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How to Use Antagonists in Your Story: The Right Way and the Wrong Way

How to use antagonists in your story is a critical skill that can either elevate or undermine your entire story. In many ways, antagonists are the true architects of unforgettable plots, and as you navigate the path between narrative brilliance and potential pitfalls, the art of utilizing your story’s antagonists becomes crucial to success. When […]

A Writer’s Comprehensive Guide to Backstory

Hello, welcome to Everything You Need to Know About Backstory! I’m K.M. Weiland, and you are listening to the Helping Writers Become Authors podcast or watching it because this is also a video post. This video is in answer to a question from SW, who asked: “I’m interested in how you figure out how to […]

15 Places to Find Your Next Beta Reader

12 Places to Find a Beta Reader (Updated)

“Where can I find a beta reader or critique partner?” Without doubt, that’s the second most frequent question I receive from writers, right after where do I find a good editor?. This can be a tough question to answer for the simple reason that a beta reader or critique partner isn’t someone you simply vet […]

Burned Out on the Business of Writing? 6 Insights to Rediscover Joy and Passion

In the ever-evolving landscape of the writing profession, where deadlines loom large and market trends shift like shadows, it’s not uncommon for writers to find themselves engulfed in the relentless flames of burnout. The business of writing, with its demands for marketability and strategic branding, can sometimes obscure the very essence of what drew us […]

5 Reasons Marketing Is Hard for Writers

Say the word “marketing” to a group of writers, and you’re likely to elicit a groan. Almost anyone with dreams of seeing a book in print can relate to the deflation experienced when it becomes clear that simply writing an excellent book isn’t enough to sell any notable number of copies. Sooner or later, any […]

Writing Multiple Plotlines: Everything You Need to Know

Note From KMW: Hello and welcome to today’s post, in which I am trying something a bit different! Chances are you have either written or considered writing multiple plotlines in a story. These versatile and multi-faceted stories are all the rage (they always were—just ask Dickens!). But adding complexity to what is already the wonderfully […]

7 Tips to Craft Compelling Character Motivation in Fiction

From KMW:¬†As “the lie that tells the truth,” fiction only works when it is able to present a reasonable facsimile of reality. At the level of plot, it does this by creating a string of causes and effects that feel plausible. The foundation of this plausibility is the greatest “cause” of them all: character motivation. […]

Lessons From 2023: 5 Reflections on “Flat Arc” Periods

Welcome to 2024! And welcome to what has become a yearly tradition here at Helping Writers Become Authors. Every January, I write a New Year’s post in which I look back at the year that has passed and reflect on its major themes, lessons, and gifts. When I began this little ritual six years ago, […]

Top 10 Writing Posts of 2023

Happy New Year, everyone! Welcome to 2024! For me, 2023 was an incredibly productive year. What makes me most pleased and proud is that I feel I was able to return to a high level of productivity in a way that honored everything I’ve learned from the severe burnout I experienced in previous years. Above […]

Merry Christmas, Wordplayers!

Dear Wordplayers, Merry Christmas! I love Christmas. It has always been far and away my favorite holiday. For me, it has always been the holiday of gratitude, even more than Thanksgiving. Surrounded by loved ones, nurtured by traditions, and sandwiched between the glories and disappointments of the year that is past and the hopes and […]