Coming up with your story’s theme

Theme is another one of those tricky high school literature subjects. Some writers will tell you there’s no such thing as theme in a good story, that it’s something teachers assign students as busywork. Or they’ll say that if you try to write a story around a theme, it becomes forced and preachy. And sometimes […]

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Drafting for pantsers

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you probably know I’m not one for planning before I write the first draft of a story. I’ve tried it, and I just never stick to the plan. It’s a waste of time for me. I prefer diving right into a story and dealing with problems as […]

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How can characters show affection?

Let’s talk about love. I don’t want to limit today’s post to romantic love, but it’s definitely part of this conversation. When you’re writing, even if you’re not writing romance, odds are good that your characters will form relationships with other characters and you’ll want to work in little ways they can show affection for […]

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White Room Syndrome

Not too long ago, I shared some basic details about micro worlds with you. Today I want to talk about what happens when you don’t spend enough time developing your micro worlds. White room syndrome is a struggle for me because I have aphantasia, and I can’t visualize anything. The tips I’m sharing today are […]

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A look at micro worlds

I wrote about worldbuilding back in November, and today I’d like to get a little more specific. Let’s talk about an aspect of worldbuilding that’s easy to overlook: micro worlds. It’s entirely possible that there’s a better name for this. Micro worlds just works for me. What are micro worlds? Your macro world is the […]

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Trust Your Reader

I seem to be on a roll with old writing rules lately. Trust your reader goes along with classics like “show, don’t tell,” “write what you know,” and “kill your darlings.” Most of these old school rules come from a good place, but they’re often misinterpreted or poorly explained. Today’s post was inspired by a […]

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How to Kill Your Darlings with Impunity

Let’s look at another classic writing rule, shall we? Kill your darlings isn’t as complicated as some of them, like show, don’t tell, but I still think it’s worth going over. It’s good advice when it’s applied correctly. I’m giving you an overview today, but I do plan on going back over some of these […]

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Write What You Know

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Today’s post is about a piece of writing advice that’s right up there with “Show, don’t tell,” as far as things people tell novice writers but don’t really explain. What conclusions would you draw if someone just told you to write what you know, but didn’t explain what it meant? I think most people assume […]

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How to Maintain Suspended Disbelief

When I first started writing this post, I kept trying to come up with examples of why it’s important to maintain your reader’s suspended disbelief. I wrote a bunch of drafts and deleted them all because they were either too complicated or too boring. And then I remembered this: See the Starbucks cup? That’s what […]

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A Few Thoughts About Travel Writing

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I honestly went back and forth on this one a bit. Like…I don’t know about you, but I haven’t gotten to travel much this year. I doubt I’ll do any next year either. It’s just the state of the world right now. I love, love travel stories and documentaries, though. I grew up on Rick […]

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