Written a Great Character? Prove It By Properly Using Show and Tell

Bring Your Character to Life by Correctly Using Show and Tell

As an author, you must walk a narrow line between presenting skillful, competent, admirable characters—and realistically fallible human beings. It’s easy to unintentionally overemphasize one aspect or the other through a poor use of “show and tell.” The result? Readers sometimes end up getting completely the wrong idea about your character. Allow me to demonstrate. How […]

15 Authors Share Their Best Writing Advice

When authors whose stories have impacted the world start talking, you better start listening! Enjoy the following collection of the best writing advice from top authors on fifteen important topics. Be instructed, and be inspired! 1. Beginnings Write a section or scene that comes before the place where your piece will begin, to help you become familiar […]

How to Write Scenes That Matter

How to Write Scenes That Matter

One of the single most important decisions in storytelling is one you make every day, maybe even several times a day. It all comes to: how to write scenes that matter to your story. Imagine your story as a line of dominoes and each individual scene as a single domino. If you expect your line […]

How Writers Can Stop Procrastinating With One Simple Habit

How Writers Can Stop Procrastinating With One Simple Habit

“How writers can stop procrastinating” isn’t just a question of the writing life. Sometimes it’s the question. After all, if you’re not writing, then all the other good writing habits and knowledge you’ve collected are just going to sit in the back of your brain collecting dust. Fortunately, there’s a simple fix. Tell me if this sounds […]

3 Tips for How to Write a Bad Guy Who Transforms Your Story

Since the whole point of a bad guy is that he’s bad, you’re first thought may be to make your antagonist as despicable as possible. But stop right there. Let me show you how to write a bad guy who’s all the more interesting for not going completely over the Dark Side How to Write a […]

How Much of Yourself Do You Write Into Your Characters? – And Other Questions Answered

Today, I’m honored to be interviewed by Lena Nelson Dooley on her blog A Christian Writer’s World. Take a peek to discover how much of myself I write into my characters how I select character names and the accomplishment I’m most proud of—among other things. Leave a comment on Lena Nelson Dooley’s blog to win […]

What Steve McQueen Can Teach You About How to Write Characters

One of the best ways to learn how to write characters that live and breathe in their own right is to study the great actors. How are they infusing life in their characters? What are they doing in their performances that transforms seemingly mundane roles into unforgettable personalities? The 1960 western The Magnificent Seven is […]

Know Your Own Story: Write a Novel Manifesto

You need a novel manifesto. Why? Because you’re never going to be completely objective about your stories. Trust me. You’re just too emotionally involved, too attached to your characters, too excited about your plot twists, too tickled by your snarky dialogue. And the only thing wrong with any of that is that it can make you lose sight […]

How to Write an Epilogue That Works

How to Write an Epilogue That Works: 5 Tips

Want to learn how to write an epilogue that works? First, you need to understand why so many epilogues don’t work. How Not to Write an Epilogue Epilogues, like prologues, are, by their very definition, extraneous. As a result, they’re often unnecessary. Too many epilogues are self-indulgent happily-ever-afters by authors who want to make sure the reader […]

Plot vs. Character: Which Is More Important?

Authors debate plot vs. character, as if the two were gladiators, waging war on the sands of the Coliseum in some winner-take-all death battle. Both sides of the debate claim a definitive superiority for their chosen gladiator, and for the most part, the battle splits nicely down the lines of literary and commercial fiction, the […]