Here Are Two Ways to Write Organic Themes

Organic themes are symbiotic with their stories’ plots. This is because when everything is working well in a story, plot and theme are two halves of a whole, each one “proving” the other. When plot and theme are not working together, that’s a sure sign your story is in trouble. Theme can be a tricky […]

Genre Tips: How to Write Literary Fiction

What exactly is literary fiction? Although the term often means many different things to different people, the general consensus is that literary fiction encompasses dramatic stories that consciously focus on existential themes and artistic prose. Naturally, these elements can appear in any type of story, so deciding you want to learn how to write literary […]

Genre Tips: How to Write Mystery

Following closely on the heels of romance, mystery is one of the most popular fiction genres of all time. At its simplest, the genre is a puzzle for audiences and characters to figure out together. At its most complex, mystery offers a deep-dive into humanity’s most pressing existential questions and threats. Populated by manifold subgenres, […]

Genre Tips: How to Write Historical Fiction

All fiction is a contemplation of human existence. This is perhaps nowhere more obvious than in the historical genre, which purposefully looks back in time and seeks to create context for and find meaning in the events that have already happened to the human race. Learning how to write historical fiction requires all the usual […]

Genre Tips: How to Write Romance

Romance makes the world go ’round. In many respects, it makes the book world go ’round too. Romance consistently remains one of the bestselling of all fiction genres, so it’s no surprise so many people write it—both out of personal enjoyment and because, when it hits the sweet spot, it can be extremely lucrative. Learning […]

Genre Tips: How to Write Fantasy

Genre is an important consideration for any writer. Not only can identifying your story’s genre (and perhaps subgenre) help you create cohesion and resonance amongst your plot, character arcs, and theme, it will also be a crucial piece of information when it comes time to market your story to readers. Today, I’m opening a five-part […]

5 Tips for How to Return to Writing After a Long Break

Making a return to writing after a long time away can feel overwhelming or even bewildering. Depending on the reasons for your break, you may be confronting a wide array of emotions—everything from anticipation and excitement to trepidation and confusion. If you find yourself worried or uncertain about how to proceed, the first step is […]

Your Story Isn’t Working? Here Are 6 Problems to Troubleshoot

If you’re here because you feel your story isn’t working, you’re not alone. Most writers feel that way about most of the stories they write. The good news is you can probably salvage your current story by troubleshooting a few key areas. One way to learn how to accomplish this is to learn what didn’t work […]

6 Lessons Learned From 4 Years of Writer’s Block

To be a writer, one must do two things: write and, perhaps surprisingly, not write. Usually, we champion the first and demonize the second with much fear and trembling, giving it dread labels such as “writer’s block.” The implication is that, for a writer, not writing is about as bad as it gets. The truth, […]

Looking Back on 2022: 5 Reflections on a Year of Healing

For the past five years or so, I have opened every new year with a post looking back on the lessons I have learned in the previous year. What began as just another idea for a blog post has become one of my most treasured rituals. Every year when I sit down to write this […]