Category Archives: Show Don’t Tell

Crafting a “Body Language Voice”

You’ve probably heard about “voice”–that elusive quality that so many editors, agents, and readers are drawn to. Years ago, I did a couple of posts about character voice, arguing that it’s made up of what the character says and how … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Emotion, Resident Writing Coach, Show Don't Tell, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 7 Comments

Writing By Design Part 4: Contrast, or Light versus Dark

In earlier installments of this “Writing by Design” series, we’ve discussed how to use the constraints of space to lend a shape to your story, and we also looked at the importance of patterns in your writing, and when and … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Experiments, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Show Don't Tell, Subtext, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 5 Comments

Wax On, Wax Off: 5 Areas To Polish Before Submitting A Manuscript

Most writers are familiar with the saying, “You only get one chance to impress,” and there is no industry where this holds truer than in publishing. From the agent who reads those first requested pages, to the editor searching for … Continue reading

Posted in Editing Tips, Pacing, Revision and Editing, Setting, Show Don't Tell, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons, Writing Resources | 19 Comments

Dive Deep with Emotion

Hi all! One of my favorite people is here today: Christina Delay of Cruising Writers. She’s got a great post on how to write deep emotion, so please read on! Don’t you just love feedback from beta-readers or your critique … Continue reading

Posted in Character Wound, Characters, Cliches, Description, Emotion, Empathy, Guest Post, Revision and Editing, Show Don't Tell, Subtext, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 9 Comments

Quieter Protagonists: 3 Ways to Help Them Steal the Stage

While readers love to see larger-than-life characters with passion, take-charge attitudes, and heaps of boldness and daring, not every protagonist wears an extrovert skin. In fact, looking at real-life demographics for a second, I think there’s a lot more people … Continue reading

Posted in Character Flaws, Character Traits, Characters, Description, Emotion, Emotion Thesaurus Guide, Empathy, Experiments, One Stop For Writers, Point of View, Positive & Negative Thesaurus Guides, Show Don't Tell, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 24 Comments

Garlic Breath For Writers (aka, Bad First Pages)

“If you cannot write a compelling opening scene, from the opening sentence, I’m not going to finish your proposal.” – Agent, speaking at a recent writers conference The opening page of your novel is your big introduction. It’s what an … Continue reading

Posted in Openings, Point of View, Resident Writing Coach, Show Don't Tell, Uncategorized | 16 Comments

Three Ways The Setting Can Steer Your Story’s Plot

The setting is a powerful force. Not only does it evoke mood, create tension and conflict, allow you to share critical backstory in a non-dumpy way, and draw readers deeper into the story through powerful sensory detail…it can also steer … Continue reading

Posted in Description, Mood and Atmosphere, Plotting, Setting, Setting Thesaurus Guides, Show Don't Tell, Tension, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 13 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 | 21 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

How To Write Characters With PTSD

So excited to have Lisa Hall-Wilson here today to share some insight on how to write PTSD realistically… Hey hey! *mittened fist-bump* 😊 Thanks so much for having me! Writers are always looking for ways to add authenticity to their … Continue reading

Posted in Character Wound, Characters, Emotion, Show Don't Tell | 16 Comments