101 Best Websites for Writers

Thank you, Wordplayers! Helping Writers Become Authors has been named one of Writer's Digest's 101 Best Websites for Writers!

9 writers who failed but we still love them

9 Writers Who Failed–But We Still Love Them

We all make mistakes, and we can all think of famous writers who failed in the little details. Authors often try to add as many descriptions and small details as possible to make their stories sound better and more realistic. But are they always accurate? As a rule, such small fails occur because of inattention, […]

Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers Badge

Named One of Writer’s Digest’s 101 Best Websites for Writers!

I had a very cool surprise this week. As I was flipping through the latest issue of Writer’s Digest and their yearly round-up of their 101 Best Websites for Writers, I discovered that Helping Writers Become Authors was listed in their “Writing Advice Category.” This is such a tremendous honor, and I’m still a little floored. Thank […]

why good premises dont make good stories

Why Good Premises Don’t Make Good Stories

If this isn’t a proverb, it should be: “A good premise doth not a good story make.” Hang on there. Am I nuts? Haven’t I seen any of these high-concept gems gushing out of Hollywood these days? Didn’t I like Inception, The Avengers, and The Hunger Games? Well, yeah. Of course I did. But I […]

Your Character's Arc in the First Half of the Second Act

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 9: The First Half of the Second Act

In the structure of character arcs, the First Half of the Second Act is where your character ventures (or is thrust) into uncharted territory—and gets lost. He may not quite see it that way himself, but this is where he begins to discover that the old rules (the Lie He Believes) no longer apply. This […]


Vacation Notice: See You in a Week!

If you’re hunting for the next post in the Creating Stunning Character Arcs series, it will be available next Sunday. I apologize for the break in scheduling, but I’m not too sorry, since as you’re reading this, I’m headed for a week in Honolulu. Thought I’d better mention my absence this time, since the last time I checked […]

elephant in the room are you ignoring your story revision instincts

The Elephant in the Room: Are You Ignoring Your Story Revision Instincts?

We’ve all had those fluid writing moments in which everything just seems to pour onto the paper with grace. The words come from a place you can’t always call upon. In the moment, everything seems eternally beautiful and poetic, and you fear someone will walk through the door and shatter your fragile thoughts. Sometimes, we […]

A thief trying to steal a handbag from a girl

Is Honesty the Most Important Trait in a Likable Character?

Memorable characters come in many shades—everything from Heathcliff’s murderous manipulation to Steve Rogers’s aw-shucks idealism. Sometimes the not-so-likable characters end up being all the more interesting and enduring for their inner darkness. But, generally speaking, most authors are on a mission to write a likable character. We want readers to fall in love with our […]

your character's arc in the first plot point

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 8: The First Plot Point

If the First Act is setup, then the First Plot Point is the point of no return in character arcs. The setup ends, and the story begins “for realz.” At this point the character commits—usually because he has no choice—to a decision that will propel him out of the comfortable stagnation of the Normal World […]

Why You Should Walk Away From Your Writing

Why You Should Walk Away From Your Writing

Sometimes the only way you can make progress as a writer is to walk away from your writing. Many writers attest to the necessity of “bum glue” to finish their manuscripts. Some joke about tying themselves to their office chairs. I’ve been known to stick my feet in a bucket of water to curb my […]

vicarious love multiple povs

Vicarious Love: The Greatest Advantage of Multiple POVs

Multiple points of view—should you use them or should you not? More genre books than not use multiple POVs to present multiple protagonists–or sometimes just to give readers a glimpse at what’s happening behind the main character’s back. Usually, I’m more inclined to discuss their drawbacks, because, sadly, they’re more likely to be abused than […]