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What Role Does Theme Play in Your Story's Climax

What Is the Role of Theme in a Story’s Climax?

Today, I’m going to be a bad blog writer. I’m not going to make you think at all to find the answer to the title question: “What is the role of theme in a story’s climax?” I’m just going to tell you straight up: The role of theme in your story’s climax is all-important. The […]

The Number 1 Habit Killing Your Writing

The #1 Habit Killing Your Writing

Let’s face it, writing is hard work. Sometimes, it feels like a battle to pen a single word onto the page. Writers face so many creative monsters in order to produce: self-doubt, criticism, rejection, procrastination, jealousy, and over-preparation. However, there’s one characteristic even more dangerous than all of the above since it’s so widespread and recognized. I’m talking […]

Structuring Your Novel and Outlining Your Novel Workbooks Are Finally Here

Finally Here! New Workbooks Make Outlining and Structuring Your Novel Easy, Intuitive, and Fun

If you’re like me, then you’ve probably read hundreds of books on how to write amazing novels. You’ve nodded your head whenever a new epiphany lit up the light bulb above your head, and you highlighted every new idea you wanted to put to work in your own books. But chances are good you also […]

Don't Know Your Story's Theme? Take a Look at Your Character's Arc

Don’t Know Your Story’s Theme? Take a Look at Your Character’s Arc

What separates a good story from a great one? We might throw out a lot of opinions, but mine is this: Your story’s theme is what will raise it above the pack, out of mere entertainment into something that sticks with readers, impacts their lives, and maybe even challenges them to grow. Awesomesauce!, you say. […]

Are Your Characters Talking Too Much?

Are Your Characters Talking Too Much?

Dialogue drives both narrative and character development. The key for creative writers is including just enough dialogue to meet those needs and no more. The last thing you want is to have your characters talking too much. Many novelists approach a scene by writing until they feel they have included sufficient dialogue to meet their […]

The Hilarious 2-Step Plan for Writing Humor in Fiction

The Hilarious 2-Step Plan for Writing Humor in Fiction

This week’s video talks about the successful premise of comedy in any book—and the two crucial steps to writing humor in your story. Video Transcript: Somebody once said the key to writing humor is realizing comedy is just tragedy turned on its head. In fiction, the success or failure of this technique largely comes down […]

How Much Realism Does Your Novel Really Need

How Much Realism Does Your Novel REALLY Need?

Ever had a critique partner or editor tell you, “This isn’t realistic”? It’s a valid complaint. Novels are facsimiles of real life. They must mimic that life with enough realism to allow readers to suspend their disbelief and invest themselves in characters and plot scenarios that far exceed their own personal experiences. In order to connect […]

How to Keep Writing Even When Life Is Tough—3 Tips

How to Keep Writing Even When Life Is Tough—3 Tips

Adversity strikes all of us. It can be as simple as welcoming a new puppy or baby into the family, or it could be as complex as caring for a loved one with a terminal illness. Either way, we will all experience times when life is handing us lemons, and, as writers, these are the […]

Scene Breaks: Why Your Story May Not Have Enough of Them

Scene Breaks: Why Your Story May Not Have Enough of Them

This week’s video discusses two of the little-considered abilities of scene breaks—and how you can put them to work in your story. Video Transcript: Scene breaks are your friends. Better than that, they’re like your super-secret, totally-ready-and-willing-to-go-the-extra-mile worker elves. They’re this tiny little technique that can be used in all kinds of ways to subtly […]


Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 35: Random Story Elements

Even the simplest of stories aren’t simple. Most of them feature dozens of characters, settings, POVs, themes, conflicts–and on and on. A good story is made up of more working parts than most of us can wrap our little brains around in any one moment. Sometimes all these many working parts of the story can get away from us. […]