Top 10 Writing Posts of 2021

It is hard to believe we have just bid goodbye to 2021. For me, as for most of you I’m sure, it was a crazy year—crazier than 2020 in some respects.

On a personal level, it was a year that seemed to bring one crisis after another, culminating with a big move in late summer. On a writing level, it was year I started by making the huge commitment to not write–specifically, to take a year-long sabbatical from writing fiction. I’ll be sharing more about this in next week’s post, including why I did it and what I learned from it.

Most of my focus this year was on the huge series I did here on the blog about Archetypal Character Arcs. It was a passion project, and I loved every minute of researching, writing, editing, and sharing it. I am currently at work on a book version, which I hope to publish next year. Other fun stuff that happened this year included:


  • Publication of several foreign-language versions of my books, including a French version of Structuring Your Novel and a Japanese version of Writing Your Story’s Theme.

(Thanks to Satoru Omura for the photo!)

For me, next year looks to be another year of big transitions. I hope to start writing fiction again but still haven’t quite decided what to start working on next. In short, I see more adventures on the horizon. I’ll be very interested to fast-forward twelve months and see what I write in this round-up post next year!

For now, I wish you a wonderful New Year, full of goodness, guidance, and protection!

And now, just in case you missed them or want to review, here are my top 10 writing posts from 2021, according to your page views.

My Top 10 Posts of 2021

This year’s list is a little different, since it reflects the fact that the vast majority of my posts this year were part of a mammoth series on archetypal character arcs. Nine out of ten of the posts, below, are from that series (only #7 is not). If you’re interested in any of the archetypal posts, you may find it more helpful to visit the series’ master page and read the posts in chronological order: How to Write Archetypal Character Arcs.

1. Introduction to the 12 Shadow Archetypes

2. The Maiden Arc

3. Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 1

4. The Hero Arc

5. The Queen Arc

6. An Introduction to Archetypal Stories

7. Story Theory and the Quest for Meaning

8. 7 Writing Lessons Learned in 2020

9. Archetypal Antagonists for Each of the Six Archetypal Character Arcs

10. The King Arc

Wordplayers, tell me your opinions! What was the most memorable writing event in your 2021? Tell me in the comments!


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About K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland

K.M. Weiland is the award-winning and internationally-published author of the acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs. A native of western Nebraska, she writes historical and fantasy novels and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.


  1. Keep doing what you’re doing, Katie. You are such an inspiration and encouragement. I would have given up on my dreams ages ago if it weren’t for your constant prodding making me a better informed reader as well as writer. Thank you so much for all you do and blessings in the coming year.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      And I can say “ditto” right back to you and everyone else who keeps reading and commenting! Thanks for keeping me at it. 🙂

  2. Best Wishes for the New Year, Katie! I don’t doubt that you’ll be successful with whatever writing project you undertake. Your favorite blog posts were rocket fuel to my grasp of showing character developments. Your generosity to us Wordplayers inspires me to strive for the same in my behind-the-curtain way.

    My favorite writing events are those *aha* moments where a key understanding of craft clicks like the tumblers of a combination lock. I enjoyed a validating honor, too 🙂 — winning the 2021 Thomas Wolfe Short Fiction contest.

  3. I wish you and all readers here a very happy, fruitful 2022!

    My favourite writing event this year was finding your blog.

    After not having put two words together for the sake of it since high school, during the dreadful 2020 a story started growing in me, and I just blurted it out in my free time.

    No planning, no goals, no depth, nothing to light the way, I found myself in mid 2021, close to the middle of the story, 120k words in my arms and no idea of how to continue.

    The story was pointless.

    So I stopped and started researching about writer’s block, but I found the concept of story structure. Just as well, it was overwhelming, most resources stood in a too abstract level for me, and I was very close to give up writing for drawing, another passion tempting me, but that doesn’t feel so fulfilling as writing does for me.

    And that’s when I found your teaching, and with your step-by-step processes, and your so so helpful examples, I started analysing my story, and found some sort of structure, and even a shy shade of a theme. Building character arcs was the hardest, it took me months but now I’m grateful because they are giving me all the answers I need to go on, and my story feels stronger, meaningful, rewarding, even if I write it just for me.

    I can not thank you enough for sharing so much, and for putting it in words so straightforward that even newbies like me can follow through.

    Sorry for the too long message, I think I got carried away 🙂

    All the best!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Aww, you made my day! 🙂 Your tale reminds me of how I got started in all this story theory myself. It’s been such a fun journey!

  4. You’re a treasure! I hope 2022 brings you amazing success!

  5. Katie,

    Here’s wishing you a magnificent 2022. May your biggest problem be counting your successes.

    For me in 2021, I finished a second draft, followed by multiple revisions, and that was a big accomplishment for me. However, after reviewing the editorial comments, and doing some soul searching, I’ve realized it tries to do to many things. In 2022, I hope to figure out what I want this book to be, who I want to be as a writer, and pull these two things together into a third (and let’s hope final) draft.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      “I hope to figure out what I want this book to be, who I want to be as a writer.”

      And, really, that’s the writing life all in one sentence right there. 😉

  6. I look forward to your post about what you learned about from your sabbatical.

    The biggest writing event for me this year was… being an alpha reader for someone else. Yes, this was a bigger event that doing three major revisions of a manuscript and beginning another novel manuscript. Being an alpha reader for someone else has taught me a lot about revision, and through that I made connections to the people who became beta readers for my own manuscript, and the experience of being an alpha reader helped me understand the feedback my own betas gave me. Finally, being an alpha reader allows me to ‘shadow’ someone who is further along his author journey than I am (a novel I alpha’d this year got as high as #800 on the entire Kindle store bestseller list, so yep, further along than me).

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Yes, imagined perspective is never quite the same as actually walking in someone else’s shoes for a while, is it? Sounds like you had a good year. 🙂

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