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

fiction writing exercises

Fiction Writing Exercises: Step Out of Your Shoes

I recently shared a writing exercise that encouraged you to get into a character’s head. Today’s exercise asks you to go a step further and explore characters and ideas that are your polar opposites. One of the most exciting and challenging aspects of being a writer is creating characters. It is an opportunity to step…Read More

writing resources

Writing Resources for Naming Your Characters

Have you ever read one of those epic fantasy novels in which the magical characters can gain total control over any living being simply by discovering their real and true name? I’ve read about ten of those novels. What do you think is more perplexing, the fact that authors continue to use this rule of…Read More

character fiction writing exercises

Getting Into Character: Fiction Writing Exercises

Writers are not actors, but sometimes we need to get into character. To truly understand the nature of a character, a writer must step into that character’s shoes. You can use character sketches and descriptions while you’re creating a character, but the character will remain two dimensional until you can get into the character’s head…Read More

creative writing exercises

From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: Your Gang

Today’s writing exercise comes from my book, 101 Creative Writing Exercises, which takes you on an adventure through the world of writing. You’ll explore different forms and genres while learning practical writing techniques. You’ll also get plenty of writing experience and ideas for publishable projects. Each chapter focuses on a different form or writing concept: freewriting,…Read More

creative writing prompts

Creative Writing Prompts for Sci-Fi & Fantasy Lovers

Today’s post includes a selection of prompts from my book, 1200 Creative Writing Prompts. Enjoy! In the world of creative writing, we’ve only begun tapping the possibilities in speculative fiction, a genre that includes science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, and superhero stories, as well as anything that ventures beyond known reality. Speculative fiction is…Read More

fiction writing plot and character

Plot vs. Character in Storytelling

Have you ever struggled with a story idea only to give up because it seems like every plot has already been done? Maybe you focus on character development to make up for a weak or formulaic plot. Or maybe you focus on plot, only to end up with characters that feel flat, stereotypical, or unsympathetic. But…Read More

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