How to Define Your Character's Unique Voice

To create characters as real as the people around us, we must remember to forge for them their own unique voices.

With individual personalities, cultural influences, experiences, and world views, its no wonder people verbally interact with the world in different ways, and so our characters should as well. Doing so not only helps to distinguish them from the other characters in our stories, but to add depth and realism to their characterization. 

But how do you go about defining your characters’ unique voices? The process is admittedly a bit lengthy, but I promise it will prove well worth your time when your characters’ voices leap off the page truly and fully defined. Sound like a plan? Let’s get started with today's breakdown, writer!

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Crafting a Brilliant Cast of Secondary Characters (a #StorySocial recap)


Hello, friends! Time for another #StorySocial recap. Never heard of it?

#StorySocial is the weekly chat I host every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern on Twitter. Each week, dozens of writers get together for about an hour to chat about a fun writerly topic. This past Wednesday, we talked all about how to craft a brilliant cast of secondary characters for our stories.

Did you miss out? Couldn't make it? No worries. I'm sharing a recap of this week's chat below. Check it out!

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Free E-Course: How to Plot a Novel Using the 3-Act Story Structure

Are you ready to discover the foundations of strong storytelling?

Behind every well-written story is structure: story structure. The most popular of which is, perhaps, the 3-Act Story Structure, which seamlessly intertwines both plot and character arcs to help writers craft linear stories with purpose and power. We've discussed the 3-Act Story Structure at some length here on the blog, but today I'm excited to make an announcement...

I've teamed up with the folks at Reedsy to create a free ten-lesson email course on the 3-Act Story Structure that will help you nail down the foundations of strong structure one tip-packed lesson at a time!

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How Can Hobbies Inform & Inspire Our Writing? (a #StorySocial recap)

Hello, friends! Time for another #StorySocial recap. Never heard of it?

#StorySocial is the weekly chat I host every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern on Twitter. Each week, dozens of writers get together for about an hour to chat about a fun writerly topic. This past Wednesday, we talked all about how hobbies can inform and inspire our writing.

Did you miss out? Couldn't make it? No worries. I'm sharing a recap of this week's chat below. Check it out!
 

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Have You Chosen the Right Main Character to Tell Your Story?

Main characters can make or break a story’s success.

Oftentimes, the doubts we face as we work to bring our main characters to life can seem endless. Are our protagonists’ well-rounded enough? Are they interesting? Will readers root for them to achieve their goal? 

Choosing the right main character to carry the weight of your story is absolutely vital, but knowing whether you’ve selected the perfect protagonist can be tricky—or is it? Truth is: knowing you’ve chosen the right main character for your story doesn’t have to be complicated. Here’s why…

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Stepping Outside Your Writing Comfort Zone (a #StorySocial recap)


Hello, friends! Time for another #StorySocial recap. Never heard of it?

#StorySocial is the weekly chat I host every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern on Twitter. Each week, dozens of writers get together for about an hour to chat about a fun writerly topic. This past Wednesday, we talked all about stepping outside our writing comfort zone.

Did you miss out? Couldn't make it? No worries. I'm sharing a recap of this week's chat below. Check it out!

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How to Frame Scenes Like a Filmmaker


Have you ever thought about writing fiction with filmmaking in mind?

This certainly isn’t a concept I originated. Rather, I recently rediscovered it after reading Diana Gabaldon’s I Give You My Body, her guide to writing intimate scenes, in which she discusses framing the scenes in her books as though she were shooting a film. 

Having taken a few communications classes in my day—all of which involved a good bit of camera work—the idea of framing scenes with filmmaking in mind is advice that I not only find interesting, but believe may be vastly helpful to many writers looking to improve their craft. Sound like something you’d enjoy? Let’s kick off today’s discussion!

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How to Build Pre-Launch Hype for Your Novel (a #StorySocial recap)


Hello, friends! Time for another #StorySocial recap. Never heard of it?

#StorySocial is the weekly chat I host every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern on Twitter. Each week, dozens of writers get together for about an hour to chat about a fun writerly topic. This past Wednesday, we returned to our book marketing roots to discuss building pre-launch hype for our novels.

Did you miss out? Couldn't make it? No worries. I'm sharing a recap of this week's chat below. Check it out!

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Outline Your Novel With the 3-Act Story Structure

Are you ready to take the overwhelm out of outlining your novel?

Transforming a new story idea or a shapeless first draft into a spectacular full-length book is more than a little difficult. There are endless elements at play: plot arcs, character arcs, stakes, themes, pacing... It's no wonder many writers struggle to give life to the stories in their heads. 

Fortunately, giving shape to your story doesn't have to be as difficult as it may seem. You can craft a strong blueprint for your novel with ease by making good use of a little tool called story structure.

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How to Write Strong Descriptions In Your Storytelling (a #StorySocial recap)


Hello, friends! Time for another #StorySocial recap. Never heard of it?

#StorySocial is the weekly chat I host every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern on Twitter. Each week, dozens of writers get together for about an hour to chat about a fun writerly topic. This past Wednesday, we talked all about how how to write strong descriptions of scenes, characters, backstory, and more throughout your story.

