character writing ideas

20 Fun and Inspiring Character Writing Ideas

Creating a realistic character is one of the most difficult challenges in writing a piece of fiction. We’ve all read stories in which the characters were dull or hollow; they come across like clones of the same characters we’ve met in dozens of stories before. Readers want characters who are as unique and complex as…Read More

elements of plot

Storytelling: The Elements of Plot

Good storytelling includes many elements that a writer must consider. Plot and character are foremost among these elements, and for literary writers, language is high on the list as well. Some writers start with nothing more than a few key characters and let the plot develop by exploring those characters’ actions. Others practice careful and…Read More

fiction writing block

How to Break Through a Fiction Writing Block

It happens to all writers. You’re cruising through a story, and all of a sudden you hit a wall. Your characters freeze up, your plot stops cold, and you’re stuck with nowhere to go. You’ve hit a fiction writing roadblock. All of your ideas have evaporated and you sit there staring at your screen with…Read More

poetry for storytellers

10 Reasons Storytellers Should Dabble in Poetry

There was a time when poetry enjoyed mainstream popularity. People who read poetry weren’t unusual or lurking in some counterculture, hipster coffee house. Ordinary folks read poems, enjoyed poetry, and discussed poetic works. These days, fiction takes center stage in the world of language arts. We love movies, TV shows, and video games, comic books,…Read More

literary fiction

Genres: Literary Fiction vs. Everything Else

In creative writing, we talk about form and genre. Form is what we write: fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction. Genre is how we further classify each of these forms. In fiction writing, there’s literary fiction and everything else. In fact, literary fiction and all the other genres are so at odds with each other that…Read More

storytelling whats your story

Tips for Developing Story Writing Ideas

Short stories, flash fiction, novels, and novellas: there are countless stories floating around out there — and those are just the fictional works. It’s no wonder writers get frustrated trying to come up with a simple concept for a story. One look at the market tells you that everything has been done. But what makes…Read More

character writing tips

12 Character Writing Tips for Fiction Writers

Characters are the heart and soul of every story. Almost every great story is about people. Plot, setting, theme, and other elements of fiction are secondary to realistic characters that an audience can connect with on an intellectual or emotional level. There are exceptions, of course. Some readers enjoy plot-driven stories, but they never seem…Read More

better stories

How to Write Better Stories

You know that feeling you get when you read a novel and become completely lost in it? You can’t put it down, so you lose track of time. When you finally finish, you wish it would just keep going. Isn’t that the kind of story you want to write? Over the past year, I’ve read…Read More

stock characters

Stock and Cloned Characters in Storytelling

I was recently reading a novel, and a few chapters in, I realized I had mixed up two of the main characters. In fact, I had been reading them as if they were a single character. I’m a pretty sharp reader, and this has never happened before, so I tried to determine why I’d made…Read More

Archetypal Characters in Storytelling

The hero, the mentor, the sidekick. We’re all familiar with archetypal characters in storytelling. We’ve seen them before. We know the roles they play. Archetypal characters shouldn’t be confused with stock characters or stereotypical characters. Although we’ve seen all these characters before and will surely see them again, stock and stereotypical characters are based on…Read More

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