Tag: Writing Tips

Author Career Investments You Should Be Making

I know some of you reading this aren’t looking to build a whole author career; writing is a hobby for you, or something you want to dabble in from time to time but not something you want to invest significant portions of your life into. That’s totally fine, and I do think that this post–this series, in fact, because I had too many points for a single post–will still be of value to you in helping you be as professional as possible with the projects you do release.

But if you’re one of many whose goal is to make a career out of writing (and/or writing-related endeavors), this series is for you. Creating a sustainable author career requires investment of many different kinds in many different areas, and this series will dive into what some of those areas are and how to invest well for the career that you want to build.

Today’s post is about some of the most foundational Continue reading “Author Career Investments You Should Be Making”

5 Dialogue-Strengthening Exercises

You’ve read all the dialogue tips, you understand the concepts that make for strong dialogue, but your characters’ conversations are still coming across flat on the page. It could be that you don’t fully understand your character’s voice, or it could mean you just need more practice! These exercises are intended to help you focus that practice and experiment with Continue reading “5 Dialogue-Strengthening Exercises”

Crafting Effective Dialogue: Writing Between the Lines

Crafting Effective Dialogue: Writing Between the Lines

When I wrote my series on crafting emotional resonance, I promised a future post on crafting effective dialogue. This is another element of your writing that will elevate your scenes and emphasize the emotions your characters are feeling. So let’s get into it.


The most crucial piece of believable dialogue is to ensure that your characters talk like themselves. This comes down to Continue reading “Crafting Effective Dialogue: Writing Between the Lines”

5 Types of Story Structure to Help You Outline Your Novel

I’ve been wanting to have a post comparing different plot structures/outlining systems on the blog for a while, and today Rose Atkinson-Carter is filling that gap! Big thanks to her for this guest post.

I have added affiliate links to this post. They are marked with an asterisk, and purchases made through them earn me a small commission at no extra cost you. Plus, BookShop supports local U.S. bookstores! The books that I’ve recommended are all in my own personal writing library and I’ve referenced them myself for various projects.

All that out of the way, I’ll turn it over to Rose!

As you outline your novel, you’re juggling dozens of different parts. You have character arcs, pacing, and plot to consider and somehow put together into a cohesive whole. The process can be daunting. Writers often find themselves stalled in the planning phase, unsure where to go next.

Sometimes, what you need is a game plan: a dependable story structure that can set you on the right path and help you finish that outline. Even if you’re more of a pantser, an understanding of story structures and how a plot should progress will help you develop in your writing.

Let’s look at some common Continue reading “5 Types of Story Structure to Help You Outline Your Novel”

Crafting Emotional Resonance: Part 4 – Precise Prose

Crafting Emotional Resonance: Part 4 – Precise Prose

Today marks the end of this series on writing emotionally resonant scenes and stories! There will be one more related post in a few weeks that covers writing effective dialogue—plus a critique post next week that provides insight into how all of these tips can be applied—but this will be the last how-to post that’s officially part of the series. Today I want to talk about how your prose can make or break the tone and emotion of your writing.

I’ve talked about why I love classic literature before, and one of the reasons is that classic authors took word choice very seriously. They made a point to choose exactly the right words to convey their meaning, connect to their themes, and highlight the emotion they wanted to resonate with readers. Mark Twain said well that,

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

As authors, we know that words have power. This is certainly as true on the micro level as it is true of story as a whole! Yet our specific word choice within stories, within scenes, within sentences is often less careful than it could be, and our stories—and their impact on readers, by extension—suffer for it.

The question is: How do we fix it? Continue reading “Crafting Emotional Resonance: Part 4 – Precise Prose”