story structure q and a

Story Structure Q&A: 6 Outstanding Questions About Structure

Being a good writer is all about being a good learner—having a wide-open mind that’s always looking for the next question. I think you guys must all be good writers, because you know how to ask some good questions! Today, I want to share a story structure Q&A, featuring six thought-provoking emails I’ve received. Story structure […]

how to up your show don't tell game

3 Tips for Improving Show, Don’t Tell

When looking for a new book to read, there are a couple quick tests I do to determine whether it seems like I can trust the author to know what they’re doing all book long. The first and most important of these tests usually requires just a quick glance across the first page to see […]

what do you want me to write about

What Do You Want Me to Write About?

Hey, everybody! I’m making myself a bit sparse this week as I’m in the middle of moving. But I want to take the opportunity to flip things on its head this week and ask you to tell me something. What would you like me to write about? Is there a writing subject that’s really got your […]

sloppy writing habits header

Do You Have Sloppy Writing Habits? (And 4 Things to Do About It)

The question I want to ask today is whether sloppy writing habits are a deterrent to success, a natural and unavoidable part of the creative process, both, or neither. I’ve never met the writer (myself included) who didn’t suffer from sloppy writing habits. These habits fall into a number of categories—everything from sloppy handwriting to […]

Use the Enneagram to Write Better Characters2

5 Ways to Use the Enneagram to Write Better Characters

The Enneagram. Maybe you’ve heard of it. Maybe you’ve even used the Enneagram to write better characters. Like Myers-Briggs, Socionics, and the Four Temperaments, the Enneagram is one of many systems within the study of personality theory. These systems are designed to identify the patterns found in the different ways we approach various aspects of […]

Writer's Envy

Writer’s Envy—And 3 Thoughts on What to Do About It

Last year, one of your writing buddies landed your dream agent. This year, they published with a great publisher. Now, they just sent you a #happydance email, telling you they’ve been nommed for your genre’s biggest award. You’re happy for your friend. Really, you are. But try as you might, your gut just closed up […]

`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 […]