Learn to Write: Top Posts of 2015

Learn to Write: Top Writing Posts of 2015

Time always blows by quickly, and this year seemed to blast past at record speed. For me, 2015 was mostly a year of keeping my head down and working on my fiction. Some of my highlights in 2015 included:

  • Story Structure Database launch
  • German translation of Outlining Your Novel (joining its Japanese and Korean brethren)
  • A second 101 Best Websites for Writers mention from Writer’s Digest
  • A fourth Write to Done Top Blogs for Writers Award
  • Storming, my fourth novel, release
  • Audio book release for Conquering Writer’s Block and Summoning Inspiration
  • Special edition webinar “3 Missing Pieces of Stunning Story Structure” for Writer’s Digest (which you can access as a free bonus when you purchase the paperback version of Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market 2016)
  • Completed first draft of my historical superhero work-in-progress Wayfarer
  • Presentation of a day-long workshop to the RWA chapter in gorgeous Tucson, Arizona, at the end of June

K.M. Weiland Speaking RWA Tucson

Next year, I plan to edit Wayfarer and start outlining the sequel to my portal fantasy Dreamlander. I also hope to finally do what so many of you have been asking me to do: put together a book (or maybe books) on character arcs and another on common writing mistakes. I also (still) have it in the works to put together a number of courses on outlining and structuring and, of course, offer more webinars.

2016 is shaping up to be another fast, furious, and fun year!

My 10 Top Writing Posts From 2015

But before we leave 2015 behind altogether, here is the always popular list of the Top Writing Posts (based on pagerank) on my site this year. Take a peek to make sure you didn’t miss anything!

1. Get Rid of On-the-Nose Dialogue Once and For All

2. My Writing Process: How I Use Scrivener to Outline My Novels

3. Do You Know the 6 Must-Have Elements of a “Wow” Story Premise?

4. 8 Paragraph Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

5. What Are Pinch Points? And How Can They Make Your Book Easier to Write?

6. The Only Thing You Need to Know About Writing Strong Female Characters

7. Your Book’s Inciting Event: It’s Not What You Think It Is

8. For Writers on the Verge of Writing Spectacularly Complex Characters

9. 6 Tasks You’ll Love Yourself for Checking Off Your NaNo Pre-Writing List

10. Afraid Your Book Is Boring? Your Characters May Not Be Doing This One Important Thing

Wordplayers, tell me your opinion! What’s your best writing-related moment of the year? Tell me in the comments!

Learn to Write: Top Posts of 2015

Sign Up Today

hwba sidebar pic

Sign up to receive K.M. Weiland’s e-letter and receive her free e-book Crafting Unforgettable Characters: A Hands-On Introduction to Bringing Your Characters to Life.

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. Time indeed does blow by quickly! You’re already looking back on 2016! “For me, 2016 was mostly a year of keeping my head down and working on my fiction. Some of my highlights in 2016 included.”

    I wish you a blessed Christmas and all the best for 2017!

  2. Have I missed a whole year, or is that a typo? :/
    I really wish to see the book on character arcs as well.
    And it is so envying to see you checking off so many goals and accomplishing so much.
    I am more than fired up in tackling the next year. (which for me, would be all about editing my first novel, not sure I will start anything though. Better focus on what’s on hand)

  3. My best writing-related moment(s) was finally getting a work started, and finishing it by the end of the year. 🙂

  4. Hello. I do believe that only Katie is good enough to have accomplished so much that she practically time jumped and made progress in the future. Advance congratulations. You have all my support, dear. 🙂

  5. I appreciate your dedication to the study of writing craft and your willingness to share it with us in an easy-to-digest format. Your Outlining book pulled me out of a writing black hole earlier this year, so thank you for that.

    I’d like to see a second edition of your Structure book at some point containing the tweaks your made in your thinking, such as your discoveries about the Inciting Event.

