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Your Story’s Concept and Your Story’s Premise: Do You Know the Crucial Difference?

Story Concept and Story Premise: Do You Know the Crucial Difference?

What’s up with story concept and story premise? Are they interchangeable words for the same idea–or are they separate tools with their own important jobs to fulfill? I know you guys picked Door #2–’cause you’re wicked smart like that. But it’s a fact: “story concept” and “story premise” are often used interchangeably, which just goes to […]

5 Keys to Writing Epic Battle Scenes

5 Keys to Writing Epic Battle Scenes

If epic battle scenes make such exciting climaxes, then a whole book full of them would be like the most exciting story ever, right?! … Right? Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve skimmed pages of pointless fighting in order to get back to the plot. Writing a book about a war promises excitement, […]

What’s a Contagonist How to Keep Story Conflict High Without the Antagonist

What’s a Contagonist? (How to Keep Story Conflict High Without the Antagonist)

This week’s video explains what a contagonist is and how you can use this important character to augment and contrast your antagonist. Video Transcript: We all know what a protagonist is. We all know what an antagonist is. Can’t have a story without either one, right? Without some kind of antagonistic—and most likely human—obstacle between […]

FAQ: How to Write Character Arcs in a Series

FAQ: How to Write Character Arcs in a Series

“How should I write character arcs in a series?” This is the question I’ve been getting probably more than any other of late.  These days, more stories than not are told as part of multi-book series–everything from trilogies to thirty-plus installments with no intended end in sight. Up to now, I’ve been addressing character arcs primarily within […]

How to Choose a Book Title That's Perfect for Your Story AND Good Marketing!

How to Choose a Book Title That’s Perfect for Your Story AND Good Marketing!

Like every author on the planet, I’ve spent endless hours mulling over creating the perfect book title for my work. One strives, of course, to be both memorable and honestly descriptive of the content. There are also marketing aspects to be considered. The marquee value cannot be neglected since the book, especially fiction, must compete […]

The Power of the Senses: How to Fire Up Any Story Description

The Power of the Senses: How to Fire Up Any Story Description

As writers, it is our job to give our readers a powerful emotional experience, via story description. Many emotions come about because one or more of our five senses has been stimulated, so one way to elicit emotions is to “awaken” your readers’ senses. Sight is probably the easiest sense to incorporate, because when you are […]

Crumpled-Paper

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 34: Repetitive Dialogue

Forget all the other writing rules, but always remember this one: The reader’s time is valuable. Readers don’t want to listen to us or our characters repeat ourselves—especially in repetitive dialogue. It’s surprising how easily repetitive dialogue can sneak into our writing. Half the time we’re so close to the material, we may not even […]

3 Crazy Important Reasons You Are the Most Selling Point for Marketing Your Book

3 Reasons YOU Are the Most Important Selling Point for Marketing Your Book

There has never been a civilization that didn’t use language and tell stories in some form or another.  Stories are primordial. We all want to know our lives have meaning, and connecting through stories accomplishes that. As a writer, you invest significant emotional energy in writing your book. You should take no less effort in marketing […]

The Two Most Dangerous Words in Book Cover Design

The Two Most Dangerous Words in Book Cover Design

Authors work long and hard to bring a manuscript to completion, so it’s little wonder most have specific plans for their book cover design. While it’s important for an author to help decide the look of their book cover design (inside and out) one important person is often overlooked: the reader. Surprised? It’s more common […]

What if Your Story Has No Character Arc

What if Your Story Has No Character Arc?

Can you write a story with no character arc? Is that even possible? And, if it is, will the story be doomed to drabness in comparison to those that do feature rich character arcs (of the positive, flat, and negative varieties)? These are questions I encounter frequently, and they’re absolutely valid. We often think character arc and […]