Category Archives: Motivation

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 | 20 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 | 5 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 | 28 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

5 Things Psychology Can Teach Writers

From our books, most of you know Becca and I love psychology. This is largely because the most captivating fiction pieces are those that closely mirror the real world, especially when it comes to characters. Knowing who a character is … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Emotion, Empathy, Fear, Guest Post, Motivation, Show Don't Tell, Subtext, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 18 Comments

Tips for Weaving Romance into Your Novel

Romance is a part of life, and so it should also play some part in our novels—if we intend for our characters to mirror real life. Even if you don’t write in the romance genre, don’t be too quick to … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Needs, Characters, Emotion, Motivation, Pacing, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Romance, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 7 Comments

Happy Holidays: Our Most Popular 2016 Posts For Writers

It’s that time of year where Becca and I sneak off to the liquor cabinet for some adult beverages to drink some rich hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire so we can enjoy some family togetherness and reflect … Continue reading

Posted in About Us, Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Conflict, Description, Dialogue, Emotion, Emotion Thesaurus Guide, Empathy, Experiments, Fear, Mood and Atmosphere, Motivation, One Stop For Writers, Pacing, Positive & Negative Thesaurus Guides, Setting, Setting Thesaurus Guides, Show Don't Tell, Story Structure, Subtext, Symbolism, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 6 Comments

How Character Attributes and Flaws Work Within Character Arc

Like real people, characters have mixed personalities that contain both positive traits (attributes) and negative traits (flaws). Flaws are especially interesting as they develop  when a person has experienced a painful life lesson: the world, and the people in it, … Continue reading

Posted in Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Experiments, Motivation, Positive & Negative Thesaurus Guides, Setting Thesaurus Guides, Story Structure, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 5 Comments