Writers in the Storm

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Category: Angela Ackerman

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 fears, and raise their awareness of destructive emotional shielding (flaws, biases, dysfunctional behaviors) that is holding them back.… Read the post

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Stuck in a Rut: How to Amp Up a “Boring” Story Setting


Angela Ackerman

Taking the time to choose the right setting for each scene is one of the best ways to ensure our writing has impact. Why? Because the setting touches everything. It can characterize the story’s cast, evoke mood, generate conflict, shape the plot, and even use symbols and emotional triggers to show readers what the protagonist fears, yearns for, and needs most of all.… Read the post

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How to Use Symbolism To Elevate Your Storytelling

Angela Ackerman

4-leaf-cloverStories should be a true experience for readers. Like a gourmet meal, we want there to be more to them than just what is seen on the surface. This depth can be added a number of ways—through subplots, character arc, subtext, theme, and symbolism.… Read the post

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Conference Subtext: Watching the Pros and Learning From Them

Angela Ackerman

jackie_and_angela_wwcConferences are full of opportunities to learn, network, and grow. This summer I attended a local 3-day event called When Words Collide, which is a conference for writers and readers. Over 700 people attended, and every hour there were many different craft, marketing, industry, and genre-specific presentations to choose from.… Read the post

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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.”… Read the post

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