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 […]

Conflict + Choices = Character Agency

Note From KMW: Character agency is a hot topic these days, but truly it was always an important topic for writers. Why? Because a character (particularly a protagonist) with no agency is a character who isn’t likely to be very interesting. More than that, a character with little to no agency won’t be able to generate […]

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, […]

7 Tips for How to Add Complexity to Your Story

So you want to add complexity to your story. Most authors do. Complexity just sounds so… sophisticated. It sounds like one of those novels or films that are taken apart and analyzed by really smart critics and professors. It sounds like taking your story to the next level. And in some ways, it is. Complex […]

Is Your Story Too Complicated? Here Are 9 Signs

Calling a story “complex” is a high compliment. But what is complexity? How can we learn how to write stories that are complex—without skidding across that narrow dividing line into complicated? What’s the difference between a complex story and a complicated story? And is your story too complicated? This a topic I’ve spent quite some […]