“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.”
—Virginia Woolf

Why Your Character’s Childhood Dreams Matter

Characterization: Why Your Character's Childhood Dreams Matter 2

We often struggle to create realistic characters; they don’t always seem believable. We can usually recognize characters that feel two-dimensional, but we don’t always know why. I’d like to submit that one of the primary reasons we have trouble with characterization is we rarely ask ourselves how our characters got where they are.

With very few exceptions, all characters had a childhood. What did your character want to be when they grew up? The success or failure of that dream is a crucial part of the journey that brought your characters to their place in your story.

All About Commas

Commas matter. That tiny period-with-a-tail can change the meaning of your entire sentence, and your use of it quickly demonstrates just how well you know the English language.

Today, I have just a few comma tips for you. This is nowhere near an exhaustive guide, but if you learn these rules, you’ll give a better impression with your written word everywhere you go.

What Is Plot?

What is Plot?

Plot has a specific structure. It follows a format that sucks readers in; introduces characters and character development at a pace guaranteed to create fans; and compels readers to keep reading in order to satisfy conflict and answer questions.

Do you want readers to love your story? (Who doesn’t, am I right?) Then you need to understand plot.

6 Ways to Create Conflict and Get Your Protagonist in Trouble

6 Ways to Create Conflict in a Story and Get Your Protagonist in Trouble

“The writer’s job is to get the main character up a tree, and then once they are up there, throw rocks at them.” So how DO you get your protagonist in a sticky situation that keeps your reader reading until you type, “The End?”

The 6 Elements of Fiction

6 Elements of Fiction

Much of writing is instinctual, but there are some tools every writer needs to make their story professional and effective. Today, I’m talking about the elements of fiction: character, plot, setting, point-of-view, theme, and style.

7 Lies Writers Believe (and the Truths You Need to Know Instead)

writing truths

The writing world is filled with land mines—lies that, when you step on them, blow you right off your creative feet. I’ve stepped on all of these in my writing career, and every author-friend I know has set them off, too. That tells me they’re pretty common. Lies Writers Struggle With I want to help […]

10 Thriller Story Ideas

“Thriller” is a great genre. In terms of literature, a thriller is any story that “thrills” the reader—i.e., gets adrenaline pumping, heart-rate racing, and emotions peaked. As you can guess, that makes it fairly broad. Buckle your seatbelts. These prompts are gonna be a wild ride.

The Two Most Important Words For Writers

Today, I’m sharing the two most important words you’ll ever hear as a writer: beyond all advice, beyond all classes, beyond all books and blogs, DON’T QUIT.

20 Mystery Story Ideas

story ideas

Do you enjoy a good whodunit? So do I! There’s something wonderful about a cozy mystery, especially for writers. Crafting a good mystery is one of the best writing exercises there are. Today, it’s my pleasure to share with you some fun, quirky, story ideas for writing mysteries.

20 Romance Story Ideas

story ideas

So far, I’ve shared 20 fantasy story ideas and 20 sci-fi story ideas. It’s time to switch things up. Fellow humans, I present to you 20 romance story prompts.