Learn about Writing

Tip-heavy posts about writing skills and concepts. Sample topics: how to create a strong character, storytelling skills, information dumps, using point of view, subtext, using themes, building scenes, etc.

Story Beginnings: Creating the Right First Impression — Guest: Shaila Patel

February 16, 2017 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for Story Beginnings: Creating the Right First Impression — Guest: Shaila Patel

No matter how much we try different approaches, we often struggle with our story’s first pages. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for new ways of thinking about that critical opening page. Today Shaila Patel shares her insights on the right mix of elements for creating a great first impression.

Pin It
Click here to read more

Story Structure: What Should We Do for Trilogies?

February 14, 2017 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for Story Structure: What Should We Do for Trilogies?

If we’ve thought of writing a trilogy, we might have struggled with questions about how we should structure our stories over three books. Or how we should break up the plot and character arcs. Today, let’s try to answer those questions!

Pin It
Click here to read more

5 Steps to Avoid Overwriting — Guest: Christina Delay

February 9, 2017 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for 5 Steps to Avoid Overwriting — Guest: Christina Delay

Many newbie writers try to perfectly replicate their ideas in their readers’ brains, even though overwriting slows down our pacing, repeats ideas, and prevents subtext. Luckily, Christina Delay is here with five steps to break the overwriting habit.

Pin It
Click here to read more

Editing Tips: Top 3 Writing Craft Issues — Guest: Naomi Hughes

February 7, 2017 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for Editing Tips: Top 3 Writing Craft Issues — Guest: Naomi Hughes

Editor Naomi Hughes is here with the third post in a series to share her writing craft and editing advice. Today, she’s highlighting the most common issues she sees at the line-edit level—and giving tips on how to avoid them!

Pin It
Click here to read more

Editing Tips: Top 3 Scene Issues — Guest: Naomi Hughes

January 31, 2017 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for Editing Tips: Top 3 Scene Issues — Guest: Naomi Hughes

Editor Naomi Hughes is here with the second post in a series to share her writing craft and editing advice. Today, she’s highlighting the most common issues she sees at the scene level of editing—and giving tips on how to fix those issues!

Pin It
Click here to read more

The Most Important Question in Storytelling: “Why?”

January 26, 2017 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for The Most Important Question in Storytelling: “Why?”

A common problem—even in traditionally published books—is Missing Motivations. A character’s goal can feel irrelevant if readers don’t understand why they have that goal. Or a character might seem stupid or unlikable if readers don’t know why they’re acting a certain way.

Pin It
Click here to read more

Editing Tips: Top 3 Story Issues — Guest: Naomi Hughes

January 24, 2017 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for Editing Tips: Top 3 Story Issues — Guest: Naomi Hughes

Editor Naomi Hughes is here with the first post in a series to share her writing craft and editing advice. Today, she’s highlighting the most common issues she sees at the story level of developmental editing—and giving tips on how to fix those issues!

Pin It
Click here to read more

How to Make Our Story Feel Meaningful

January 12, 2017 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for How to Make Our Story Feel Meaningful

Story is different from plot, but sometimes we can have lots of plot ideas, and we might not be sure if—or how—we can pull those together into something that feels like a story. Let’s get some tips…

Pin It
Click here to read more

Make Settings Come to Life with Sensory Details — Guest: Christina Delay

December 15, 2016 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for Make Settings Come to Life with Sensory Details — Guest: Christina Delay

We’ve talked before about adding depth to our settings, but there’s another way to bring our settings to life and immersing readers in our story: layering unique details and sensory information. Today, Christina Delay to shows us how.

Pin It
Click here to read more

5 Ways to Discover & Develop Our Voice

December 8, 2016 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for 5 Ways to Discover & Develop Our Voice

Many people have tried to identify what goes into creating our voice, but it’s a hard thing to define. We often just know it when we see it. Voice is personal—not just for writers, but also for readers. Yet we can identify—and strengthen—the 5 elements that go into our voice.

Pin It
Click here to read more