Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 22: How to Use Archetypal Character Arcs in Your Stories

And so we find ourselves (almost) at the end of a nearly six-month journey through the possibilities of archetypal character arcs. If you’ve stuck with me through what is by far the longest series I have ever shared, then I hope, like me, you are enthralled and excited by the possibilities that archetypes offer for […]

How to Find and Fill All Your Plot Holes (How to Outline for NaNoWriMo, Pt. 4)

How to Find and Fill All Your Plot Holes (How to Outline for NaNoWriMo, Pt. 4)

What is the single most important job of an outline for NaNoWriMo—or any other book at any other time of the year? We might come up with lots of answers, but they all tend to boil down to just this one: avoiding plot holes. I hate plot holes. They drive me bazooey. There you are, […]

How to Get Up Cclose with Your Characters

How to Get Up Close With Your Characters

To create believable characters, novelists develop profiles. These descriptions of their characters—from birth conditions to major life event; weight, hair, and eye color; and character traits guide them as they write. However, concrete details about the imaginary people who inhabit the pages of your manuscript don’t allow you to experience them. You can’t get up […]

Why Writers Need To Make Way More Mistakes

6 Reasons You Need to Make Way More Writing Mistakes

Writing mistakes are frustrating—especially when that mistake is novel-sized and cost you months of work before you realized it was, indeed, a mistake. Because frustration is a negative emotion, we usually do everything in our power to, first, avoid making writing mistakes and, then, when we inevitably do make them, distance ourselves from them as […]

15 More Reasons Writing Is Important

15 (More) Reasons Writing Is Important–in Your Own Words

Is writing important? I posed that question two weeks ago in the post “5 Reasons Writing Is Important to the World.” Obviously, the conclusion I came to (after some sincere soul-searching) was that yes, writing and storytelling is a crucial part of building a better world and encouraging one another in our own quests for Truth. But […]

The Most Important Thing You'll Ever Do: WRITE

5 Reasons Writing Is Important to the World

I find myself a little trepidatious as I sit down to write this post. I just downed my morning coffee, and the caffeine is kicking in and latching onto my nerves, making my fingers just a little trembly. Why am I nervous? Because this is such a big post. And such a deeply personal post. […]

The #1 Tweak to Writing Truly Original Stories and Characters

The 4 Tweaks to Writing Truly Original Stories and Characters

The process of writing original stories is shrouded in mystery. Occasionally, as part of my daily Writing Question of the Day (#WQOTD) on Twitter and Facebook, I’ll ask, “What makes your story original?” It’s a question that tends to get fewer responses than normal, and the responses I do receive are often nebulous or downright uncertain. […]

How to Make Better Writing Resolutions in 2016

5 Ways to Make Better Writing Resolutions in 2016

Better writing resolutions should be something we make all year ’round. But there is something about January 1st that always seems to get people to focus, both on everything you didn’t get done last year and everything you hope to do this year. But let’s stop hoping, shall we? This year, take your writing resolutions beyond wishful maybes […]

Not Feeling Creative? 4 Ways to Reignite the “Wonder” in Your Writing

Writers are supposed to be magical beings who live somewhere in the glorious wilderness between insightful reality and abandoned creativity. Sometimes that’s exactly what the writing life feels like: heady with inspiration, swirling with visions of people and places beyond the prosaic world in which we actually live. Everything has meaning and wonder. Who needs drugs, […]

Who Should You Be Writing For? Yourself or Your Readers?

Whom Should You Be Writing For? Yourself or Your Readers?

Whom should you be writing for? It’s a question all writers have to face sooner or later. Usually, we tend to think of the answer in terms of audiences: young adults, women 18-55, general adults, or super geeks of the sort to have read every back issue comic from the Silver Age. My simplest answer to this question […]