Visits | 13 Comments