WoP_header_1Every writer has a story in them and no one else in can tell that story. Create. Breathe life where none had been. Write for yourself, your friends, or the world. Let yourself get pulled in.

This is your moment. This is your freedom. This is your novel.

Here’s where you can find motivation, inspiration, and strategies for getting more writing done. Plus a few odds and ends about how to write things better. Whether you’re a professional author with dozens of books under your belt or someone who just finished a first draft for the very first time, there should be something here for you.

Check out:

Exploring Scene Sequence Writing for NaNoWriMo

The goal for NaNoWriMo is 50,000 words in 30 days – which works out to ~1,667 words per day. For those familiar with the trials and tribulations of achieving NaNo’s goal, it’s common that there are some days when more than 1,667 words will be written and some days where there will be less. Which […]

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journey adventure quest in fiction

The difference between a Quest, an Adventure, and a Journey

Endings come in several flavors, as do the core aspects of plot in every story. Of those, there are many variations that find their way onto the pages of books. The ones we’ll be covering today are three umbrellas that usually cover the plots and their variations: the differences between a quest, journey, and adventure. […]

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It’s all about the Characters (because they say so…)

Trust your reader. This should be a sign hanging somewhere near your writing station, next to one that says “I am a writer” because they’re both important. There are many aspects of writing where trust should be applied, but today we’re going to focus on one in particular. When it comes to the characters in […]

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mug-colors

Story Goals Can and Should Shape Story Conflict

Most fiction stories have two simultaneous threads through them: the emotional arc and the narrative arc, which together form the plot. The emotional arc is about the internal journey a character, or characters, progress through during the course of a story. This is usually encapsulated by the protagonist, and the struggle they go through in […]

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Finish Something - Writing on Point

Finish Something

  It could be a short story or novella. Maybe it’s a four book saga. Perhaps you favor writing epic poems. Just get the darn thing done. Knowing how to leave things off, what parts of the story structure need to culminate together, and how to say “the end” is not something that comes naturally […]

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The Power of Archetype in Fiction - Writing on Pioint

The Power of Archetype in Fiction

Archetype Archetype is a word with Greek roots. Approximately translated, it means “original pattern”. Writers often deal with archetypes as an aspect of evaluating or crafting their characters. Just like the Seven Types of Story, archetypal characters are not carbon copies of one another. But they can benefit from the template of all those who […]

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Pushing the Protagonist with Contrasting Characters - Writing on Point

Pushing the Protagonist with Contrasting Characters

Protagonists are not always the most cooperative bunch. You need them to knuckle down and get serious about fighting the good fight, and they’re still worried about Aunt May finding out they have extracurricular activities that can’t go on a college transcript (we’re looking at you, Peter Parker). Oftentimes, the antagonist is able to provoke […]

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Rogues Gallery of Villains - Writing on Point

Rogues Gallery of Villains aka problems with Suicide Squad

Read at your own risk! I had the opportunity to see Suicide Squad on opening weekend, and there will be some spoilers in this post. (Although with how discussed the reviews have been, I’m not sure there is much left to be spoiled…) Before going to the theater, I stated to my friends there was […]

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Overlapping and Unique Character Roles - Writing on Point

Overlapping and Unique Character Roles: An Overview

Before I get into this post, I think it’s important to note a few things. Defining character roles – or even most writing-related concepts – is partially subjective. My reading and writing experience has lead me to draw certain conclusions and to assume certain generalities, but by no means are the definitions included in my blog […]

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Balancing Ethics and Sales - Writing on Point

Questionable Content and Young Readers: Balancing Ethics and Sales

During in-person sales or author signing events, you can encounter an awkward situation. However, I think it’s something that every author should keep in mind in case they ever find themselves in a situation where they have to decide who should and who shouldn’t be reading the content of their books. Sometimes it will mean turning […]

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Climax and Your Protagonist - Writing on Point

Analyzing Your Story: Climax and Your Protagonist

Starting with the basics: what is a story climax? Every climax is specific to its own story. Universally, it’s the height of tension in the plot – the external conflict is at critical mass, and the only thing the protagonist can do now is face it. Their internal conflict needs to be resolved, mostly – […]

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Character Studies: Relatable Protagonist

Stories can have multiple major characters, but one should stand out as a clear-cut protagonist. One way too identify them is based on their narrative opposite – the antagonist. Not all protagonists are heroes just like all antagonists are not necessarily villains. The important part of these two positions in a story is that we rely […]

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Secrets and Sins of Prologues - Writing on Point

Secrets and Sins of Prologues

These days the mention of prologues often sparks debate in writer’s circles. Should they be avoided. How does a prologue earn its place. What elements should never be present. What absolutely has to be included. Do readers skip them. Will agents accept them. Personally, I think anyone who says to never use a prologue is […]

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Fear of Change and the First Half of Your Story - Writing on Point

