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!

Read More
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!

Read More
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!

Read More
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!

Read More
On Crafting Well-Developed 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 what goes into crafting well-developed characters.

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

Read More
Learning From Our Writing Blunders (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 what we can learn about the craft of writing from our own writing blunders.

Read More
How to Decide Which Exciting Story Idea to Write Next

Have a hundred thrilling story ideas rumbling around in your brain?

Choosing which of those many ideas to write next can seem impossible — especially when you’re of unsure which idea best aligns with your aims and abilities as a writer — but have no fear! Today, we're going to cut through option overwhelm by discussing the tips and tricks that can provide clarity as you decide which exciting story idea to write next.

Read More
Learning From Our Writing Heroes (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 about what we can learn from our writing heroes.

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

Read More
Three Powerful Ways to Brainstorm New Story Ideas


Brainstorming new story ideas isn't always the easiest task in the world. Often, it seems the longer you work to devise the concept for your next great novel, the more impossible the struggle becomes. So, how can you overcome the overwhelm and begin generating narratives like the ultra-imaginative writer you long to be?

Today, I'm sharing three powerful brainstorming methods that make the process of digging up new story ideas seem less like a headache and more like the romp through your creative playground it ought to be. So let's go, writers. It's time to play!

Read More
Breaking Writing Rules Like the Pros (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 break writing rules like the pros.

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

Read More
Finding the Novel Outlining Process that Works for You

There’s nothing more nebulous than trying to produce a decent outline for your novel.

With dozens of outlining methods to choose from, all of which seem to work well for some writers but not for others, defining the outlining process that works best for you and your stories can be more than a little intimidating. How much detail do you need to include? Is outlining really necessary? Isn't there a better way? 

Writers, it's time to cut through the chaos and get down to business. Let's find the outlining method that works best for each of us in today's breakdown!

Read More
Fighting Your Way Out of Sticky Writing Situations (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 fight your way out of sticky writing situations.

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

Read More
Asking Yourself These 5 Question Can Help You Write Better First Drafts


When I speak of writing amazing first drafts, I don’t mean to imply that you’ll ever write a first draft that isn’t in need of revision. That’s not at all how they’re meant to work.

You see, first drafts are famously shitty — all of them — and they're meant to be. They're called rough drafts for a reason after all. That's why I like to think of writing first drafts as a mining process. I dig deep into the dark caverns of my mind to dredge up the gems of a story that will later be cleaned, cut, refined, and set into something truly beautiful.

So what qualifies a first draft as amazing if you are, in actuality, getting your hands dirty as you write? And what in the world do you need to ask yourself if you want to write amazing first drafts of your own? Let's dig into today's article, writer!

Read More
Revising Our Stories' Plots for Success (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 revise our stories' plots for success.

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

Read More
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!

Read More
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!

Read More
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!

Read More
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!
 

Read More
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…

Read More