Category Archives: Reader Interest

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

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

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

Want Memorable Characters? Focus on the Little Things

I love building characters. In fact, “building” is apt, because for me, they come a piece at a time. A brick or two might lock into place as I wrestle with that hateful night demon, Insomnia. Another may manifest with … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Hobbies, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Description, Emotion, Motivation, One Stop For Writers, Reader Interest, Show Don't Tell, Software and Services, Subtext, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons, Writing Resources | 21 Comments

Theme Made Simple

Let’s talk about theme, shall we? No, don’t run away. I know it can be hard to understand and even harder to do well, but theme plays such a huge part in writing a story that resonates with readers. Luckily, Daeus … Continue reading

Posted in Reader Interest, Theme, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 11 Comments

Writing By Design Part 2: Pattern and Repetition

In my previous installment, I introduced you to writing by design and how you can use techniques from the visual arts to inform your writing. In particular, we looked at the concept of space and how the finite nature of … Continue reading

Posted in Experiments, Reader Interest, Reading, Resident Writing Coach, Subtext, Uncategorized, Writing Lessons | 8 Comments