Search Results for: theme

How Minor Characters Help You Discover Theme

How Minor Characters Help You Discover Theme

Is theme the moral of a story? Is it the message an author wants to share? Or is it something more inherent to the plot itself? If this were a multiple-choice test, then I’d hope you would have chosen C. Although theme is potentially both a moral and a message, neither of these should be […]

the all-important link between theme and character progression

The All-Important Link Between Theme and Character Progression

Theme is a slippery concept. The prevailing wisdom among writers is that if you apply any deliberate force to your theme, you’ll end up with a heavy-handed Aesop’s fable. On the other hand, a story without a theme is shallow escapism at best and an unrealistic flop at worst. Theme is arguably the single most […]

5 Tips for How to Return to Writing After a Long Break

Making a return to writing after a long time away can feel overwhelming or even bewildering. Depending on the reasons for your break, you may be confronting a wide array of emotions—everything from anticipation and excitement to trepidation and confusion. If you find yourself worried or uncertain about how to proceed, the first step is […]

Your Story Isn’t Working? Here Are 6 Problems to Troubleshoot

If you’re here because you feel your story isn’t working, you’re not alone. Most writers feel that way about most of the stories they write. The good news is you can probably salvage your current story by troubleshooting a few key areas. One way to learn how to accomplish this is to learn what didn’t work […]

6 Lessons Learned From 4 Years of Writer’s Block

To be a writer, one must do two things: write and, perhaps surprisingly, not write. Usually, we champion the first and demonize the second with much fear and trembling, giving it dread labels such as “writer’s block.” The implication is that, for a writer, not writing is about as bad as it gets. The truth, […]

Looking Back on 2022: 5 Reflections on a Year of Healing

For the past five years or so, I have opened every new year with a post looking back on the lessons I have learned in the previous year. What began as just another idea for a blog post has become one of my most treasured rituals. Every year when I sit down to write this […]

Top 10 Writing Posts of 2022

We made it! Welcome to the end of 2022! After the many notably momentous years that preceded it, 2022 was for me a “sleeper” year—both in the sense that it was much quieter and less externally eventful, but also in that it still ended up surprising me with the deep changes and transformations it has […]

15 of My Favorite Books in 2022

This year-end round-up of my “top books” is always one of my favorite posts to write. I always look forward to the retrospective of my year, not just because I get to remember everything I read, but also because my memories of my actual life are so intertwined with what I read. (When I’m trying […]

What Are the Best Places to Write? 15 Tips to Create the Perfect Writing Space

I admit it. I drool over Pinterest pictures of dreamy libraries and studies. Sometimes I google “writer’s offices” for inspiration about the best places to write, in search of that perfect writing space that will magnetize me to my desk and make me want to stay curled up with my work-in-progress for endless hours of […]

Master List of Answers to Most Asked-For Writing Topics on This Site

You who read this site and participate in the discussions are an endless source of inspiration to me. This is true in many ways, but most literally in that when you ask deeply insightful questions, you often give me great ideas for posts about writing topics! A few months ago, I asked you all to […]