    Thanks for all you do, and Merry Christmas!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Your wish is my command! 🙂 I’m not doing a second edition of Structuring Your Novel, per se, but one of my first projects for the New Year *is* a free mini-ebook with all the updates on structure I’ve learned in the last few years.

      • Sometimes a slight stalking in comments helps a lot. 😀
        In things to anticipate. I also received a mail today about your being part of an editing spreecast, the wait of the whole month seems too long to me. 🙁
        Since I am editing my book and have no idea what I am doing, or how should I do it.

        • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

          Yes! The post-NaNo Spreecast. I’m excited to be there with James Scott Bell and Kami Garcia.

        • I’m in the same boat. Haven’t edited anything at this point. Kind of afraid of it honestly, and haven’t the slightest clue what to do. Editing my own poetry is about as close as it gets for me.

          Is there really going to be another spreecast? Did I hear this correctly? KM, James Scott Bell and Kami Garcia. Oh my Lord. What a treat! Can it get any better? My only wish would be an hour live chat vs 30 min. But I suppose we shouldn’t get too greedy. Sure you guys are super busy.

          • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

            Yep, this one will be in late January. I don’t have all the details yet, but I have a feeling this one will be at least an hour, since both Jim and I will be talking about editing.

          • Well, lucky for us our fav instructors have our backs.
            It’s no brainer that I love all the tips by KM, and I also love the books of James. Don’t know about Kami Garcia though, but the enthusiasm here shows that maybe I am missing out on her. It would be a good point for introduction. 😀

      • Excellent – you are the best!

  6. What a great year it’s been! Thank you to Katie and to all the folks here.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Back atcha. The wonderful community here on this site is thanks to you and all the awesome people who make it so!

  7. Steve Mathisen says

    You have been and will continue to be one busy lady. Thank you for all the awesome work you put into helping writers become authors with your spot-on writing advice, You are a tremendous resource for the online writing community and a good friend to all of us struggling to put our dreams into words in cohesive, effective way. Thanks for all you do and I wish for you another fantastic year. I

  8. My best writing moment this year was deciding to create a blog about the arts and the creative process. My most-read post: http://arhtisticlicense.com/2015/06/17/soliciting-and-offering-feedback/.

  9. Woot woot! Go K.M.! Hi everybody.
    You guys are hilarious. Thank you for an awesome live chat. What you said was very helpful. You probably saved me thousands of dollars and heartache in the process. Well, heartache probably will still be there.

    KM you’re probably a time traveler of some sort. I’ve come to the conclusion that you may be an alien sent to spy on us for some reason. (That’s actually one of project ideas. Don’t worry you’re not in it). Looking at all that you’ve accomplished is downright amazing. I wish I had a fist bump emoji because I just gave you one. How do you manage your time? You must be an avid planner.

    My other speculation is that you’re from the same planet as Superman. C’mon. Tell the truth. You guys are cousins right? If so, whats your kryptonite?

    My best moments this year: In no particular order

    *As a newborn writer you’re hungry for information. There’s a lot of information out there. How to do this, how to do that. All of it has been appreciable, but there’s been a few things that have stuck to the ribs.*

    1. NaNoWriMo! Nano gave me a swift kick in the rump, and helped propel me to fulfilling my goals. Thanks Nano!

    2. Encouragement from authors

    a. Caroline Peckham- On the difference between someone who fulfills their dreams as opposed to the wishful thinker. “Make a plan and do the work”. Tough love huh? Thanks Caroline!

    b. Jane Friedman- “Writing is rewriting” Awesome. Thanks Jane!

    c. James Patterson- “Write every chapter like it’s the first”. Patterson also convinced me to write an outline. I had been a sad sem-pantser beforehand. Trust me, it’s therapeutic.

    d. James Scott Bell- In his book Plot & Structure, he explains how he dedicated himself to learning the craft of writing. That’s the only thing that I remember so far from his book, but it profoundly affected me. Thanks Mr. Bell!

