The Best Christmas Gifts This Writer Has Ever Received

Buying that perfect Christmas gift is always a challenge, but if someone on your list this year is a writer (or if that writer is you), here are some ideas straight from my top-ten list of personal faves. The following were gifts from thoughtful family and friends who know I’m a writer and chose accordingly. […]

Happy Thanksgiving, Wordplayers!

This week, in the U.S., we celebrate Thanksgiving. I find I have much to be thankful for this year. I’m thankful for the work I’m able to do, for all of you who read this site and my books, for your support and encouragement and confirmation in so many ways. I say this every year, […]

Master List of Answers to Most Asked-For Writing Topics on This Site

You who read this site and participate in the discussions are an endless source of inspiration to me. This is true in many ways, but most literally in that when you ask deeply insightful questions, you often give me great ideas for posts about writing topics! A few months ago, I asked you all to […]

8 Tips for Dealing With Negative Reviews of Your Book

If one of your goals as a writer is to be read, then sooner or later you will have to deal with negative reviews of your book. This could be as simple as a family member or beta reader telling you (tactfully or not) they didn’t like the book. Or it could be as painful […]

Top 14 Tips and Tools for Creating Unique Character Voices

Voice in fiction is crucial—but also elusive. First, writers must consider their own authorial voices, then the story’s specific narrative voice, and last but certainly not least character voices. In fact, if you’re writing fiction, the most important voices on the page technically aren’t yours, but your characters’. All of ’em. And they all need […]

9 Negative Character Arcs in the Enneagram

The Enneagram personality theory is a wonderful tool for writers. Beneath the surface of the system’s nine types, you can find development guides that include all the working parts of solid transformational character arcs. Last week, we discussed the positive character arcs in the Enneagram. Today, we’re going to look at the flipside: nine negative […]

Check Out the NaNoWriMo Writing Bundle

This month, I’m participating with Humble Bundle in a special book promotion themed around National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo). Here’s how it works. I’m offering my five most popular writing guides (listed below) in a bundle that also includes nine books from other authors. You can choose from three different bundle sizes, each including […]

9 Positive Character Arcs in the Enneagram

Character arcs aren’t just the stuff of good fiction. They’re also the essence of all personal growth and transformation. Little wonder, then, that some of the best shortcuts writers can find for identifying the most powerful character-arc options are those found in personal development tools such as the Enneagram. These days, most of us are […]

How to Pull Off a Plot Twist

Note: This is the last week in my vacation from the usual post and podcast. Today, I am sharing another fast tip that I hope you will enjoy and find useful! I will be back next week with a brand new two-part series about how you can use the Enneagram to strengthen your story’s character […]

How to Use Chapter Cliffhangers in Your Fiction

Note: I’m taking a two-week break from the usual post and podcast, so am sharing this shortie instead. Enjoy! We all want to write stories that keep readers turning pages into the wee hours of the morning. We want readers to reach the end of a chapter and be gripped with an undeniable need to […]