Category Archives: Writing Craft

5 Writing “Life Lessons” from an Empty Nester Author

Recently I entered a new life stage: the Empty Nester parent. My oldest son, following his younger brother’s lead, moved out a few weeks ago while my husband and I were in South America. Now, we’re back…and the house is … Continue reading

Posted in About Us, Focus, Goal Setting, Motivational, Publishing and Self Publishing, The Business of Writing, Tools and Resources, Writer's Attitude, Writing Groups, Writing Lessons, Writing Resources | 16 Comments

Story Goals: Are They Slowing Your Story’s Pace?

If we’ve spent any time learning about story craft, we know the importance of goals in our story. They affect every aspect of our story: Stories are about a problem to solve—a goal. Characters striving for something are more compelling. … Continue reading

Posted in Character Arc, Characters, Fear, High Stakes, Motivation, Pacing, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 10 Comments

Tips for a Successful Writing Collaboration

It’s hard to believe that Angela and I have been writing together for over a decade. It started in 2008 with this blog, where we pooled ideas and shared writing responsibilities. Then we stepped up our game and decided to … Continue reading

Posted in Collaboration, Experiments, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 5 Comments

Contrasting and Condensing Characters: Two Sides to One Coin

Good characterization is an enigma: it happens in the minutia, with the details we choose for our cast members, but it also happens on the macro level, with how we put those details together. I’d like to share two techniques … Continue reading

Posted in Character Traits, Characters, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 10 Comments

Saggy Middle? Use Conflict to Nip and Tuck It

When I get a new story idea, I fly into the start of it with as much gusto as a kid in a candy store. I’m filled with the buzz of ‘newness’ and the anticipation of where the story might … Continue reading

Posted in Conflict, Editing Tips, Middles, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Villains, Writing Craft | 7 Comments

Story Structure in a Flash

Story structure can sometimes be difficult to wrap our minds around; there are so many different structures, all with different terminology and slightly different meanings. But today I’m going to hopefully simplify things by covering how I view story structure—in … Continue reading

Posted in Conflict, Endings, Openings, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Story Structure, Villains, Writing Craft | 6 Comments

Picking the Right Setting Details

Settings are very important to me. Most of my love affairs with books and movies tie directly into where the characters lived, laughed, and suffered: Green Gables, Toad Hall, the Nostromo, Braveheart‘s Scotland. So when it comes to choosing or creating … Continue reading

Posted in Emotion, Mood and Atmosphere, Setting, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 4 Comments

8 Ways to Inject Humor into Your Writing

Everybody wants to be funny. Humor puts people at ease and makes them more receptive—exactly the place you want your reader to be. But how do we write it without it sounding forced or, as my kids would say, cringey? … Continue reading

Posted in Humor, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 15 Comments

The One Thing Writers Miss When Trying to Improve

Hi guys! Colleen M. Story is posting with us again, and she always has good food for thought when it comes to flexing our creative muscles and growing as writers. Read on! Writers do something rather unusual on a frequent … Continue reading

Posted in Balance, Focus, Guest Post, Uncategorized, Writer's Attitude, Writing Craft, Writing Groups, Writing Lessons, Writing Resources, Writing Time | 7 Comments

Plot, Inner Change, Evocative Writing—What Really Rivets Readers?

Here’s a counterintuitive fact: Writers spend way too much time obsessing about “the writing.” They sweat over the words, the technique, the language, the flow, the use of metaphor, and hey, are there enough sensory details?  Fact: In and of … Continue reading

Posted in Character Arc, Characters, Empathy, Resident Writing Coach, Writing Craft | 19 Comments