Writing a Theme that Resonates Three Ways

Writing a Theme that Resonates Three Ways

Writing a Theme that Resonates Three Ways When we write stories, we must connect with our readers. If we don’t, readers are unlikely to stick around—not everybody can be Nostradamus, whose cryptic quatrains often feel either prophetic or nonsensical. To connect our stories, line them with themes that awaken a deep response. Writing Tip for […]

Writing to Match Word Count

Writing to Match Word Count

Writing to Match Word Count A book-length work allows you to write as much or as little as you wish, but most periodicals limit word count. Adhering to a magazine or newspaper’s guidelines gives writers better chances at acceptance. How can you rewrite portions of your work to match a publication’s word count? Writing Tip […]

How to Write Killer Blurbs

How to Write Killer Blurbs

How to Write Killer Blurbs Blurbs are the brief summaries, usually on the back cover, that help readers want to buy your book. After seeing your title and book cover, most potential readers will flip the book over and read the back cover blub. Writing a killer blurb helps readers decide to buy and read […]

Writing Beats for Better Stories

Writing Beats for Better Stories

Writing Beats for Better Stories I used to be a pantster, that is I started with a character and a vague goal. These days, I’m becoming more inclined to map out main plot points or as they’re known now, beats. Plotting these major turning points helps me deepen my character and improves the story. Writing […]

Writing Extraordinary Characters

Writing Extraordinary Characters

Writing Extraordinary Characters Why write extraordinary characters? Readers crave characters that jump out at them in unique ways. Readers want larger-than-life characters that are unforgettable. Writing Tip for Today: How can you take your character from OK to Oh my!? Here are a few tips: Beyond Quirky Some writers think a quirky character—a person with […]

Writing Story Openings

Writing Story Openings

Writing Your Story’s Opening A great opening is one of writing’s biggest challenges. Some call it the “hook,” the “lead” or other terms, but one thing is certain: without a great opening line, it’s much harder to keep readers reading. Writing Tip for Today: Here are a few simple tips to boost your writing’s openings: […]

Writing on a Schedule

Writing on a Schedule

Writing on a schedule can cure a variety of writerly problems. Most writers must navigate the choppy waters of family life or a day job and still find time to keep making writing progress. That’s where a writing schedule comes in handy. Writing Tip for Today: Believe it or not, injecting a little discipline into […]

Writing in Present or Past Tense?

Writing in Present or Past Tense?

Writing: Should I use Present or Past Tense? When you’re writing a story, choosing either past or present tense influences your reader’s experience. Just as your story’s Point of View character has a unique perspective, using past or present tense lends a distinct flavor to your work. Writing Tip for Today: How does past or […]

Writing POV: Mastering Viewpoint

Writing POV: Mastering Viewpoint

This week’s post is a preview for the workshop I’ll be teaching next week on writing Characters and POV. I find that writers either understand Point of View (POV) innately, or they struggle. With a few pointers, I hope every writer will master POV, also called Viewpoint. Writing Tip for Today: Here’s a refresher on […]

Scene Writing Tension: Boundaries

Scene Writing Tension: Boundaries

In scene writing, the tension is often centered between two characters and their boundaries. One wants something, and readers don’t know whether she’ll obtain it. By degrees, the other character either withholds or invades the first character’s boundaries, which leads to increasing tension. Writing Tip for Today: How can you write scenes with mounting tension […]