Everything You Need to Know About the Lie the Character Believes

Hello, everyone, and welcome! In today’s post/podcast/video, we’re going to be talking about what is very possibly the single most important element of any successful story. And that is the Lie the Character Believes. The Lie the Character Believes is a mistaken or limited perspective the character holds at the beginning of the story which […]

Consider This Before Killing a Character

[From KMW: I’m taking a quick sabbatical this week. I’ll be back next Monday with a video/post/podcast about “Scene Structure and Transitions in Big Scenes.” Until then, I hope you enjoy this short post on an important topic!] I have a little game I play when reading a book or watching a movie, especially a […]

7 Growth Milestones to Build a Character Arc

From KMW: On the one hand, deciding how to build a character arc is pretty simple: the character changes, the end. On the other hand, building a character arc can often seem monumentally overwhelming. How can we possibly take so nuanced and complex an experience as personal change and convey it realistically through the events […]

From Lead to Gold: The Alchemy of Character Arc With Carl Jung

Storytelling is a mystical crucible. Just as the ancient alchemists sought the transformation of base metals into gold, writers strive for the metamorphosis of their characters’ inner selves throughout the story. Alchemy, as explored through the lens of Carl Jung’s insights, can elevate your characters from the leaden weight of initial flaws to the gleaming […]

6 Tips to Write Deeply Emotional Fiction

In the tumultuous sea of storytelling, where the tides of emotion ebb and flow, writers get to discover the profound art of learning how to write deeply emotional fiction. Emotions are the vibrant threads that weave a connection between characters’ souls and readers’ hearts. To navigate this intricate terrain, let us uncover six tools to […]

How to Use Antagonists in Your Story: The Right Way and the Wrong Way

How to use antagonists in your story is a critical skill that can either elevate or undermine your entire story. In many ways, antagonists are the true architects of unforgettable plots, and as you navigate the path between narrative brilliance and potential pitfalls, the art of utilizing your story’s antagonists becomes crucial to success. When […]

7 Tips to Craft Compelling Character Motivation in Fiction

From KMW:¬†As “the lie that tells the truth,” fiction only works when it is able to present a reasonable facsimile of reality. At the level of plot, it does this by creating a string of causes and effects that feel plausible. The foundation of this plausibility is the greatest “cause” of them all: character motivation. […]

Lessons From 2023: 5 Reflections on “Flat Arc” Periods

Welcome to 2024! And welcome to what has become a yearly tradition here at Helping Writers Become Authors. Every January, I write a New Year’s post in which I look back at the year that has passed and reflect on its major themes, lessons, and gifts. When I began this little ritual six years ago, […]

Violence in Fiction: 6 Archetypes

From KMW: The dictionary tells us the definition of violence is: “Behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.” By that definition, we can recognize that violence in fiction is a staple. Almost every story features some example, even if it’s “just” verbal aggression. Certain genres, such as mysteries and […]

Write Better Action Scenes: Make It About the Characters

[From KMW: Since I am traveling this week, I’m offering up a shorter post today about how to write better action scenes. For my birthday, I gave myself a month-long “writing retreat” in the mountains! I’ll be posting regular content again next week, and you can check Instagram for some peeks into my adventures.] As […]