iconic characters

What Makes Iconic Characters Unforgettable?

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 one who comes to mind. It’s not that he’s forgettable, but he doesn’t stand…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

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

ideas for writing a story

Where to Find Ideas for Writing a Story

It always seem like there are too many writing ideas or not enough. When you don’t have time to write, ideas come hurtling out of nowhere. Sometimes they come so fast, you can’t even write them all down. But when you sit down, stretch your fingers, and lean over your keyboard to start typing, nothing…Read More

fiction writing ideas

23 Fiction Writing Ideas That Will Revitalize Your Story

Sometimes our fiction writing projects dry up. The characters turn out flat, the plot feels formulaic, and the story suddenly seems lackluster. This is when a lot of writers give up and file their half-finished manuscripts into a bottom drawer never to be seen again. What a waste of time and energy. Before giving up…Read More

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

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