Category Archives: Writing Lessons

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 | 4 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 | 7 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 | 3 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

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

What Can the Best Metaphors in Literature Teach Us About Writing?

A big hello and welcome to Savannah Cardova from Reedsy today. She’s got some terrific advice (and resources) on Metaphors, so read on! Life is a highway. Love is a battlefield. All the world’s a stage. Hope is the thing … Continue reading

Posted in Description, Guest Post, Mood and Atmosphere, Reading, Setting, Show Don't Tell, Uncategorized | 9 Comments

How To Scare Your Readers Using Deep Point Of View

I love to get geeky about deep point of view and I’m so excited to be a guest writing coach here. *mittened fist bump* What is Deep Point Of View? It’s a writing technique, a strategy, that removes the perceived distance between … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Emotion, Fear, Point of View, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 8 Comments

Diversity in Fiction: Writing the Character You’re Afraid to Write

In the last two years, diversity in fiction has become more and more prevalent. We’ve seen blockbuster film and TV hits from award winning books like The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas or Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. The … Continue reading

Posted in Diversity, Emotion, Reader Feedback, Resident Writing Coach, Stereotypes, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 10 Comments

How Do You Know If Your Protagonist Is Strong Enough?

You can have an incredibly detailed world, adrenaline-spiking action and jaw-dropping plot twists, but unless the character in the driver’s seat is interesting, layered, and memorable, the story will pancake. So building a protagonist (and a story cast) that wows … Continue reading

Posted in About Us, Backstory, Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Characters, One Stop For Writers, Software and Services, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 5 Comments