An Easy Guide to Crafting Fictional Cultures

Let's dive deep into the world-building process, shall we?

Whether you're crafting an entire story world or delving into an alternative or fantastical reality here on Earth, developing fully-realized fictional cultures is key to fantastic world-building. But cultures are rather complex, nebulous beasts. Their ever-evolving nature can make them especially tricky to nail down.

So, what elements define culture? And just how much time and attention should you put into creating your own? Let's discuss all this and more in today's breakdown, writers!

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Taking Risks in Our Writing Lives (a #StorySocial recap)

Are you looking to spend dedicated time each week engaging with an awesome group of fellow writers? 

Look no further! The #StorySocial chat is the place to be, my friend. Every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern, I host this hour-long chat on Twitter with writers from around the world, and it's an absolute blast. This week in particular, we discussed taking risks in our writing lives.

Missed out? No worries! Catch all the highlights from this week's chat in the recap below!

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How to Craft a Believable Villain

Everyone loves a good villain. 

From Emperor Palpatine to Lord Voldemort, Hannibal Lector, and beyond, countless villains have stood the test of time to become classic fictional favorites. Love to hate ‘em or hate to love ‘em, I think it’s safe to say we want readers to feel just as passionately about the villains in our own stories. 

But how can we, as writers, craft antagonists that go beyond mere mustache-twirling and maniacal laughter to become the truly believable, bone-chilling villains we long for them to be? Let's dive deep into villainy in today's breakdown, writer!

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Exploring Our Reading Lives as Writers (a #StorySocial recap)

Are you looking to spend dedicated time each week engaging with an awesome group of fellow writers? 

Look no further! The #StorySocial chat is the place to be, my friend. Every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern, I host this hour-long chat on Twitter with writers from around the world, and it's an absolute blast. This week in particular, we discussed our reading lives as writers.

Missed out? No worries! Catch all the highlights from this week's chat in the recap below!

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My Top Tips for Balancing Stories with Multiple Points-of-View

Writing fiction from the perspectives of multiple characters can be a lot of fun.

This style of storytelling has gained quite a bit of popularity in recent decades thanks to the rise of film and television, which often structures its stories to showcase many characters’ perspectives. But utilizing multiple points-of-view isn’t the simplest technique to master. 

I’ve received quite a few requests for tips on this topic in recent months, and being as I’ve dabbled in writing stories with multiple points-of-view myself, I decided it was high time to translate my experience into a few key tips to share with you all today. Shall we dive in?

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Common Misconceptions About Being a Writer (a #StorySocial recap)

Are you looking to spend dedicated time each week engaging with an awesome group of fellow writers? 

Look no further! The #StorySocial chat is the place to be, my friend. Every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern, I host this hour-long chat on Twitter with writers from around the world, and it's an absolute blast. This week in particular, we discussed common misconceptions about being a writer.

Missed out? No worries! Catch all the highlights from this week's chat in the recap below!

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Our new free e-course, Developing Complex Characters, has arrived!

Crafting characters that feel as real as the people around us is tough.

As humans, we lead messy lives. With mixed emotions and mistakes made, very seldom can we describe ourselves or our experiences as simple. And bringing that complexity to the page in the form of well-developed characters? Well, that’s an equally messy process. Or is it?

Today, writers, I'm excited to announce the arrival of our newest free e-course, Developing Complex Characters! 

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Crafting Anti-Heroes and Other Morally-Ambiguous Characters (a #StorySocial recap)

Are you looking to spend dedicated time each week engaging with an awesome group of fellow writers? 

Look no further! The #StorySocial chat is the place to be, my friend. Every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern, I host this hour-long chat on Twitter with writers from around the world, and it's an absolute blast. This week in particular, we discussed the process of crafting anti-heroes and other morally-ambiguous characters.

Missed out? No worries! Catch all the highlights from this week's chat in the recap below!

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How to Encourage Readers to Invest in Your Story By Crafting Relatable Characters

We want readers to connect with our characters, to step inside their shoes and invest in their journeys.

But creating that easy connection between reader and character isn’t always a clear-cut process. Do our characters need to be, in some way, relatable for readers to connect with their stories? In my opinion, yes, but perhaps not in the way you might think.

Today, writer, let’s cut through the chaos and get straight to the point. If you want to encourage readers to invest in your characters' journeys, here are two key tips you don't want to miss!

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The Pros & Cons of Utilizing Storytelling Tropes (a #StorySocial recap)

Are you looking to spend dedicated time each week engaging with an awesome group of fellow writers? 

Look no further! The #StorySocial chat is the place to be, my friend. Every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern, I host this hour-long chat on Twitter with writers from around the world, and it's an absolute blast. This week in particular, we discussed the pros and cons of utilizing storytelling tropes.

