Category Archives: Motivation

The Destructive Power of The Lie Your Character Believes

We are often our own biggest critics, aren’t we? Whenever something goes wrong, we feel disappointed, frustrated, upset, or hurt. The fallout might cause others around us to suffer too, causing further anguish and guilt. When this happens, unless the … Continue reading

Posted in Character Arc, Character Wound, Characters, Emotion, Emotional Wound Thesaurus, Empathy, Fear, Motivation, One Stop For Writers, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 19 Comments

Deepening Character Complexity with the Help of Psychology

Psychologists will often conduct a case formulation when a client presents in our office. If we want to be part of the change the client is seeking, then we have to have a good understanding of the client and all … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Emotion, Motivation, Resident Writing Coach, Subtext, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 11 Comments

Want Memorable Characters? Focus on the Little Things

I love building characters. In fact, “building” is apt, because for me, they come a piece at a time. A brick or two might lock into place as I wrestle with that hateful night demon, Insomnia. Another may manifest with … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Hobbies, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Description, Emotion, Motivation, One Stop For Writers, Reader Interest, Show Don't Tell, Software and Services, Subtext, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons, Writing Resources | 19 Comments

Characters As Mirrors

I’ve been thinking lately about something that Angela and I touch on in all of our books: The Mirror of Real Life. It’s this idea that something in our stories is like a mirror for readers that reflects back to … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Needs, Character Wound, Characters, Motivation | 9 Comments

Overcoming an Emotional Wound (Character Arc Help)

Of all the pieces of backstory we should understand as authors, none are more important than our protagonist’s Emotional Wound. A powerful statement, but here’s why. Think about your own life for a moment. The experiences you had in your … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Emotion, Emotional Wound Thesaurus, Endings, Fear, Motivation, Show Don't Tell, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 13 Comments

What Does Your Protagonist Want BEFORE the Story Starts?

Imagine getting up in the morning and not wanting anything (not even coffee). No, seriously, try. Imagine having no agenda. Sure, that may sound great for a bit – especially given that crazy-busy seems to be the new normal. But … Continue reading

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

What’s the Dark Night Moment All About?

You’re coming to the end of the tunnel, and you see a bright light illuminating the finish line. You are almost through writing your novel! If you’ve done your homework, you’ve carefully worked out the big build to the exciting … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Fear, High Stakes, Motivation, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Tension, Writing Craft | 4 Comments

What Does It Mean To “Raise the Stakes”?

Yay! I’m happy to be back at WHW as a Resident Writing Coach. *waves* Last time I visited, we discussed how understanding the interconnectedness of our story elements can help us with revisions, and today we’re going to dig deeper … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, High Stakes, Motivation, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Tension, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 24 Comments

Does Your Character Description Create A Powerful Image?

Your job as a storyteller is to create IMAGES. This is true not just for screenwriters, but for anyone presenting a story to a reader or an audience. Whenever we read a novel or hear a speech or see a … Continue reading

Posted in Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Characters, Description, Dialogue, Emotion, Motivation, Resident Writing Coach, Show Don't Tell, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 2 Comments

Describing Your Character: How To Make Each Detail Count

Describing a character’s physical appearance is a tough job. Most writers either really get into it and share every dimple, curl, and laugh line, or they sprinkle in just a few details so readers can make up the rest. No … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Cliches, Description, Emotion, Empathy, Motivation, One Stop For Writers, Pacing, Show Don't Tell, Subtext, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 15 Comments