Writing Supporting Characters

Oprah famously said, “Everybody gets a car.” For fiction writing, we can say, “Everybody gets an arc.” Writing Tip for Today: Writing a character arc for every character in a story helps provide a richer more complete reader experience. Here are some tips: Everybody Wants Give even the supporting players in your story a goal. […]

Writing Fiction: Chapter Lengths

How Long Should Chapters Be? Working with a terrific young writer, the topic of chapter length has been on my mind. When you write a novel how long should your chapters be? Writing Tip for Today: Let’s examine fiction chapter lengths and what those lengths mean to readers. Same or Different? Take a look at […]

Writing Minor Characters

Writing Minor Characters

Writers spend a lot of time researching, planning and digging deep into their protagonists’ qualities. We know that readers need a strong main character to care about. But what about the supporting cast? Writing Tip for Today: Let’s look at some ways to bring secondary characters to life in ways that complement the protagonist. Cast […]

Writing that Shows and Tells

Writing that Shows and Tells

You’ve no doubt heard the advice to “show, don’t tell” in your writing. It’s the basic rule of effective writing. Seems simple enough, until you’re staring at your work-in-progress. Then, show don’t tell becomes a wrestling match in the writer’s mind. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s talk about what “showing” means in your writing—and when […]

Writing Multiple POVs

Writing Multiple POVs

So many novels today are told in more than one point of view or POV. While adding voices to the protagonist’s story seems simple, writing effective multiple POV stories takes skill and purpose. Writing Tip for Today: What are some things to consider in writing a multiple POV story or novel? Purpose The most important […]

Critique Skills for Writers

Critique Skills for Writers

Last post we talked about feedback and when to accept or reject suggestions for editing. As one commenter pointed out, feedback gets easier to discern when you have a solid critique group. Writing Tip for Today: What should writers focus on when giving or receiving feedback in a critique group? When you listen to a […]

Scene Writing: More than Looking

Scene Writing: More than Looking

The look across a crowded room. That look your mom gives when you’re naughty. The puppy dog eyes of a pleading look. In scene writing, writers are faced with so many looks. But repeating the “L” word too often may irritate readers. Writing Tip for Today: How can writers capture a full scenic experience without […]

Writing Through Life’s Surprises

Writing Through Life’s Surprises

To all my readers: I apologize for not posting these last few weeks. Life has thrown some not-so-great health-related surprises at me lately. As I fight to get back to my writing life, I thought of a few ways to keep on keeping on during these life hiccups. Writing Tip for Today: What are some […]

Scene Writing: How to End a Scene

Scene Writing: How to End a Scene

You’ve set up your scene and built tension as it progresses. But as you write, it dawns on you that you aren’t sure where to end the scene. Sound familiar? Writing Tip for Today: Here are some things to consider when a scene’s ending isn’t clear: Scenes as Micro-stories Scene ending trouble often crops up […]