Category Archives: Backstory

How To Research Mental Health and Trauma For Your Characters

Giving a character a trauma or mental health backstory seems like an easy way to add internal conflict to our characters – and it is. But where do you start that research? What should you be looking for? No one … Continue reading

Posted in Backstory, Character Wound, Characters, Flashbacks, research, Resident Writing Coach, Writing Craft | 14 Comments

Sneek-A-Peek at The Occupation Thesaurus: FIREFIGHTER

About this book… Characters are as complex as people and revealing their inner layers without chunky blocks of pace-stopping description is a challenge. The Occupation Thesaurus can help you unlock one of the best tools in your show-don’t-tell writing kit: … 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 | 24 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

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

What Is Emotional Context And Why Does Your Story Need It?

Have you ever had an editor or critique partner say “go deeper”? And you throw up your hands and glare at the screen because you DID go deeper. Deep point of view is a writing technique that aims to create … Continue reading

Posted in Backstory, Characters, Emotion, Point of View, Resident Writing Coach, Writing Craft | 6 Comments

Storytelling Decisions: What’s the Right Pace for Your Story?

As we learn to write, we often hear about the need to create a strong pace in our story. Many seem to think that a strong pace requires a fast pace. However, that’s not what’s meant by strong. So what … Continue reading

Posted in Action Scenes, Backstory, Characters, Conflict, Description, Endings, Middles, Openings, Pacing, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Story Structure, Tension, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 13 Comments

How a Career Can Reveal Your Character’s Deeper Layers

Did you know that before Becca became an author and writing coach, she was a teacher? It’s true. And if you know her, you’re probably thinking, I can see that. It makes sense. Why? Because when you think of a … Continue reading

Posted in Action Scenes, Backstory, Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Hobbies, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Conflict, Description, Diversity, Fatal Flaw, Fear, High Stakes, Motivation, Occupation Thesaurus, One Stop For Writers, Pacing, Plotting, Show Don't Tell, Story Structure, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Resources | 1 Comment

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 | 9 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