    e. Amalie Jahn- Her message on kindness at TED was amazing! Thanks Amalie! Can’t wait to read her books. An awesome YA author.

    f. Chuck Sambuchino- At Writers Digest. He gave a free session on how to be published. Great advice and has a book on building your platform.
    “Write for pleasure, and for money”. Thanks Chuck!

    g. I saved the best for last. *drumroll* KM. WEILAND- A special thank you to KM, who is the walking embodiment of awesomeness. Thanks for sharing the awesomeness with us here at your site. Both of your sites are great. Still trying to get to the bottom of the well here. Hoping to read all of your top posts from 2015 shortly. Thanks for the live chat. That was special. Alot of us enjoyed it. Also gave myself an early Christmas present with your outlining webinar. I get to see you all over again! he he he.

    3. The writing community.
    I never imagined that I’d enjoy a community such as this. From our writing group, NaNoWriMo, connecting with writers all over the place has been the ultimate joy!

    4. Winning KM’s book Conquering Writers Block and Summoning Inspiration. Thanks!

    I’d better stop there. Whew.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      You had a good year! And, yeah, totally an alien. Jedi Masters are technically aliens, right? 😉 Thanks for attending today’s Spreecast and participating in the Q&A. It was great to see there!

    • Whee, I totally forgot the session. We were having some renovations in our home, carpeting the rooms DIY. It was such a busy day that at night, (the time of the livecast in my area) all I remembered was to fall in my bed.
      I still managed to finish the Star Wars original trilogy. I watched it for the first time, and it got me wondering why I waited so long?

  10. robert easterbrook says

    I think, for me, spending time with you – through your blog, website and books – was the highlight of 2015 – reading Schturming was a bonus! Thanks. 😉

    Enjoy the festive season, be safe, and I look forward to chats in 2016.

  11. Wow! Thanks for this post and all you do. I started following you at the beginning of 2015 and I’m so glad. I only wish I had started sooner. You’re a writing machine. In response to the question, for me there has been so many great writing moments in 2015. But if I had to choose one, it was when I went on a weekend writing retreat late in the summer. I’m working on my first novel and already had the draft, but my focus on the retreat was to use the knowledge that I have gathered from you and so many other great authors/writers in the self-editing process. During that time, I was able to dig deeper into my novel’s structure and character development. My progress from that experience was amazing. As it’s been said before in the earlier comments, you’re an inspiration. I hope I’m able to attend your post-NaNo Spreecast in January as I’m sure I’ll learn something. Have a great Christmas and all the best to you 2016.

  12. Still gleaning the fields here. It’s great! Lot of gems here. Definitely jedi stuff. One of my short term goals before the new year is:

    1. Finish all of your top posts from 2015. Seven more to go.
    2. Finish Outlining your Novel bk.

    I can tell by reading you, that you have an excellent character. Which I believe is critical.
    Perfectionist I assume? Strategic planner for certain. These are some of the unspoken elements that affect everything. I know because my character is horrible. I’d like to hear more of how you plan your time if possible. Don’t forget to notify us of the upcoming post nanowrimo spreecast.


    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Thank you. 🙂 I would actually classify myself as a “good enough” person. I try to get it perfect, but I’m willing to let it go at good enough, so I can move on and keep moving.


  1. […] Last DEC 17th The Force Awakens Star Wars VII open in theaters here in Florida.  I can say I was there.  It was awesome.  This long time Star Wars buff has happy.  Find out what this writer had to say about the lesson she learned.  I agree.  Very interesting points.  Lessons From The Force by Fiction Editor Beth Hill The Editors Blog […]

  2. […] Source: Learn to Write: Top Writing Posts of 2015 – Helping Writers Become Authors […]

  3. […] I’m not the only one who found writing inspiration in the new Star Wars movie. Find out what this writer had to say about the lessons she learned.  I agree.  Very interesting points.  Lessons From The Force by Fiction Editor Beth Hill The Editors Blog […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.