Your Ultimate First Chapter Checklist

Your Ultimate First Chapter Checklist, Pt. 1: Hooking Readers

Your story’s first chapter is one of the most important pieces of your story. Not only does it provide the foundation for a solid storyform to come, it is also your first and only chance to pique readers’ curiosity and suck them in. For better or worse, the first chapter is also one of the […]

Most Common Writing Mistakes Header

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 56: Unfulfilled Foreshadowing

Sometimes writing feels like magic. You look back at the story you’ve created and it seems like it came from beyond you. One of the coolest examples of this is with foreshadowing. Some little something you wrote in the early chapters without even thinking about it ends up being a huge clue or bit of symbolism […]

How to Choose the Right POV (What I Learned Writing Storming)

How to Choose the Right POV (What I Learned Writing Storming)

Your novel is going to be the product of a series of important decisions. One of the most important of those decisions is one many authors take for granted: the point of view (POV) from which the story will be told. Let me implore you right now: Don’t take POV for granted! The slapdash POV […]

Trouble With Your Latest Story? 10 Ways to Reinvent Your Writing Style

Trouble With Your Latest Story? 10 Ways to Reinvent Your Writing Style

Are you stuck in the writing doldrums? Has your prose become lackluster and stale? If so, it might be time to change up your writing style and infuse some fresh life into your words and stories. Every writer has his own writing style–a particular combination of skills, techniques, characteristics, and practices that develops into his unique voice. […]

Your Scene’s Not Working? Maybe the Lighting Is Wrong

Your Scene’s Not Working? Maybe the Lighting Is Wrong

Today, I’m guest posting over on The Write Conversation, with the post “Your Scene’s Not Working? Maybe the Lighting Is Wrong?.” Here’s an excerpt: Of all the many story aspects authors have to keep track of, why in heaven’s name should lighting be up there at the top of our list? That’s something movie directors have […]

is your story's tone lying to readers

Is Your Story’s Tone Lying to Readers?

We might define your story’s tone as its attitude. More than that, it’s a guide for readers to help them determine their attitude while reading your story. As such, you have to set your story’s tone right from the beginning. Funny, cheeky, sad, dark, cynical, hopeful? What’s your story’s tone? Even more importantly, does your […]

Are Your Characters Bantering or Bickering?

Are Your Characters Bantering or Bickering?

This week’s video explains the important difference between characters who are bantering and characters who are bickering—and how to write both. Video Transcript: I love witty banter. I mean, really, who doesn’t, right? A little playful, quick-witted dialogue can season up any scene. Tell me there’s bantering in a book or movie, and I’m going […]

Have You Chosen the Wrong Tone for Your Story?

Have You Chosen the Wrong Tone for Your Story?

The tone you choose for your story can make or break your book. It will affect every single page you write. Tone guides readers in figuring how they’re supposed to view a story. Funny? Serious? Edgy? Sarcastic? Wielded with understanding, tone will help you create a more cohesive story and will pull readers that much […]

How to Use Foreshadowing

How to Use Foreshadowing

Foreshadowing is a necessary part of any well-executed story. And yet, despite all its prevalence and importance, it’s actually a concept that many authors have a hard time getting their minds around. If we sift foreshadowing down to its simplest form, we could say that it prepares readers for what will happen later in the story. […]

Have You Set the Right Tone for Your Story?

This week’s video talks about an oft-overlooked but surprisingly crucial decision about how to choose the right tone for your story. Video Transcript: Tone is one of those things, along with author “voice,” that can be difficult for us get our heads around, since to some extent, it just happens. But tone, even more than voice, is something […]