Category Archives: Craft

Why Mutually Exclusive Desires Make Great Conflicts

  Your story should be jammed packed with conflicts. You should have conflicts about the setting, like the tropical storm that’s been seen down south is heading north and could turn into a hurricane. Or, you could have conflicts about every day life, like maybe the cat is missing and he has a history of … Continue reading Why Mutually Exclusive Desires Make Great Conflicts

Why Your Spell Checker Is A Shifty-Eyed Hack

You can’t trust your spell checker. Generally speaking, a spell checking feature on a word processing program will do a fair job in finding words that are misspelled. That’s all it’s capable of doing. If you think that an automatic spell check will do enough work to make you a good writer, then you are … Continue reading Why Your Spell Checker Is A Shifty-Eyed Hack

Eight Reasons You Should Write Every Day

  Did you write today? Are you going to? In the book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg said, “Most of the choices we make each day may feel like the products of well-considered decision making, but they’re not. They’re habits. And though each habit means relatively little on its own, over time, the meals we order, … Continue reading Eight Reasons You Should Write Every Day

Never Say Never: Writing “Rules” That Beg to Be Broken

By Jennifer Worrell How many of you have heard the old saw, “Write it your way!” or “Write the story you want to read!” And so you do. And then you’re told…you can’t do that. Only {insert bestselling author names here} can do that. But no one explains why. How did successful writers get that … Continue reading Never Say Never: Writing “Rules” That Beg to Be Broken

Seven Reasons Why You Should Read Your Manuscript Out Loud

  Have you ever read your work out loud? Long before you submit your work to your beta readers, before you assume that you’re done, before you start thinking about renting that billboard to advertise your latest literary genius, you should read your manuscript out loud. Start at page one. Finish at “The End.” And listen. And … Continue reading Seven Reasons Why You Should Read Your Manuscript Out Loud

Eight Ways You May Be Bungling Your Dialogue In Your Novel

  “I’m not bungling my dialogue,” you say to yourself. But you’ve had a few complaints from your beta readers about how they don’t like the characters. You’ve been told the story feels dead. While your plot is tight and your pacing is perfect, the characters themselves feel off. The trouble could be your dialogue. … Continue reading Eight Ways You May Be Bungling Your Dialogue In Your Novel

Ten Questions To Ask Before Writing An Interesting Scene

In a novel, what is a scene? A scene is a small increment of the story that progresses the story forward. A novel is full of them. And while this may seem obvious, they ain’t easy to write. Have you written a scene and not known where to start? Ask yourself these ten questions! The … Continue reading Ten Questions To Ask Before Writing An Interesting Scene

Eighteen Ways To Write An Emotionally Abusive Villain

    Let’s say you want to write a villain who doesn’t wear black, doesn’t have a weapon and doesn’t do all the things that typical baddies do.You want an emotionally abusive villain. Emotionally abusive villains are scarier than the Darth Vader types, in my humble opinion. They can play with a person’s mind, trick … Continue reading Eighteen Ways To Write An Emotionally Abusive Villain

Does Your Backstory Make Your Readers Stabby?

Backstory? Oh yes, you’ve been working on that character’s backstory for months! You’ve written thousands of words of backstory! You know how his parents met, how he got that scar on his pasty white tuckus, and why he gets all shaky and whiny when he’s served enchiladas. This is all important stuff you told yourself as … Continue reading Does Your Backstory Make Your Readers Stabby?

Four Reasons Why Authors Shouldn’t Be Nice In Their Stories

Nice authors can be dull ones. I think that authors should be well-behaved and respectful. They should have great ethics and never be undignified or rude in public where their readers can see them. I fully believe that an author’s brand is far too fragile (especially in this competitive market) to risk alienation by their … Continue reading Four Reasons Why Authors Shouldn’t Be Nice In Their Stories

7 Ways To Keep Your Buzz & Write Drunk — By Elaine Bayless

  “Write drunk. Edit sober.” Easy enough, right? It means to write without boundaries, loose and wild and out of control. Thoughtful word selection and complex grammatical decisions belong in the world of editing. And yet, how often do you “lose your buzz” and start editing right in the middle of writing? How do you … Continue reading 7 Ways To Keep Your Buzz & Write Drunk — By Elaine Bayless

5 Super Powers & 5 Sources of Kryptonite for Abused Characters

  Super powers always come from somewhere. Does your main character have super powers? If your main character has a history of abuse then you may have a super hero on your hands. This isn’t just the stuff of Marvel Comics. In real life, victims of abuse — at least those that have sought therapy, … Continue reading 5 Super Powers & 5 Sources of Kryptonite for Abused Characters

Eleven Requirements For The First Pages of Your Bestseller

The first pages of a book are like opening a door. I let myself go at the beginning and write with an easy mind, but by the time I get to the middle I begin to grow timid and to fear my story will be too long…That is why the beginning of my stories is … Continue reading Eleven Requirements For The First Pages of Your Bestseller

Nine Strategies to Make Your Scenes Feel More Cinemagraphic

Have you ever read a book whose scenes felt movie-like? You’ve read the books that flowed seamlessly from one scene to another. You’ve read over the descriptions of the settings that were rich and details. As you turned the pages, you may have had a sense of action and tension that felt exactly right. As … Continue reading Nine Strategies to Make Your Scenes Feel More Cinemagraphic