no plot no problem

Writing Resources: No Plot? No Problem!

This post contains affiliate links that earn commissions from qualifying purchases. There are a million ways to approach writing a novel. You can outline your plot. You can create a series of scenes and use note cards to organize them. You can use a tried and proven formula from any number of plotting resources. Or…Read More

genres 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

This post contains affiliate links that earn commissions from qualifying purchases. 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…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

how to write better stories

How to Write Better Stories

This post contains affiliate links that earn commissions from qualifying purchases. 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…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

narrative writing

The Power of Narrative Writing

The secret is out: narrative is powerful. A narrative can entertain, inform, and persuade — but most importantly, it can forge deep, meaningful, and lasting connections. What is Narrative Writing? A narrative is a spoken or written account of events. The word narrative is often used interchangeably with story, because a narrative is structured like a story: it…Read More

story is conflict

Story is Conflict

If a story were a bus, conflict would be the driver. Conflict steers a story, moves it forward, reverses it, stops it in its tracks, and slows or accelerates the pacing. More importantly, conflict keeps readers glued to the page. Readers want to see how the characters will deal with conflict. Will they find solutions…Read More

five things characters need

Five Things Your Characters Need

Many writers and readers will agree that the most important element of any story is its characters. There are certainly exceptions: some plot-driven stories are quite compelling and successful. However, readers form their deepest connections to stories through the characters by developing relationships with them and caring about what happens to them. Naturally, we want…Read More

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