8 Ways To Master Your Story's Pacing

Learn How to Pace Your Story (and Mind-Control Your Readers) in Just 8 Steps

Writing is really all about mind control. Seriously, think about it. You put words on paper, and if you do it right, you suddenly have the ability to control how people respond to what you’ve written. Of course, “doing it right” is the whole challenge of writing, and when it comes to this mind-control gig, […]

3 Ways Writers Can Instantly Spot Telling

3 Ways Writers Can Instantly Spot Telling

Show, don’t tell is a broad concept, which is why one rule doesn’t cover it all. It’s subjective, and each telling instance found in your writing must be evaluated in context. Does this sentence sound like telling? Is this scene explaining too much? But if you look at only the text, you risk missing “told […]

How to Write Realistic Fight Scenes

How to Write Realistic Fight Scenes

Writing realistic fight scenes can feel like being in one. Then again, being in a fight involves reaction, quick thinking, and intuition. A lot of times writing the scene takes the opposite: careful choreography, thinking, and re-thinking–and more. When I started writing fight scenes, I did it by feel. I had an advantage: I’m a […]

6 Steps to Create a Fantastic Narrative Voice (What I Learned Writing Storming)

6 Steps to Create a Fantastic Narrative Voice (What I Learned Writing Storming)

You hear it all the time: readers’ time is precious, and they’re not going to waste it on books that aren’t da bomb. I certainly feel that way about my own reading choices. What’s my main criterion for instantly recognizing when a book isn’t going to be worth my time as a reader? Voice. It all comes […]

The Key to Writing Good Action Scenes (Hint: It’s Not Just the Action)

This week’s video shows you how you can mimic Jurassic Park in streamlining your narrative and keeping your action scenes tight. Video Transcript: Two admissions to start off with today. First, I admit the title is slightly misleading. The key to writing good action scenes isn’t action? What’s up with that? Because if action is the […]

Want to Level Up Your Fiction? Take the “Dramatic Irony” Challenge!

Want to Level Up Your Fiction? Take the “Dramatic Irony” Challenge!

There’s good fiction and there’s good fiction. There are stories that get the job done and entertain readers. And then there are stories that take everything to a new level. Naturally, we’d all like our own stories to be part of that second category! And how do we do that? One of the subtlest ways […]

5 Keys to Writing Epic Battle Scenes

5 Keys to Writing Epic Battle Scenes

If epic battle scenes make such exciting climaxes, then a whole book full of them would be like the most exciting story ever, right?! … Right? Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve skimmed pages of pointless fighting in order to get back to the plot. Writing a book about a war promises excitement, […]

Weather--It's What Stories Are Really All About

Weather—It’s What Stories Are Really All About

Today, I’m guest posting over on The Writer’s Alley, with the post  “Weather–It’s What Stories Are Really All About.” Here’s an excerpt: When I think of weather in stories, I inevitably think of the Peanuts comic strip with Snoopy chugging along at his typewriter, wringing out his famous opening line, “It was a dark and stormy […]

Your Scene’s Not Working? Maybe the Lighting Is Wrong

Your Scene’s Not Working? Maybe the Lighting Is Wrong

Today, I’m guest posting over on The Write Conversation, with the post “Your Scene’s Not Working? Maybe the Lighting Is Wrong?.” Here’s an excerpt: Of all the many story aspects authors have to keep track of, why in heaven’s name should lighting be up there at the top of our list? That’s something movie directors have […]

Is Your Story’s Voice Turning Away Readers?

Is Your Story’s Voice Turning Away Readers?

A story’s voice is always a hot topic among writers. What is it? How does it work? How can you get one? The difficulty in teaching about a story’s voice is that it’s one of those “you know it when you see it” things. Recently, I encountered a powerful example of voices that work—and voices […]