Did you miss out? Couldn't make it? No worries. I'm sharing a recap of this week's chat below. Check it out!

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Is a Daily Writing Routine Right for You?

“Real writers write every day.”

Unfortunately, that’s a sentiment you’ll often hear in the writing world, and for a time, I subscribed to it myself. And while I still maintain a daily writing routine, I regret the days I spent telling other writers they should to do the same.

Every writer’s process is unique, and what works for one—or even many—isn’t guaranteed to work for you. And that’s okay! The important thing is to find the writing techniques that work best with your time, your skills, and your stories. Unsure if a daily writing routine would be a good fit for your writing process?

Allow me to share the pros and cons of my own experience with a daily writing routine today!

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My Top 5 Tools to Get You Writing

Ultimately, it's the writing that makes the writer, but that doesn't mean you can't set yourself up for success.

Over the years, I've discovered that the best way to have great productivity and an easy-to-manage writing process is to set myself up with good, reliable writing tools. It may seem odd to some that I use more than just a Word document to get the job done, but I'm a firm believer in not settling.

If there are tools out there that can make my writing process simpler, faster, and more inspired, then I want them—and I'd encourage you to get them a shot as well. Today, I'm sharing my top 10 tools that will get you writing like the #writeboss you long to be. Shall we dive in?

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Celebrating Our Writing Successes! (a #StorySocial recap)


Hello, friends! Time for another #StorySocial recap. Never heard of it?

#StorySocial is the weekly chat I host every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern on Twitter. Each week, dozens of writers get together for about an hour to chat about a fun writerly topic. This past Wednesday, we talked all about how we celebrate writing successes, big and small.

Did you miss out? Couldn't make it? No worries. I'm sharing a recap of this week's chat below. Check it out!

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How to Create Strong Pacing For Your Story

Books are a bit like amusement park rides. 

They come in all shapes and sizes and even levels of thrill, with enough variation that there are few who don’t enjoy any sort of ride at all. But there is one element that all rides must have if they're to succeed: an expectation of pace.

Fast rides fly. Slow rides meander. But it’s rare that a ride will catapult between high and low speeds until the rider begs to be removed. Why? Well, the intense change in pacing would leave most riders bewildered—and likely a bit nauseated, too.

The same goes for stories that lack consistent pacing. So let's avoid bewildering, and perhaps even nauseating, our readers, shall we? Buckle up, writers. We’re about to go for a ride!

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How to Craft Strong Themes For Your Story (a #StorySocial recap)

Hello, friends! Time for another #StorySocial recap. Never heard of it?

#StorySocial is the weekly chat I host every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern on Twitter. Each week, dozens of writers get together for about an hour to chat about a fun writerly topic. This past Wednesday, we talked all about how to craft strong themes for our stories.

Did you miss out? Couldn't make it? No worries. I'm sharing a recap of this week's chat below. Check it out!

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How to Find Your Character's Motivation

Writers, it’s time to talk about Why-Power! 

Specifically, the why behind your characters’ story goals. Strong goals drive plot, of course, but it’s your characters reasons for wanting to achieve those goals that lend your story context and power. How so?

In today's article, we're going to break why motivations are such powerful storytelling tools, as well as the two main types of motivations and how you can create well-developed motivations for your own story. Ready to get started? We have a lot of ground to cover, so let's dive in!

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How to Craft Incredible Dialogue (a #StorySocial recap)


Hello, friends! Time for another #StorySocial recap. Never heard of it?

#StorySocial is the weekly chat I host every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern on Twitter. Each week, dozens of writers get together for about an hour to chat about a fun writerly topic. This past Wednesday, we talked all about how to craft incredible dialogue.

Did you miss out? Couldn't make it? No worries. I'm sharing a recap of this week's chat below. Check it out!

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The Four Main Types of Epic Antagonists


Every story needs a good villain, right? Well, not so fast…

Stories need conflict, certainly, but conflict doesn't have to come at the hands of a cackling, mustache-twirling supervillain. There's more than one way to shape your story's antagonist!

In fact, there are four main types of antagonists that appear in fiction, and I can't wait to break them all down with you today. Which type of antagonist is best for your story? How can you make each type a true stand-out success? Read on for more, my friend.

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How to Manage Your Story's Pacing (a #StorySocial recap)


Hello, friends! Time for another #StorySocial recap. Never heard of it?

#StorySocial is the weekly chat I host every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern on Twitter. Each week, dozens of writers get together for about an hour to chat about a fun writerly topic. This past Wednesday, we talked all about how to manage your story's pacing.

Did you miss out? Couldn't make it? No worries. I'm sharing a recap of this week's chat below. Check it out!

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How to Tackle The Pesky Middle Act (a #StorySocial recap)

Hello, friends! Time for another #StorySocial recap. Never heard of it?

#StorySocial is the weekly chat I host every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern on Twitter. Each week, dozens of writers get together for about an hour to chat about a fun writerly topic. This past Wednesday, we talked all about how to tackle the pesky middle act of our stories.

Did you miss out? Couldn't make it? No worries. I'm sharing a recap of this week's chat below. Check it out!
 

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