Critique: 4 Ways to Write Sequel Scenes That Grip Readers

Scene structure asks for a one-two punch pairing of action and reaction—or as Dwight V. Swain named them in what has come to be considered “classic” scene structure, scene and sequel. The need to write sequel scenes, the reaction half of the equation, is sometimes overlooked and misunderstood. This is unfortunate, since the reaction phase […]

5 Ways to Help Writers During the Pandemic (+Giveaways to Get You Started)

Writers are no strangers to uncertain times. Living in a constant state of creation means living with at least one foot in chaos all the time. More than that, trying to earn a living or even just enough to give us a few spare hours to keep writing, is tricky even in the best of […]

7 Misconceptions About Being a Writer

Like any good story, the writing life is a tale of deceptive depth. At first glance, it offers up a shiny, artsy, fun cover. Become a Writer! its title beckons, and its first chapters lure us in by fulfilling all these initial promises. But the deeper we get, the further we go, the more we realize […]

4 Questions to Prevent Plot Holes

How peachy would the writing life be if we didn’t have to prevent plot holes. Just imagine—you could write anything you wanted to, and every single thing would make sense. No need to worry about the fact that your two awesome scenes actually don’t make sense side by side. They get to be in the […]

An Intuitive 4-Step Process for Creating Vibrant Scene Structure

Creating scene structure is a key writing skill. Great scenes go a long way toward great storytelling; weak scenes result in weak storytelling. Unfortunately, many writers often struggle with vague, sometimes contradictory approaches to writing scenes. A scene should be a complete narrative unit. It should involve a relatively small number of primary characters—except when […]

How to Get Stuff Done as a Writer (or How This INTJ Leverages Her Te)

Most days as a writer, I wake up excited to tackle everything on my to-do list. My big plans always include ROCKING my daily writing session. I’m always like, “Today is the day I’m going to write 5,000 words in one sitting! Rawr!” Then writing time rolls around. And… I’m still futzing around the house, […]

The 3 Acts of a Writer’s Life–Or How Your Age Affects Your Writing

I’ve been writing consistently since I was twelve, which means I’ve now been writing for the (amazingly long very short?) period of twenty-two years. In that time, almost as much about my writing has changed as has remained the same. This is something I’ve been casually pondering for a while now. Then, last week, I […]

Using All Four Cognitive Functions as a Writer

My heart is so full as I write this. So many things going on in the world right now—both good and bad. It makes me reflect, not for the first time, on the tremendous gift given to writers in the simple fact that we have a place to put not just our feelings, but every […]

Does Your Story Really Need That Extra POV Character?

[I’m taking a quick break this week to deal with some personal stuff (no worries—everything’s good!), so decided to share a short post some of you may remember from the e-letter years ago.] Sooner or later, most authors find the constraints of POV frustrating. It can be difficult to observe the strictures of a tight […]

6 Writing Excuses Busted (Or How an 11-Year-Old Published Her First Novel)

Writing excuses are easy to come up with. Easy to justify. But to publish, you’ll need to learn how to avoid using at least six of them—maybe more. My goal is to help you avoid using these six writing excuses by showing you how I overcame them to publish my first novel shortly after my […]