January 10th, 2018

Confessions of a Workshop Flunkie

Orly Konig

Like most writers, I love craft books and workshops and blog posts and insight into writing better, smarter, stronger. There’s always room for improvement, and I’m absolutely convinced that somewhere out there is the magic ingredient for a bestseller.

I keep a notebook with those gems from each workshop that will change my […]

October 9th, 2017

Does Your Villain Have Well-Developed Motivations?

Angela Ackerman

Writers are encouraged to dig into their hero or heroine’s past to understand what factors (including wounding events) are steering their behavior and motivation in the story. By doing this we can ensure our protagonist’s goal aligns with the unmet need driving them, tailor challenges that will force them to face specific […]

September 1st, 2017

6 Ways Your Setting Can Create Conflict

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

No matter what form it takes, conflict is at the core of every story. It’s part of what drives the plot, and it’s what makes readers eager to read on to see if the protagonist succeeds. Characters face problem after problem, and with each trouble found, they’re forced to make tough […]

July 14th, 2017

What Playwrights Can Teach Us About Dialogue

Amy Poeppel

My first real job after graduating from college was working as an actress. I spent about five years performing in plays, shooting commercials, and acting in probably the worst episode ever made of America’s Most Wanted. I learned the ins and outs of union affiliation, auditioned for all kinds of roles, and […]

July 7th, 2017

What Do You Want Readers to Wonder About?

By Janice Hardy

I’m working on a new novel, so I’ve been deep in the brainstorming and planning. In an effort to boost my productivity, I did something a little differently this time that could benefit other writers. I’ve added an extra “story clarification” line to my template. It’s a way to remind myself […]