Writing

The Why & How of Foreshadowing

Foreshadowing is the storyteller’s primary tool for setting expectations. It’s a clue that tells the audience what might happen later on. Why do they need to know? There are two different reasons, and each one calls for different foreshadowing techniques. Read more »

Three Writing Exercises for Better Characters

Butterfly Book by Rick Beerhorst

Characters can be tricky to pin down – or even write correctly in the first place. Some lucky writers have characters that are willing to sit down and chat with them. Others can slip themselves into their character’s shoes without much difficulty. If you’re having … read more »

Establishing and Satisfying Plot Threads

Do you know which hooks are motivating your readers to continue? Each hook creates an open plot thread; readers are pulled in because they want to see them conclude. If you mix up your subplots or don’t close each one properly, you’ll end up with a cranky audience. Read more »

Establishing Important Characters

A story is not the people or things in it, or even the events that occur. It is a fully-expressed person, facing a particular set of challenges, operating within a specific worldview. When you don’t fully understand your story, it’s difficult to find the right … read more »

Seven Tips for Receiving Feedback

Practically no one can sell a first draft, and frankly you shouldn’t try. First drafts do not represent your best work. They’re full of grammatical errors, plot holes, missing scenes, and all manner of other problems. So, how do you go from that to something people pay money to read? The answer is feedback. Read more »

Five Books on Writing Fantasy, Compared

Of the many books on writing, almost all are for a mainstream audience. Instead of stoking a fantasy writer’s enthusiasm, they can kill it with example after example featuring the humdrum lives of Harry and Sally. That’s why we need genre-specific guidance from time to time. Read more »

Ten Ways to Inspire Your Description

Good description is meaningful and imaginative, but it can be difficult to conjure an exciting rendition of every tree and shrub in your story. If you’re struggling against another bland paragraph, here are ten ways to give it some interest. Read more »

Should You Show or Tell?

“Show; don’t tell” is one of the most popular adages in writing circles. For many writers, it’s tried and true advice. However, the real rules behind showing and telling are more complex than this simple statement suggests. There is a smooth gradient between showing and … read more »

Staying Interested in Your Work

Do you get bored with your story right after you figure out the ending? Do you lose motivation before you can turn your concept into a draft? If so, you’re not alone. Many people who want to write lose interest in new ideas very quickly. … read more »