Theme Development: 5 Things Every Writer Should Know
I used to have trouble deciding how my stories should end. I could write from cliffhanger to cliffhanger easily. But draft a satisfying resolution? Provide closure? That didn’t come naturally to me at all—not until I started paying more attention to my stories’ themes.
Task, Twist, Turn: A Simple Scene Template
To prevent (or fix) infodumps, “muddy” middles, and pointless tangents, cultivate meaningful dramatic tension in every scene. Here’s how!
Plot Pattern: A Low-Fuss, High-Impact Plot Development Tool
I designed the Plot Pattern to be a plot development “quick start guide”—simple enough to grasp quickly and flexible enough to suit any genre. It is a six-step story recipe that calls for two basic ingredients: a predicament and a protagonist.
The Anxious Author’s Survival Guide: 5 Tips for Overcoming Feedback Anxiety
Are you afraid to seek feedback from beta readers and editors? Does the mere idea of sharing a work in progress make your stomach hurt, yet you still dream of becoming a published author? If you are an anxious writer like me, there is hope! In this post, I share five tips for renovating your…
Motivation Map: A One-Page Path to Stronger Characters and Arcs
To devise intriguing character motivations, you must dig beneath your characters’ traits and get inside their minds. My Motivation Map worksheet provides a one-page path to giving your characters enough direction, determination, and depth to make them memorable.
Beyond Constructive Criticism: The Art and Science of Compassionate Editing
Compassionate Critique is constructive criticism, but with deeper empathy and enthusiasm. It is a confidence-building editorial strategy rooted in reverence for the time, effort, and emotion that authors pour into their prose. I edit compassionately because, as a writer, I prefer being edited this way. Read on to learn more about how my editorial philosophy…
Story Boosters: Six Special Ingredients of Great Storytelling
The ability to dream up and pass down stories is what makes humans special, and the stories that we believe wield tremendous power over us. They can shape, transform, save, and end lives—and they don’t need to be true or well-crafted to do so. What makes stories so powerful? I have some ideas.
Welcome! Let’s tame plot bunnies together.
A plot bunny is a wild idea for a new or existing story—and also a metaphor for the joy and terror of creation. As endearing as they are dangerous, plot bunnies can elevate or derail any narrative. But what they do is entirely up to you. After all, they are figments of your imagination. Instead…
Welcome to Plot Bunny Prep School! I have three original story-planning resources to share with you quickly as NaNoWriMo 2020 begins. For now I am uploading them without much context, but I hope to provide full writeups soon. UPDATE 2/22/21: Shiny new versions of all these resources are coming in 2021! But I’m leaving the…
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