5 Ways to Pace Your Story

5 Ways to Use Pacing to Write a Powerful Story

Pacing is like a dam. It allows the writer to control just how fast or how slow his plot flows through the riverbed of his story. Understanding how to operate that dam–how to pace your story–is one of the most important tasks an author can learn. Without this skill, you end up writing stories that variously lack […]

Never Name an Emotion in Your Story

Never Name an Emotion in Your Story

Vivid writing demands more than just telling a reader how a character is feeling. Readers don’t care what the characters in your story are experiencing so much as they care what they experience through the characters. But that’s easier said than done! One of the best rules of thumb for showing instead of telling is to never name an […]

Showing and Telling: The Quick and Easy Way to Tell the Difference

Arguably the most important rule of fiction is the age-old Show, don’t tell! Sounds simple, right? And yet many inexperienced (and some not-so-inexperienced) writers struggle with this foundational principle of showing and telling. After all, isn’t all of writing telling? Every word we write is for the express purpose of telling the reader what he’s […]

The Do's and Don'ts of Internal Monologue

The Do’s and Don’ts of Internal Monologue

Internal monologue is one of the many necessary ingredients used to concoct a complete, well-rounded story. Unfortunately, it’s all too often one of the most abused and overused ingredients. I just finished reading a historical fantasy—which included storms, swordfights, treachery, true love, and all kinds of swashbuckling—that made every promise of delivering a jolly good tale. But […]