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 […]

How the Truth Your Character Believes Defines Theme

How the Truth Your Character Believes Defines Your Theme

Part 18 of The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel The best stories always rest upon the foundation of believable character change and thematic depth. In turn, these two vital elements pivot upon the fulcrum of the Lie Your Character Believes and the Truth Your Character Believes. The Truth Your Character Believes is the […]

5 Logical Ways for Writers to Grow

How to Grow as a Writer: 5 Logical Steps

Writers are students. Sometimes this is the result of nothing more than sheer necessity: we seek answers for our questions because writing has turned out to be far more difficult than we anticipated. But often, writers are students first and writers second. If this is you, then concentrating on how to grow as a writer […]

5 Damaging Beliefs Writers Should Overcome

5 Lies Writers Believe That Are Holding Them Back

There are many lies writers believe that hold them back. When you think about it, this is kind of ironic. After all, aren’t stories stories lies that serve to tell the truth? I think the reason most writers get a perverse chuckle out of that last idea is because, as humans, we are hard-wired to […]

Most Common Mistakes (Purple Prose)

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 64: POV Problems

POV. Writers can’t live without it. It influences every aspect of story, right down to word choice. But in all frankness, sometimes POV can be a little hard for us to live with as well. The vastness and the complexity of the topic makes it all too easy for authors to accidentally stumble into POV problems. […]