For a lot of us, this has been a rough year, a tiring year, a painful year.
Some years carry a heavier toll than others, and this is one of them. Yet in spite of that—or maybe because of it—there’s something you need to do: tell your story. I know how tired you are. I know some of you you don’t feel heard. I know some of you might fear you don’t matter.
The Powerful Reason You Should Tell Your Story »
Stories create empathy. Stories bring hope. Stories change history. Yes, even yours—especially when you know how to show empathy in writing.
How to Show Empathy and Create Relatable Characters »
It’s good to study other writers’ rules, but in the end, those rules were not made for you—they were made for other writers. If you’re serious about being a writer, then you need to figure out your rules of writing and stick to them. This post will show you how.
How to Create Your Own “Rules of Writing” »
You know who JK Rowling is. You know Harry Potter took the world by storm. You may even be aware that Rowling had trouble getting published at all. Ms. Rowling has shared a lot of terrific writing wisdom, but in my opinion, these are her eight best rules.
JK Rowling’s 8 Rules of Writing »
BOO! It’s Halloween—what better day to write some spooky stories? Sharpen your pencil and take a stab at one of these Halloween writing prompts!
7 Haunted Halloween Writing Prompts »
Some of you may have noticed that the esteemed Mr. Gaiman is my favorite living author. Even if he’s not everyone’s cup of tea, it’s hard not to notice him: books, graphic novels, award after award—the man is prolific and very good at what he does. So when I realized he had eight rules of writing, you better believe I beelined to read them. And guess what? They’re fantastic … with a few explanations. Read on for more.
Neil Gaiman’s 8 Rules of Writing »
This is a question I hear a lot: How do I start my story? The answer is simple, but not easy. Got your diving mask on? Here we go!
How to Start a Story »
Here’s the underlying principle: your characters are people. People are complicated; I suspect you might know a few. Characters are much the same way. Your reader will relate to them if they behave like people, and for characters to behave like people, they need to be built like people.
You need to know your characters like you do other humans, and these six prompts will help you pull that off.
Characterization: 6 Revealing Prompts to Know Your Character Better »
Let me tell you, sometimes there is drama in the world of publishing. This week, that drama was not only jaw-dropping, but it proved this powerful
There’s Hope For You as a Writer (And Here’s Proof) »
Greetings, fellow writers. I’m tackling something deeply important today: three questions you must answer if you call yourself a writer.
3 Essential Questions for Writers »
That’s a touchy statement, isn’t it? Before you light me on fire for typing it, give me the chance to explain. There are two aspects to being ready to publish your book: preparing your book and preparing yourself.
You May Not Be Ready to Publish Your Book »
I want you to think back to your favorite book or television show. There may be many things that stood out to you about that story—the plot, the scenery, the outfits, the scope, or something else. There’s one aspect, however, that underpins all those things. One detail which, if missing, leaves your readers unable to really invest themselves in your story: relationships between characters.
Why Character Relationships Will Make or Break Your Story »
Writer’s block. Do the words give you shivers?
I’ve struggled with writer’s block many, many, many times. I know the fear it causes (I’ll never write again, I can’t do this, I will never finish this book, etc.). I also know how to get out of it.
Brace yourself. This won’t be pretty, but if you’re willing to fight, it will work.
How You’ll Recover From Writer’s Block »
Today’s topic won’t be a comfortable one. I’m going to address an issue I’m pretty sure you don’t want to hear—but by the time I’m done, you’ll be armed, better prepared, and stronger than you were. And what is this uncomfortable topic? Self-doubt.
No matter what you do, your doubt as a writer will never go away.
The Ugly Truth About Self-Doubt as a Writer »
Are you frustrated with your writing? Tired of writing words you know aren’t as good as you want them to be? Frustrated writer, I know why.
A weird thing happens when we finally sit down to write The Book: we expect it to come out as magnificently as we think it should. We see or feel what it should be, and hey—we’ve read and written stuff all our lives, right? It should just come out!
But it doesn’t.
This is normal.
The Secret Every Frustrated Writer Needs to Know »
Daydreaming is one of your greatest writing tools. Mind you, some people call it visualization. Others call it imagination. I call it story-prep, and here and now, I am officially giving you permission to daydream.
Not convinced yet? Here are three reasons why daydreaming might just be one of the best things you do for your writing today.
3 Whimsical Reasons to Daydream Your Story »
Hey, you. Yes, you—the one with the storied dreams and the demanding imagination. You need to TAKE the time to write. I’m sorry to say this, but that time will never materialize on its own.
The Fundamental Secret to Finding Time to Write »
A funny thing happens when you move.
You start out carefully. Each glass is conscientiously wrapped in six pages of newspaper. Each collectible is cushioned and boxed as if interred, and each box Sharpied with item, location, and name. Then a few days into this, something strange happens: you realize it doesn’t matter.
To put it another way, when you’re running out of time, you no longer have the luxury of faffing around. That’s when you really get down to business.
The One Secret to Finishing Your Writing Projects »
People are complicated. I know, that’s like saying, “Hey, fire is hot!” but when it comes to characterization, this needs to be said. Our tendency as authors is to stick imaginary people into tiny two-dimensional categories, forgetting that no human being fits into tiny two-dimensional categories.
One of the things that makes humans so confounded complicated is we are not logical.
One Frightful Characterization Tip That Will Transform Your Stories »
Music is awesome. It’s evocative. But you know this already; after all, there’s a reason movies and inspirational/religious services use it so carefully.
Music can help you become a better writer. You don’t have to listen while you write; I know many of you need silence to spin words. However, I believe it’s important to have a soundtrack for your stories, your books, your worlds. It makes them feel richer; it helps you, the writer, to create the mood effectively.
Why Music Is a Writer’s Secret Weapon (+ Win a Year of Music for Writing) »