setting of a story

Fiction Writing: The Setting of a Story

Today’s post includes excerpts from What’s the Story? Building Blocks for Fiction Writing, chapter three: “Setting.” Enjoy! Setting may not seem as critical to a story as character or plot, yet it is a core element of storytelling and for good reason. The setting of a story helps us understand where and when it takes…Read More

What is the theme of a story

What is the Theme of a Story?

Today’s post includes excerpts from What’s the Story? Building Blocks for Fiction Writing, which is packed with fun lessons and engaging activities for anyone who wants to learn the basics of storytelling. This is from chapter four: “Theme.” Enjoy! What is the Theme of a Story? Theme is one of the most difficult story elements…Read More

what is a plot

Storytelling: What is a Plot?

Today’s post includes excerpts from What’s the Story? Building Blocks for Fiction Writing, chapter two: “Plot.” It’s a book that lays out the fundamentals of creating fictional stories, equipping you with the basic skills necessary for writing stories that engage. Enjoy! What is a Plot? A plot is a sequence of related events in a…Read More

creating characters

Creating Characters That Resonate

Today’s post is an excerpt from my book, What’s the Story? Building Blocks for Fiction Writing. This is from chapter one, “Characters.” Enjoy! Creating Characters We see ourselves in a story’s characters. We see people we know—people we love, people we hate, people we fear, people we admire, and people we want to emulate. We…Read More

sneak peek what's the story buiilding blocks for fiction writing

Sneak Peek: What’s the Story? Building Blocks for Fiction Writing

Today I’m sharing a sneak peek at the first book in The Storyteller’s Toolbox series, What’s the Story? Building Blocks for Fiction Writing. This excerpt is from the introduction; it talks about the magic of story and what you can expect from the book. Enjoy! What’s the Story? What’s a story? Is it character? Plot?…Read More

kill your darlings

Kill Your Darlings: For Storytellers

Some writing tips are cryptic. When I first came across writing advice that said, “Kill your darlings,” I thought it meant we should kill off our favorite characters. That seemed ridiculous. I mean, there are situations in which a story calls for characters to die, but to make a sweeping rule that we should default…Read More

novel writing ideas

How to Develop Your Best Novel Writing Ideas

Writing a novel is no small task. In fact, it’s a momentous task. Some writers spend years eking out a first draft, followed by years of revisions. And that’s before they even think about the grueling publishing process. In other words, you’re going to spend a lot of time with your novel. So you better…Read More

iconic characters

What Makes Iconic Characters Unforgettable?

This post contains affiliate links that earn commissions for this website from qualifying purchases.  Luke Skywalker was the obvious hero of Star Wars: A New Hope, so why does it seem like Han, Leia, and Darth Vader got all the attention? When I think about the characters from Star Wars, Luke is often the last…Read More

create a complex villain

Writing Tips for Creating a Complex Villain

When it comes to writing fiction, we each have our own unique challenges. For some of us, it’s a struggle to come up with names for characters. For others, it’s hard to write realistic dialogue. Maybe you’re like me and find it difficult to write a really good villain — I mean — a really bad…Read More

writing tips storytellers

42 Fiction Writing Tips for Novelists

The more I explore fiction writing, the more complex and multi-layered it becomes. Through the processes of brainstorming, outlining, researching, writing, and revising, I have discovered countless details that authors have to consider as they set out to produce a viable work of fiction. Over the years, I have collected a vast pile of notes…Read More

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