Category Archives: Writing Craft

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

Spy Novels: How to Nail The Character of an Espionage Hero

Great treat for you today–Piper Bayard (of Bayard & Holmes) is digging into what an espionage character should look like. And she should know, because her co-author, Jay Holmes…well, read on to find out! James Bond, Jason Bourne, Sydney Bristow, … Continue reading

Posted in Character Traits, Characters, Cliches, Guest Post, Motivation, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 6 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

Wax On, Wax Off: 5 Areas To Polish Before Submitting A Manuscript

Most writers are familiar with the saying, “You only get one chance to impress,” and there is no industry where this holds truer than in publishing. From the agent who reads those first requested pages, to the editor searching for … Continue reading

Posted in Editing Tips, Pacing, Revision and Editing, Setting, Show Don't Tell, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons, Writing Resources | 19 Comments

Diving Deep into POV

You guys! The extraordinary Christina Delay is back, not only with some excellent advice on writing Deep POV but also an opportunity to win a FREE writing cruise… Thanks to Angela and Becca for having me on their fabulous blog … Continue reading

Posted in Point of View, Writing Craft | 13 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

Use Theme to Determine Subplots, Supporting Characters, and Tension

I recently spoke at the Storymakers conference in Utah, and while I was there, I attended a class on theme. Theme is kind of an ethereal topic, difficult to grasp and even harder to apply. But I was blown away … Continue reading

Posted in Plotting, Tension, Theme, Uncategorized | 19 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

Build Your Writing Career By Investing In the Right Help

One question we are asked to weigh in on is whether an MFA in creative writing is worth the investment. After all, an MFA is a huge commitment and can be costly so writers should investigate thoroughly before jumping in. … Continue reading

Posted in Focus, Publishing and Self Publishing, The Business of Writing, Uncategorized, Writer's Attitude, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons, Writing Time | 6 Comments