How to Rock NaNoWriMo This November

This article was nearly titled “How to Win NaNoWriMo.”

But life isn’t all about winning. It’s about doing things you enjoy, challenging yourself to grow, and putting forth your very best effort, no matter the end result. So let’s toss the idea of "winning" NaNoWriMo out the window and focus on having our very best NaNoWriMo experiences, shall we? 

But what is NaNoWriMo, you ask? Ah, yes. Ahem. That would be a good place to start, wouldn’t it?

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Authors Supporting Authors: Making the Most of the Writing Community (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 the importance of story structure.

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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Our newest Well-Storied workbook is live: introducing Crafting Incredible Characters!


Hello there, writers, and happy Friday!

Today, I'm so excited to announce the launch of our newest Well-Storied workbook. Crafting Incredible Characters is 105-page digital workbook designed specifically to help you develop well-rounded characters that leap off the page.

As I've often said, characters are the backbone of any good story. It's their desires that drive the plot forward, their motivations that pull on readers' emotions, their flaws and weaknesses that keep tensions running high, and their complexities that breathe life onto the pages of your story.

But the process of crafting characters that fulfill all of those functions with grace and ease is certainly easier said than done.

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Just how important is story structure? (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 the importance of story structure.

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 Craft Riveting Internal Conflict For Your Story

Conflict is the backbone of any good story.

External conflict, which we broke down recently here on the blog, occurs between a character and an outside force, whether that be another character or an element of nature, society, or technology. On the other hand, internal conflict arises from an ethical or emotional debate that occurs within a character.

This style of conflict, while occurring in some form in every story, has the same ability to carry the full weight of a plot as external conflict. But how? Well, let’s discuss internal conflict together today!

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The Do's and Don'ts of Naming Characters

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 name our characters.

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 Writing Creative Essays Can Improve Your Fiction (with guest writer Piers Golden)

Hello, writers! Kristen here. Today, I'm thrilled to welcome fellow writer Piers Golden to the blog.

 

Piers is currently a master's student in journalism at NYU, and today he's here to share the many ways in which writing creative non-fiction essays can prove to be a fresh way to exercise your fiction writing skills.

If you enjoy his article, make sure to connect with Piers and check out some of his other articles over on Facebook. Now, without any further ado, I'll let Piers take over his discussion on today's topic!

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Let's discuss book marketing! (a #StorySocial chat 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 market our books—and enjoy the process, too!

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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What is external conflict? (a breakdown of the four main types + tips for weaving it into your story!)

Conflict drives narrative.

As humans, our curiosity piques when two forces oppose one another. “What is happening?”, we ask. Why are these two forces at odds? How will the conflict play out? Who will win? What would I do if I were in that situation?

These are the questions readers ask, more or less subconsciously, as they read. Which means they’re also exactly the kinds of questions writers should ask themselves when crafting plots for their stories.

In stories, as in life, there are two types of conflict: internal and external. Internal conflicts are the mental, emotional, or spiritual struggles a person faces—Character vs Self—which we’ll talk about on the blog soon!

Today, however, we’re going to focus on the second type of struggle: external conflict. Shall we dive into the breakdown? 

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How to Edit Your Story For Success (a #StorySocial recap)

Hello, friends! Time for another #StorySocial recap. In case you're new here (or if you've just yet to hear about our chats), allow me to cue you in: #StorySocial is the weekly Twitter chat that I host every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern.

Each week we get together for about an hour to chat about a fun writerly topic. This past Wednesday, we talked about how to build fictional societies as part of the world-building process.

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

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5 Ways to Frame Your Story

You have a story idea, and you’re ready to write. But have you thought much about how you’ll frame your story?

Subjective storytelling is the framework most commonly found in modern literature, and it's perhaps the most obvious way writers think to tell their stories. With a subjective framework, writers utilize a limited point-of-view (i.e. the story is told solely via the main character's thoughts and experiences) to immerse readers in the main character’s journey.

But this style of storytelling isn’t the only way in which you can frame your story for success. What are your other options, and which is best for your novel? Let’s break down five alternative frameworks today!

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How to Plot Your Story For Success (a #StorySocial chat recap)


Hello, friends! Time for another #StorySocial recap. In case you're new here (or if you've just yet to hear about our chats), allow me to cue you in: #StorySocial is the weekly Twitter chat that I host every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern.

Each week we get together for about an hour to chat about a fun writerly topic. This past Wednesday, we talked about how to build fictional societies as part of the world-building process.

