`how to market your book if you hate marketing

How to Market Your Book–When You Hate Marketing

Writers these days don’t get to think about just writing. If you want to learn how to sell your books, you must also think about marketing. And yet, most writers hate marketing. Popular marketing wisdom, particularly within the last decade, says newbie authors should start building marketing platforms before they’re ever published. Start a blog, […]

Ant-Man and the Wasp Big

4 Ways to Choose a Better Theme for Your Book

Part 20 of The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel Writers often have a complicated relationship with theme. We love it. It loves us back. But reaching a harmonious happily-ever-after with theme sometimes turns into as much of a soap opera as a long-running CW drama. Just writing a story that has a theme is […]

How to Turn a Simple Idea Into a Killer Story 2

4 Steps for How to Turn an Idea Into a Story That Rocks

Ah, ideas. To a writer, is there any sweeter word? But as we quickly learn whenever we try to trap those ideas on paper, the real magic trick is figuring out how to turn an idea into a story that first works and then rocks. Bar none, my favorite part of the writing process is […]

How to Write Unique Themes

How to Write Unique Themes

Here’s a mind-bender for you: the best story themes are both universal and unique. But how does that even work? How can you learn to how write unique themes that say something fresh and new—and yet are resonant to every person on the planet? Good question. This is something I’ve been mulling lately after a […]

Dont Let Anyone Tell You How to Write

Don’t Let Anybody Tell You How to Write (or 8 Tips for Learning Responsibly)

My mom tells me I’m going to put myself out of business with that title. But, seriously, I mean it. Don’t let anybody tell you how to write. Not me. Not Stephen King. Not Writer’s Digest. Not Aristotle. This is actually a huge problem among writers. I know because I’ve spent my own fair share of […]

How to Judge Less, Trust More, and Create

Judge Yourself Less, Trust Yourself More, and Write Better Stories

When we think of creativity, we usually think of light and color, happiness and freedom. That’s the upside of living the creative life of a writer. But there’s a dark side too—one we don’t always like to talk about. And that dark side can be encapsulated in two words: judgment and perfectionism. There’s a controversial […]

Writing as the Art of Thinking Clear

Writing as the Art of Thinking Clearly: 6 Steps

As an infamously vivid dreamer, I often find myself waking up with this surging certainty that my subconscious just gave me the best story ever. One of my most memorable dreams featured an end-of-the-world plot. Aliens were coming! Asteroids were coming! Klaxons were blaring. People were running around madly. I think the theme from Armageddon might even […]

Use Plot, Character, and Theme in Every Scene

How to Intertwine Plot, Character, and Theme in Every Scene

If plot, character, and theme are the foundational underpinnings of story itself, then they must be present in every scene as well, right? But that gets tricky. How can you make sure these elements are doing their job in every scene? And if they’re not present in every scene, does that necessarily mean the scene is […]

5 Steps to Writing Great Character Chemistry

5 Steps to Writing Great Character Chemistry

What is character chemistry? And how can you use it to make your story un-put-down-able? We most often hear about character chemistry in reference to actors—particularly those playing love interests to each other. Chemistry is hard to define but easy to spot. When two people show up on stage together and the result is a […]

4 Ways to Write a Better Anta

4 Ways to Write a Better Antagonist

Part 19 of The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel I have to believe Thanos would be a good writer. Why? Because he totally understands one of the most important principles of story theory: Pretty, isn’t it? Perfectly balanced. As all things should be. Too much to one side or the other… [and it […]