“The worst thing you write is better than the best thing you didn’t write.”

Your Character’s Three Faces

Your Character's Three Faces

People are complicated, and much of what makes us who we are is hidden beneath the surface. As we interact with different people, we reveal different layers of ourselves. The same is true of your character—they will express themselves differently depending on the people around them.

Who is your character when people are watching? Who is your character when they’re not?

No Writing Is Wasted

Have you ever seen an expert do something so brilliantly that they made it look easy? Writing is like that.

Here’s the thing: when our favorite authors write, they sit down and they write and they make it look easy. We see (or imagine) their facile skill with words and phrases, and we think, I want to do that. For a while, we even feel like we can do that. But when we put words down . . . well, they just don’t come out like that.

The truth is, though, no writing is wasted—not even your worst words, the pages that will never see the light of day.

Common Writer Fears (A.K.A.,You’re Not Crazy)

Common Writing Fears (You're Not Crazy)

Writing is a tricky business. We throw ourselves into it, gripped by passionate ideas and the need to speak them. We persevere when haters tell us to stop, push through when our own limitations creep up like fences to be hurdled, and devour articles offering tips on how to write better, faster, and smarter.

In the middle of all that, is it any wonder that sometimes we feel like we’re crazy?

Today, we’re not going to work on the fiction side of writing. Today, we’re going to work on ourselves. Think of this as a writer’s personal-training workout.

Writing Advice From Ray Bradbury

Writing Advice from Ray Bradbury

Sometimes, you can’t write. And I mean you REALLY can’t write. You know the feeling: the kind where it seems your soul is so parched and empty that your imagination has withered and gone. The kind where everything you managed to write before either looks incredibly stupid (and you made it public! The horror!) or, worse yet, was the product of some brief moment of genius which you shall ne’er taste again. Today, I’m going to walk you through what to do during those times via advice from Ray Bradbury.

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 […]