Category Archives: Experiments

11 Techniques for Transforming Clichéd Phrasings

One of the things that pumps me up the most when I’m reading a book is when the author phrases things in a way I’ve never seen before. It could be a familiar concept or image—red hair, an urban street, … Continue reading

Posted in Character Traits, Characters, Cliches, Description, Emotion, Experiments, Writing Craft | 6 Comments

Story Tropes: To Avoid or Not to Avoid?

Every genre and medium of storytelling uses tropes, common themes or story devices. For example, a popular trope in the romance genre is “enemies to lovers,” where the characters start as enemies before falling in love. Most articles we come across in … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Cliches, Emotion, Empathy, Experiments, Motivation, Plotting, Reader Interest, Resident Writing Coach, Show Don't Tell, Stereotypes, Story Ideas, Story Structure, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 9 Comments

No Story Conflict? Explore Your Options

As a reader of Angela and Becca’s blog, chances are you’ve seen some of their many posts about the role of conflict in our story. In fact, as a Resident Writing Coach here, I’ve previously talked about how to make … Continue reading

Posted in Balance, Characters, Conflict, Endings, Experiments, Pacing, Plotting, Reading, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 12 Comments

What “Read More to Improve Your Writing” Really Means

Everyone says you should read a lot if you want to improve your writing. A blanket statement if ever I heard one.  Anyone can read. There are readers out there consuming 100, 200, and even more books a year. You … Continue reading

Posted in Experiments, Reading, Resident Writing Coach, Writing Craft | 20 Comments

When ‘Situational’ Writing Works Better Than Plotting

Hi everyone! Help me welcome Brandon Cornett to the blog today, who is discussing a great plotting technique Stephen King uses for people who struggle with plotting. Please read on! Do you have a hard time plotting an entire novel … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Conflict, Experiments, Focus, Guest Post, Motivational, Pacing, Plotting, Writer's Block, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 26 Comments

Introducing the Character Trait Boxed Set

Full disclosure: Becca and I have been a bit sneaky this year. First, we decided that rather than tell everyone which thesaurus we would publish next we would surprise everyone, and in February we launched an EXPANDED version of the … Continue reading

Posted in About Us, Backstory, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Characters, Description, Experiments, Positive & Negative Thesaurus Guides, Show Don't Tell, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 18 Comments

Using Backward Design to Plan Your Story

Weaving a powerful tale is not easy. Whether you pants or plot, ending up with a cohesive tale means understanding the key moments in a story. Today’s post by Angelica Hartgers offers up a great technique to use if plotting … Continue reading

Posted in Backstory, Character Arc, Characters, Endings, Experiments, Guest Post, One Stop For Writers, Plotting, Setting, Story Structure, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Resources | 19 Comments