Missed out? No worries! Catch all the highlights from this week's chat in the recap below!

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Does Your Story's Sidekick Serve a Purpose?

The best friend. The sassy co-worker. The fellow thief on the crew.

Our stories’ sidekicks can come in all shapes and sizes, but the one thing that unifies them is their potential to aid our protagonists through the toughest times in their personal journeys — and maybe create a little secondary tension along the way! 

With such strong purposes to serve, one would think that crafting sidekicks would be a cinch, but it’s not often that a truly sensational right-hand character finds their way onto the pages of a book. So, how can you ensure that your protagonist's sidekick adds real and memorable value to your story? Let’s break down my top tips today, writer!

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Why We Love to Write Our Favorite Genres (a #StorySocial recap)

Are you looking to spend dedicated time each week engaging with an awesome group of fellow writers? 

Look no further! The #StorySocial chat is the place to be, my friend. Every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern, I host this hour-long chat on Twitter with writers from around the world, and it's an absolute blast. This week in particular, we discussed why we love to write our favorite genres.

Missed out? No worries! Catch all the highlights from this week's chat in the recap below!

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The Do's and Don'ts of Crafting Your Story's Love Interest

With all its heart-aching tension and warm, fuzzy feelings, it's easy to see how a good love story can stand the test of time.

Crafting love stories of our own, however, is often tricky business. In a genre as oversaturated and teeming with exhausted tropes as romance, crafting a love story that feels fresh and exciting often requires more than a little hard work. Fortunately, time and intention are on our side. 

By focusing first on crafting the characters who will serve as love interests in our stories, we lay the groundwork for gripping romances to come. So whether you're writing the next great love story or simply looking to include a romantic subplot in your book, let's break down the do's and don'ts of crafting love interests today!

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Navigating the Nitty-Gritty of Our Writing Lives (a #StorySocial recap)

Are you looking to spend dedicated time each week engaging with an awesome group of fellow writers? 

Look no further! The #StorySocial chat is the place to be, my friend. Every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern, I host this hour-long chat on Twitter with writers from around the world, and it's an absolute blast. This week in particular, we discussed how to better navigate the nitty-gritty of our writing lives.

Missed out? No worries! Catch all the highlights from this week's chat in the recap below!

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Crafting Captivating Novel Chapters (a #StorySocial recap)

Are you looking to spend dedicated time each week engaging with an awesome group of fellow writers? 

Look no further! The #StorySocial chat is the place to be, my friend. Every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern, I host this hour-long chat on Twitter with writers from around the world, and it's an absolute blast. This week in particular, we discussed how to craft captivating chapters.

Missed out? No worries! Catch all the highlights from this week's chat in the recap below!

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How to Craft Spectacular Secondary Characters

Are your story’s supporting characters receiving enough attention?

As storytellers, we often work diligently to bring our protagonists to life, taking pains to shape and mold them into characters that feel as real as the living, breathing people around us. Secondary characters, however, don’t always receive that same treatment.

It’s easy to skimp on the characterization of characters who aren’t always in the limelight, but doing so would be a mistake. If we want to immerse readers in a world that feels as rich and compelling as our own, our supporting casts deserve just as much attention as our stories' stars. Today, let’s talk about how to give it to them!

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How to Craft Incredible Dialogue (a #StorySocial recap)


Are you looking to spend dedicated time each week engaging with an awesome group of fellow writers? 

Look no further! The #StorySocial chat is the place to be, my friend. Every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern, I host this hour-long chat on Twitter with writers from around the world, and it's an absolute blast. This week in particular, we discussed how to craft incredible dialogue.

Missed out? No worries! Catch all the highlights from this week's chat in the recap below!

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Developing How Our Characters Communicate (a #StorySocial recap)


Are you looking to spend dedicated time each week engaging with an awesome group of fellow writers? 

Look no further! The #StorySocial chat is the place to be, my friend. Every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern, I host this hour-long chat on Twitter with writers from around the world, and it's an absolute blast. This week in particular, we discussed how our characters communicate.

Missed out? No worries! Catch all the highlights from this week's chat in the recap below!

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How to Craft Immersive Setting Descriptions

Writer, it’s time to give life to your story! 

One of the most powerful ways to breath life into the pages of your book is to immerse readers in your story world, specifically through crafting lush, evocative descriptions of your story’s settings. But that’s easier said than done, isn’t it?

In today’s article, we’re going to cover how to choose the most impactful settings for each of your story’s scenes, as well as my top tips for bringing those settings to life via immersive descriptive writing. Sound good? Let’s dive in!

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