Story Elements: Fear of Change and the First Half of Your Story

At the beginning of a story, the protagonist enters from a place of normal – the world as they know it. There’s a level of familiarity to all of it, and whether it’s good or bad doesn’t really matter. They have no idea how much change they are about to experience in the story. What does […]

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Raising the Stakes - Writing on Point

Raising the Stakes: Batman v Superman and What Not To Do

I hadn’t planned on seeing the new Batman v Superman movie in the theaters, but we had a free night and were plain old curious about the bad reviews. By the time we walked out of the theater, I had a lot of ideas about what the movie should have done differently. And since most […]

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Devil's Plot Advocate - Writing on Point

Devil’s Plot Advocate: What would happen if…

As a developmental editor it’s my job to poke holes in plot, especially in terms of causality. One of the most crippling things a writer can do to their plot is not ask enough “what if…” questions as they build up to their story’s climax. Here’s a quick checklist to avoid some of the biggest […]

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Emotional Arc vs Narrative Arc - Writing on Point

Emotional Arc vs Narrative Arc

The emotional arc is the heart of the story while the narrative arc is the plot. Both are equally important and should always interplay throughout a tale. Scenes can have emotional arcs, just like they can move the plot forward. The basic rule for scenes is simply that something must happen – they must end […]

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Tension, Fear, and Consequences in Fiction Writing

Tension is the underlying pulse of any story. Sometimes it races, other times it is a steady beat, but it’s always there. And if it’s not always there, you’ve got some revision work to do. Not every scene needs dire, harrowing tension, but it needs something to keep the reader turning pages. Watching a character […]

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5 Elements to Identify Your Writing Weaknesses

In fiction, weaknesses are things to exploit. A main character might look for a villain’s weakness so he can defeat him, and vice versa. The very idea is synonymous with vulnerability, something that can be used against someone. There are times, though, that what one character thinks of as a weakness, another character thinks of as a […]

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Productivity Baselines and Writing Deadlines #WriteTip

We’ve all seen the memes. The ones that feature images from practically every fandom, ever, and all focus on the same idea: YOU SHOULD BE WRITING. The thought behind them is to make us aware when we’re spending time on social media – where these images live – instead of being productive. For creatives in general and writers […]

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Character Studies: Minor Characters

Minor characters are complex creatures, sometimes even moreso than the protagonist. When making story decisions, the protagonist’s decisions, motivations, and personal growth are what shape the tale. The story is built around them. Minor characters, however, are built around both the protagonist and the story in equal importance. They should draw the reader’s attention to […]

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Analyzing Your Story: Seven Degrees of Conflict

Every story needs conflict. It’s what drives the plot along and keeps the protagonist on their toes, and the higher the stakes, the more readers will be invested in finding out what happens in the end. In nearly every story, the conflict itself is represented by a character who embodies most, if not all, the […]

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Story Structure: Four Kinds of Endings

While writing a first draft, the ending can either be something concrete you have in mind, or it can be where the story leads. Endings are the the fulfillment of all the tension, anticipation, and struggle that your reader has experienced alongside your protagonist. Successful endings will leave a reader feeling satisfied and not disappoint them. […]

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Analyzing Your Story: Inciting Incident

An inciting incident is the thing that kicks the story off – the “problem” that forms the root of the entire plot. Without an inciting incident, there would be no story. They do not have to be directly connected to the protagonist. An inciting incident can occur before we meet the protagonist, or when he […]

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Listening to Music While You Write

Music is one of those things that can be a great tool for your writing time. Before Spotify there was mix-tapes. Before Pandora there was the radio. However you might prefer to listen to it as a recreation, when it’s time to write music can really set the mood. Literally. So you better ask yourself […]

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Become a Better Writer in Just One Step

It’s the simplest yet often difficult thing to do, but always has results. Write every day. Writing every day shouldn’t be a chore, it should be a promise to yourself. It’s a commitment to growing as a writer, an investment in your future, and your future stories. And it doesn’t have to be much. Find fifteen […]

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Analyzing Your Story: Plot

Story craft should always be about giving a better experience to your reader. Plot is a huge part of that, and effects a reader’s resonance with the story more than pretty much every other element aside from the characters themselves. Every (novel length story) should have these basic plot points clearly established: Story Goal (the thing that drives […]

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Seven Types of Story

Crafting a story is often more about intuition than critical thinking. You’ve read dozens upon dozens of fiction books, seen countless movies, and consumed a zillion episodes of TV. Some of you probably read comics and graphic novels, too. However you experience stories in your life, you’ve experienced a lot of them. And they’ve taught […]

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Handful of Writing Prompts

Word quotas and other productivity goals are an important part of every writer’s regiment, but sometimes inspiration can be like pulling teeth. Here’s a small collection of go-to writing prompts when the Muse is being a flighty mistress. write about room character is in write about grounds / area of room’s building write about what’s […]

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