Category Archives: Writing Lessons

Contrasting and Condensing Characters: Two Sides to One Coin

Good characterization is an enigma: it happens in the minutia, with the details we choose for our cast members, but it also happens on the macro level, with how we put those details together. I’d like to share two techniques … Continue reading

Posted in Character Traits, Characters, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 10 Comments

Saggy Middle? Use Conflict to Nip and Tuck It

When I get a new story idea, I fly into the start of it with as much gusto as a kid in a candy store. I’m filled with the buzz of ‘newness’ and the anticipation of where the story might … Continue reading

Posted in Conflict, Editing Tips, Middles, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Villains, Writing Craft | 7 Comments

Story Structure in a Flash

Story structure can sometimes be difficult to wrap our minds around; there are so many different structures, all with different terminology and slightly different meanings. But today I’m going to hopefully simplify things by covering how I view story structure—in … Continue reading

Posted in Conflict, Endings, Openings, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Story Structure, Villains, Writing Craft | 7 Comments

Picking the Right Setting Details

Settings are very important to me. Most of my love affairs with books and movies tie directly into where the characters lived, laughed, and suffered: Green Gables, Toad Hall, the Nostromo, Braveheart‘s Scotland. So when it comes to choosing or creating … Continue reading

Posted in Emotion, Mood and Atmosphere, Setting, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 4 Comments

8 Ways to Inject Humor into Your Writing

Everybody wants to be funny. Humor puts people at ease and makes them more receptive—exactly the place you want your reader to be. But how do we write it without it sounding forced or, as my kids would say, cringey? … Continue reading

Posted in Humor, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 15 Comments

The One Thing Writers Miss When Trying to Improve

Hi guys! Colleen M. Story is posting with us again, and she always has good food for thought when it comes to flexing our creative muscles and growing as writers. Read on! Writers do something rather unusual on a frequent … Continue reading

Posted in Balance, Focus, Guest Post, Uncategorized, Writer's Attitude, Writing Craft, Writing Groups, Writing Lessons, Writing Resources, Writing Time | 7 Comments

Plot, Inner Change, Evocative Writing—What Really Rivets Readers?

Here’s a counterintuitive fact: Writers spend way too much time obsessing about “the writing.” They sweat over the words, the technique, the language, the flow, the use of metaphor, and hey, are there enough sensory details?  Fact: In and of … Continue reading

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

5 Character Tools You Absolutely Need to Know

Angela here, happy to welcome Savannah Cordova from Reedsy back to the blog, who has done some sleuthing to find some interesting tools that might help you with your characters, everything from those that help you play around with ideas … Continue reading

Posted in Backstory, Character Arc, Character Traits, Characters, Experiments, Guest Post, Stereotypes, Tools and Resources, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Resources | 9 Comments

Struggling with Writing Flashbacks? Try Using the P.A.S.T. Method 

Hi everyone! Today we have a past Resident Writing Coach visiting us: Sara Letourneau, editor and owner of Heart of the Story Editorial & Coaching Services. She’s sharing some terrific insight on flashbacks, so please read on! Flashbacks can be … Continue reading

Posted in Backstory, Characters, Flashbacks, Guest Post, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 11 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