Cina Pelayo

The Top Three Things Your Character Needs

Want to write memorable characters? You're going to want to give them these.
Jessica Marie Baumgartner

So You Want to Write Women

Writing women sounds easy... until you have to make them realistic. How does an author craft female characters that real women can relate to?
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Living Vicariously Through Our Fiction

Some thoughts on how and why we live through our stories and protagonists.
Christopher Shultz

Is It Really Such A Bad Thing To Give The Audience What They Want?

Fan service is seen as a four-letter word, but that doesn't mean it's actually a curse.
Cina Pelayo

Writing a Novel With Save the Cat!

The Cat has had its way with the screenplay, and now it has turned its sights on novels.
Autumn Christian

5 Lessons Fiction Writers Can Learn From Video Games

If you're a writer who likes games and needed an excuse to play more, here it is.
Amanda Bender

The Great Game of Balancing Character and Plot

It's no secret many "Game of Thrones" fans were disappointed in the final season. But what lessons can writers take away from it?
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Sympathy for the Devil

In order for your bad guys to truly resonate, we need to care about them, and feel strong emotions. Even if that emotion is hate.
Joshua Isard

Improve Your Stories By Eliminating Agendas

The agendas with which you approach your story might be holding the narrative back.
Susan DeFreitas

Dirty Little Secrets, Part Two: Why Your Beta Readers Never Finished Your Novel

You worked hard on that book, and your beta readers never even finished the damn thing. Why?
Susan DeFreitas

Dirty Little Secrets, Part One: Why No One Cares About Your Protagonist

Many an agent has rejected a novel with the phrase, “I’m just not in love with this protagonist.”
emmanuelnataf

10 Must-Know Tips For Outlining Your Novel

If you're struggling to get your novel off of the ground, an outline can potentially rescue you from all of your toils.
BH Shepherd

Narrative Detour: Rediscover Your Novel

A fun exercise to help you push forward when writing your novel becomes a slog.
Susan DeFreitas

Dialogue: The Number One Mistake Newbie Writers Make

There's no lack of online advice about how to write dialogue in fiction. But there’s one issue I see over and over in the dialogue of newbie writers, and I have yet to find one post that tackles it.
Gabino Iglesias

Why You Shouldn't Ignore Religion in Your Fiction

Religion is a huge part of life. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn't ignore it in your fiction.
Gabino Iglesias

Three Exercises for Improved Character Development

If you want your characters to be as deep and nuanced as your narrative, here are three things you can do.
Joshua Isard

Engage Your Readers By Putting Them To Work

As writers, then, we want to ask our readers to do the right kind of work, the kind that helps them engage with our stories as much as possible.
emmanuelnataf

7 Ways to Prepare for NaNoWriMo Right Now

Want to write a novel but don't know where to start? NaNoWriMo 2018 might be the perfect opportunity — here's 7 ways you can prepare for it now.
Nick Kolakowski

Folding Real-Life Detail into a Fictional Narrative

Is there an ethical line when it comes to incorporating real-life details into fiction? And if so, where does that line exist?
Joshua Isard

5 Essential Character Traits For Ourselves, Not Our Creations

It’s important to develop the kind of personal character that’ll help us get through everything the writing life throws our way.
Nathan Scalia

Taking the Stage: How Storytellers Saved My Ambition to Write

The story of how I fell into a hole with my writing career, and the strategy I developed to climb back out.
Joshua Isard

When To Utilize An Ensemble Cast and How To Do It Well

Would your story benefit from multiple POVs? And does it have the scope to sustain them?
Repo Kempt

Writing Emotions Effectively

A guide to portraying emotions in your fiction.
James A. McLaughlin

Bearskin: A Fast Read 20 Years in the Making

The story of a fifty-four year old’s debut novel. Twenty-plus years of writing, revising, letting it sit, then rewriting and re-revising some more.