Category Archives: Writing Craft

The Character-Building Detail Writers Shouldn’t Overlook

The farther I get into this writing and coaching career, the more I find myself talking about details and how important it is to get them right. Whether we’re figuring out which backstory information to include or are writing characterization, … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Occupation Thesaurus, Show Don't Tell, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Resources | 2 Comments

Sneek-A-Peek at The Occupation Thesaurus: FIREFIGHTER

July 20th is just around the corner and so we thought we’d tee up one of the entries inside the newest volume in the Writers Helping Writers Descriptive Thesaurus series. About this book… Characters are as complex as people and … Continue reading

Posted in About Us, Backstory, Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Hobbies, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Cliches, Conflict, Description, Diversity, Motivation, Occupation Thesaurus Guide, Point of View, Publishing and Self Publishing, Show Don't Tell, Stereotypes, Story Structure, Subtext, Theme, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons, Writing Resources | 8 Comments

How To Avoid A Half-Baked Idea

Half-baked ideas are everywhere in the spec pile. But what does ‘half-baked’ mean? After all, whether a script reader, agent’s assistant or intern LIKES the idea behind a story is another matter. Let’s look to the dictionary to agree on … Continue reading

Posted in Character Arc, Focus, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Story Structure, Time Management, Writer's Attitude, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 8 Comments

Character Introductions: Making the Right Impression

Many aspects of writing can be hard to get right, especially in our first draft. For just two examples: With our story beginning, we might struggle to find a good balance between a throat-clearing boring scene (before getting to the … Continue reading

Posted in Backstory, Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Characters, Conflict, Description, Emotion, Motivation, Openings, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, worldbuilding, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 12 Comments

This Happened…and Then This Happened: The Dangers of Anecdotal Writing

Does your story suffer from anecdotal writing? It’s an important question, because that’s what happens when we write this way: our stories suffer. Michelle Barker is here to explain what anecdotal writing is, how to identify it, and ways to … Continue reading

Posted in Endings, Guest Post, Pacing, Plotting, Revision and Editing, Story Structure, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 9 Comments

3 Ways to Differentiate Your Characters

We’ve invited Resident Writing Coach Sacha Black to give us an extra dose of wisdom as she’s just released a new book that I think will help a lot of writers: Anatomy of Prose: 12 Steps to Sensational Sentences. This … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Description, Dialogue, Editing Tips, Emotion, Focus, Pacing, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Show Don't Tell, Subtext, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 27 Comments

Character Building: How Much Planning Should I Do? (PART 1)

Not sure how much brainstorming needs to go into each character? You’re not alone. It’s a struggle for many, and unfortunately, there’s no single “right” answer. It really depends on the character’s importance in the story, their function or role, … Continue reading

Posted in Backstory, Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Hobbies, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Description, Diversity, Fatal Flaw, Motivation, One Stop For Writers, Stereotypes, Tools and Resources, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 1 Comment

Might as Well Jump—into the Third Act

Have you ever been burned by your story? Often, authors get burned in the second act, and when it’s time to start the third act, the writing can feel like a relationship gone bad. By this point, it feels a bit … Continue reading

Posted in Middles, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Story Structure, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons, Writing Resources | 4 Comments

How Plotlines Add Dimension

When writing a novel, you need to use more than one plotline. In fact, most successful books need at least three. If they only have one or two, the story will feel flat, bloated, or repetitive, because the writer doesn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Action Scenes, Character Arc, Characters, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Story Structure, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 17 Comments

Celebrating Writer Moms (with a 50% Book Bundle Discount!)

You have a mom. We have moms. Some of us have moms we’ve adopted or who have adopted us. And we all know others who are great moms, people we admire, look up to, and try to emulate. And then … Continue reading

Posted in Past Events, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 4 Comments