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

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

Top Secret Fiction Writing Prompts

“Ssh, don’t tell anyone. Put it in the vault!” Most of us have had those very words whispered into our ears. In fact, most of us have probably whispered those words into someone else’s ear. They say everyone has a secret. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know that secrets sure pique…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

no plot no problem

Writing Resources: No Plot? No Problem!

This post contains affiliate links that earn commissions for this website 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…Read More

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