Close

setting and description

One Simple Trick to Avoid an Opening Page Infodump

No dumping sign with text: Warning: No Dumping on Page One

It’s hard to get our opening pages just right because we have to grab readers’ attention, introduce our characters and the story world, hint at a problem, etc. With everything we want to get across to the reader, we might dump too much information. How can we avoid info dumping or confusing readers at the beginning of our story?

July 4, 2017

Read More

How Can We Make Time Pass in Our Stories?

Writers Helping Writers: Deepen Your Craft with Resident Writing Coach Jami Gold

It’s time for another post as a Resident Writing Coach over at Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi’s Writers Helping Writers site, and this time we’re exploring 7 techniques we can use to keep our story moving while time passes for our characters.

Pin It

June 13, 2017

Read More

Story Immersion: What Pulls You In?

Woman's legs sticking above water surface mid-dive with text: Becoming Immersed in a Story

When I first joined Goodreads, their account form asked me: “What Kind of Books Do You Like to Read?” My answer to that question helped me realize that I love becoming immersed in a story, the sense that we’re not just reading words on a page. But what creates story immersion?

Pin It

March 2, 2017

Read More

5 Ways to Discover & Develop Our Voice

Microphone against a blank wall with text: Strengthening Your 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

December 8, 2016

Read More

7 Resources for History Research — Guest: K.B. Owen

Roman Colosseum with text: 7 Ways to Research History

Many stories require research on settings, characters, careers, or a story premise. The difficulties increase if we need to reference non-contemporary details. Today, historical fiction author Kathy Owen shares her top resources for researching historical details.

Pin It

November 15, 2016

Read More

Balancing Elements: How Can We Know the Right Amount?

Many rocks balanced on their ends with text: What's the Right Balance for Our Story?

I’ve offered several posts here about balancing various elements of our story, but there’s still room for debate because we have to find the right balance for our voice, genre, tone, and style—for our story. That means there is no perfect amount of backstory or description or emotion.

Pin It

September 15, 2016

Read More

Story Beginnings: Do You Have Context?

Lone footprint in the sand with text: What's the Context?

Story beginnings are difficult to get right. We have to introduce the characters, the story, the setting, the protagonist’s longing, and show an immediate obstacle that creates a near-term goal. At the same time, we have to avoid confusing readers, and for that, we need context.

Pin It

August 11, 2016

Read More