Supporting Characters and Theme: 6 Important Questions to Ask About Your Story

Raise your hand if you’ve ever written in a new supporting character just because, hey, somebody had to start that tavern brawl. Creating delightfully colorful, unexpected, and sometimes just plain convenient minor characters is half the fun of writing. That said, we might all want to now sit on those hands we raised. However random […]

It’s Here! Dreamlander Audio Book

It’s my pleasure to announce, to all of you who have been waiting for it (for a really long time), that the audio book version of my portal fantasy Dreamlander is now available, narrated by C. J. McAllister. To date, I’ve produced audio versions of all my non-fiction writing-craft books, but this is my first foray […]

Critique: 10 Ways to Write a Better First Chapter Using Specific Word Choices

The one thing all writers are trying to do is write a better first chapter. First chapters are do-or-die territory. We know this as writers because we know this as readers. Most of us make our reading choices after scanning the first few paragraphs of a story. Sometimes we know if we want to go […]

17 Eco-Friendly Gifts for Writers This Christmas

If you’re like me, you may have already spent a lot of time this year searching “eco-friendly gifts for writers” or “eco-friendly gifts for book lovers.” If you found the available suggestions a little wanting, never fear. This year, I have a roundup of fun suggestions for writing- and book-themed gifts that are also mindful […]

Black Friday Special: 25% off the Outlining Your Novel Workbook Software

This Black Friday weekend, you can use the code OUTLINE to grab my Outlining Your Novel Workbook software at a special holiday discount of 25% its normal price of $40. Start Outlining Your Best Book Today As a reader of my blog, you can access a special 25% discount code for my Outlining Your Novel Workbook software. Just […]

surroundings

How to Choose the Right Antagonist for Any Type of Story

Here’s how to choose the right antagonist for your story. You know “If I Didn’t Have You”—that song John Goodman and Billy Crystal belt out at the end of Monsters, Inc.? It’s this total bromance duet about the undying friendship of our two favorite monsters. But pretty much every lyric in there could also be […]

How to Overcome Fear as a Writer and Embrace Your Profound Courage

Long ago, someone gave me a birthday card that said “Fearless.” For many years, I tacked it on my bulletin board above my desk. Even now, it’s one of the few cards I’ve ever saved. I kept it because while a part of me resonated with the idea that I might be fearless, the rest […]

5 Secrets of Story Structure Audio Book

I wanted to take a quick minute to let you know that there is now an audio book version of 5 Secrets of Story Structure, narrated once again by the lovely Sonja Field. I wrote 5 Secrets as kind of an unofficial sequel to Structuring Your Novel. You can think of 5 Secrets as a […]

How to Write Your Memoir Like a Novel

A few years ago, I went to a workshop in New York City for writers. There I was surrounded by a group of novelists. As someone who loves to write fiction, I was interested, but at the time, I wasn’t working on a novel. I was working on a memoir, a book about a series […]

23 Tips for a Zero Waste Home Office

A little over a year ago, I decided to create a more sustainable, zero waste lifestyle. As a writer, time at the desk is a huge part of my life, so figuring out how to create a zero waste home office was a top priority from the beginning—and, honestly, one of the easiest parts of […]