Writing

How Do You Describe a Character?

When we use description, we have to prioritize carefully. Too little description leaves the story without flavor, too much gets boring fast. The more effectively we use it, the more we can surf that sweet spot between short description and strong impact. Read more »

Outline a Short Story in Seven Steps

If you have lots of creative ideas and trouble organizing them, try using this framework to craft a short story. It isn’t the key to making every tale under the sun, but it should help you frame your central conflict, create a proactive character, and … read more »

Nine Questions to Ask About Your Draft

You’ve worked long and hard, finally completing the first draft of your story. You could send it to others for feedback, but before you do, stretch your storytelling skills by thinking critically about your work. Does your beginning hold its weight? Is your middle taut … read more »

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 »