Writing

Making the Most of Your Narrative Premise

Three kids with luggage in a burning building on the cover of A Series of Unfortunate Events

We’ve discussed choosing the right perspective and narration style for your story, but for many stories, this is not uniform. Instead, the narration changes with the story’s content. One of the biggest factors in whether these changes are smooth or jarring for readers is your … read more »

Recording an Audio Version of Your Story

A book wearing a pair of headphones

With the booming popularity of podcasts and other audio content, self-published writers can benefit from having audio versions of their books. But because voice narration is a time-consuming specialty, it can be difficult to decide whether to shell out and hire someone or work on … read more »

How to Describe Women Without Degrading Them

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the sexist ways women are described in fiction. Given the normalization of the male gaze, this has left some men feeling unsure of how to write a positive description. And it’s not just men who describe women … read more »

Lessons From the Purple Writing of The Witcher

A shirtless man with white hair stands in front of a castle

The Witcher book series, written by Andrzej Sapkowski and translated to English by Danusia Stok, started a popular video game franchise and now a popular TV show on Netflix too. I’ve seen the first season of the show, so that gives me some story context … read more »

Taming Your Exposition

A person sits atop an enormous pile of books, papers flying around them

Exposition is an important tool that will not only reduce confusion but also make your story more gripping. This may seem counterintuitive, since exposition is notorious for being boring. It will indeed be boring if you overuse it, as many writers do. Skilled used of … read more »

Five Ways to Make Multiple Viewpoints More Engaging

a woman wears steampunk goggles on the cover of Boneshaker

Additional viewpoints are a valuable tool for storytelling, but they are drastically overused. Careless use of multiple viewpoints is so common that most writers would do better by using only one. However, since it’s obvious that writers won’t stop using extra viewpoints anytime soon, let’s … read more »

Five Things to Know When You Get Content Editing

A silver pen on a page of marked up text.

Content editing, also known as developmental editing, looks at big-picture issues. It means examining a story to see if there’s enough conflict, if the throughline is strong, if the character arcs are satisfying, etc. Ideally, it’s the first type of editing a manuscript gets, well … read more »

Five Signs Your Narration Is Sexist

Sexism in stories can be quite egregious. Heroes may outright state that women don’t belong on the battlefield, rape is often treated like a cutesy and forgivable mistake, and supposedly likable characters act in blatantly misogynist ways. Read more »