Category Archives: Writing Craft

Scrivener and One Stop for Writers: Perfect Tools For Crafting Powerful Scenes

Many of you know that Angela and I are super excited about One Stop for Writers and how it simplifies the writing process for authors. So when we get notes from writers going on about One Stop’s tools…well. Icing on … Continue reading

Posted in Motivation, One Stop For Writers, Story Structure, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 11 Comments

Capturing an Unhappy Relationship: A Writer’s Roadmap

Relationships are a complicated beast, and if you write romance like me, then you’re wed (pun intended) to the HEA ending (happily ever after). But the reality is, we have a divorce rate of almost 1 in 2 marriages; so … Continue reading

Posted in Character Flaws, Characters, Conflict, Romance, Tension, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 15 Comments

Make 2020 Your Year: Finding Experts Who Can Help

Do you feel it, deep in your chest? That tingling spark that expands, radiating outward. You’re lighter. Breaths come easier. A smile tugs at your lips. All because your mind is casting forward to the year ahead, the weeks and … Continue reading

Posted in Goal and Milestones, Goal Setting, Motivational, Platform, Publishing and Self Publishing, The Business of Writing, Uncategorized, Writer's Attitude, Writing Craft, Writing Resources | 16 Comments

3 Steps To Writing Diverse Characters

It’s official … Audiences have voted with their wallets and proved they WANT more diverse characters as standard. Novels lead the way, with breakout successes like Gone Girl and The Hate You Give making huge cultural impacts. Now the screenwriting … Continue reading

Posted in Backstory, Buying Books, Character Arc, Characters, Cliches, Diversity, Emotion, Reader Feedback, Reader Interest, Reading, Resident Writing Coach, Stereotypes, Story Structure, Tools and Resources, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 8 Comments

Mastering Show, Don’t Tell

We hear it over and over: Show, don’t tell. You can’t get away from this advice, not in writing workshops, at conferences, or heck, even when visiting this blog. Writers Helping Writers and the thesaurus work we do is all … Continue reading

Posted in Balance, Characters, Mood and Atmosphere, One Stop For Writers, Revision and Editing, Setting, Show Don't Tell, Tools and Resources, Uncategorized, worldbuilding, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 12 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

Saving your Story from Predictability

I had the rare and luscious experience this weekend of cracking open a book and it being so awesome that I flew right through it. The Deceivers is about a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who’s tapped to attend … Continue reading

Posted in Cliches, Conflict, Motivation, NaNoWriMo Strategy & Support, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 5 Comments

Where Do Character Strengths Come From?

Quick, name a favorite literary or movie character. Now, what is it about him/her that’s so appealing? In all likelihood, the reason you love that character is because he or she embodies a trait that you value: Atticus Finch’s bravery, George Bailey’s … Continue reading

Posted in Character Traits, Characters, Writing Craft | 6 Comments

Identifying your Character’s Fatal Flaw

Good characters are often broken characters. They’ve been wounded, and the last thing they want is to be hurt in that particular way again, so they adopt new behaviors—emotional shielding—that are meant to protect them. They believe this shielding will keep … Continue reading

Posted in Backstory, Character Arc, Character Wound, Characters, Fatal Flaw, Writing Craft | 6 Comments