June 17th, 2016

How To Deliver Critical Backstory Using The Setting

Angela Ackerman

Ah, backstory. According to many, this is the BIG BAD WORD in fiction. How many times have you heard someone say, “Backstory is bad, strip it from the scene!” or, “Backstory slows the pace, bogs down the action, and will only bore the reader.” Well, if you hang out at the same online […]

March 18th, 2016

Deepen a Reader’s Emotional Connection to Your Story

Angela Ackerman


We all know people read fiction for entertainment. There’s nothing like getting lost in a new world and living vicariously through characters: slaying monsters, solving murders, saving the family farm…even falling in (or out of) love. But while this is going on, whether we consciously realize it or not, we also […]

December 18th, 2015

Power Your Fiction: Using Weather To Create Mood, Not Clichés

Angela Ackerman

Are you afraid of using the weather in your writing? If so, you’re not alone. After all, if not careful, weather description can be a minefield of clichés. The sunny, cloudless afternoon at the beach. The gloomy rainstorm at a funeral. Overdone setting and weather pairings can lie flat on the page.

Then […]

October 30th, 2015

Using Pressure Points To Reveal Character

Angela Ackerman

One of the most important jobs we have as writers is to always push the story forward, forcing our protagonist to act. This isn’t always easy.

Characters, like people, fight change and personal growth because it makes them feel vulnerable and can be emotionally painful. The fact is, it’s always easier to stay […]

June 24th, 2015

What Type of Secret Does Your Character Keep?

Angela Ackerman

A friend of mine, the talented YA author Martina Boone, debuted last year with Compulsion, a southern gothic mystery romance novel showcasing a protagonist with the most unique and amazing talent: she is a finder of lost things. For her, this inherited talent (sometimes a curse, sometimes a boon), acts a compulsion–when she […]