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

Readers love a well done plot twist. They¬†like to have the rug skillfully pulled out from under their feet at the last minute in a way that changes everything they understood about the story, while simultaneously making them see everything with perfect clarity. One of my favorite romance authors, Kristen Heitzmann, gives us some clues […]

How to Use Chapter Cliffhangers in Your Fiction

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 keep reading. We want to them take a look at the clock and promise themselves,¬†Just one more chapter—and then […]

what do you want me to write about

What Do You Want Me to Write About?

Hey, everybody! I can’t believe we’re almost into the final quarter of 2022. As I’m starting to think about what I want to share on the blog next year, I thought I’d take the opportunity to ask you—since many of my best post ideas come from questions here in the Wordplayer community. So… What would […]

Do You Need Personal Experience to Write About Something?

We writers like think of ourselves as metaphoric magicians—sitting at our desks, spinning worlds out of nothing but words and imagination. Pour a little research into the recipe, and our alchemy is complete. Yet an ongoing question among writers is the evergreen quandary about whether or not we must “write what we know.” In short, […]