Category Archives: Cliches

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

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 | 25 Comments

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 | 10 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 | 5 Comments

Goal-Oriented Storytelling: Novelty

In the first post of my four-part series, I introduced ANTS, my framework for helping storytellers make strategic choices that increase reader engagement. ANTS stands for the effects a storyteller should seek to cultivate in their story: attachment, novelty, tension, and satisfaction. … Continue reading

Posted in Cliches, Reader Interest, Resident Writing Coach, Show Don't Tell, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 8 Comments

Spy Novels: How to Nail The Character of an Espionage Hero

Great treat for you today–Piper Bayard (of Bayard & Holmes) is digging into what an espionage character should look like. And she should know, because her co-author, Jay Holmes…well, read on to find out! James Bond, Jason Bourne, Sydney Bristow, … Continue reading

Posted in Character Traits, Characters, Cliches, Guest Post, Motivation, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 13 Comments