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

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How do we write in times of strife?

When the evening news is overwhelming, when injustice reigns and life reads like conflict straight out of a history book, how do we find the mental and emotional space to write?

This is something I’ve been thinking about quite a bit in recent months, but more so than ever following the events of Charlottesville this August. When a few blog readers expressed similar sentiments on Twitter, I knew it was time to unpack this topic to the best of my ability.

Writing in times of strife may seem insignificant or impossible, but nothing could be further from the truth. Your stories matter, and they are needed. Here are my best tips for bringing them to life when the world is in turmoil...

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How does reading help writers grow? (a #StorySocial recap)

Hello, friends! Time for another #StorySocial recap. In case you're new here (or if you've just yet to hear about our chats), allow me to cue you in: #StorySocial is the weekly Twitter chat that I host every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern.

Each week we get together for about an hour to chat about a fun writerly topic. This past Wednesday, we talked about how to build fictional societies as part of the world-building process.

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

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5 Ways Writers Can Stay Creative (beyond simply writing + reading!)


As writers, writing and reading are obviously the two best ways to fuel our creativity.

But reading and writing aren't the only ways we can stay on top of our creative game. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that you aren't truly maximizing your creativity if you aren't staying active in other areas of your life.

What fuels an artists' work will be different for each of us, but in this week's #FridayFive, I'm sharing five ways that I encourage creativity in my own life outside of simply writing and reading in the hopes that these steps may prove helpful to you as well.

Ready to dive in? Scroll to read a written recap or check out my #FridayFive video below (or over on Youtube---don't forget to subscribe!).

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Worldbuilding, Part Two: Crafting Fantastical Elements (a #StorySocial recap)


Hello, friends! Time for another #StorySocial recap. In case you're new here (or if you've just yet to hear about our chats), allow me to cue you in: #StorySocial is the weekly Twitter chat that I host every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern.

Each week we get together for about an hour to chat about a fun writerly topic. This past Wednesday, we talked about how to build fictional societies as part of the world-building process.

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

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What are your writing strengths? (it's high time we celebrated them!)

As writers, we often spend a lot of time dissecting and criticizing our work.

We're also no strangers to doubts and insecurities, as we discussed in last week's video and blog post. But just how often do we acknowledge or even relish in what we're doing well? Friends, it's well past time we started celebrating our writing strengths!

Today, I challenge you to think about where your writing strengths lie---and then share them with the world. You can do so in a blog post or a video, in the comments below this article, or over on social media. Wherever you feel most comfortable.

So, are you up to the challenge?

Don't worry, I'll kick things off by sharing a few of my own writing strengths first. You can can catch them in today's video below or over on Youtube, or you can scroll to read through a written summary. Let's go!

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Tips for Building a Fictional Society (a #StorySocial recap)


Hello, friends! Time for another #StorySocial recap. In case you're new here (or if you've just yet to hear about our chats), allow me to cue you in: #StorySocial is the weekly Twitter chat that I host every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern.

Each week we get together for about an hour to chat about a fun writerly topic. This past Wednesday, we talked about how to build fictional societies as part of the world-building process.

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

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How to Write a Trilogy: Q&A Session!


Who’s ready to talk trilogies?

Hello, writer, and welcome back to the third and (possibly?) final installment of our blog miniseries on crafting trilogies. 

In the first article, we broke down the three basic types of trilogies and four ways you can plot your own. We then picked up in article two with a breakdown of the many different ways you can craft character arcs for your trilogy, but we’re not stopping there!

When I was first asked to write an article on trilogies, I knew I wanted to talk about plot and character arcs, but many of you also had related questions and concerns. Because many of those concerns couldn’t quite fill out articles of their own, I’ve decided to tackle them today in a blog Q&A session. 

Ready to dive in?

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What are your writing insecurities? Here are a few of my own!


Every writer has doubts. Fears. Insecurities.

But in a world where we share the very best version of ourselves online, the version we want others to see, it can be difficult to remember that the writers we follow on social media aren't perfect. Not even the bestselling ones.

I'm certainly no exception to this reality. I have a bevy of insecurities that often weigh down my writing life, but I'm tired of letting the pressure to live up to other writers' online highlight reels dictate my confidence in my writing.

Insecurities are normal, and they don't have to keep you from living your very best writing life. That's why I'm sharing my own writing insecurities today! Check them out in the video below or scroll to view them in text.

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