Write Better Characters
Gaslighting and Writing Villains Who Make Your Spine Tingle
Writing villains can be a challenge but one approach is having them use gaslighting techniques on their victims. Learn more from this excerpt from Fight Write by Carla Hoch.
The Complicated Reality of a Minority Writer—UPDATED
UPDATE: California Coldblood, publisher of Tynes' novel They Called Me Wyatt, announced they are canceling its publication after an incident on Twitter on May 10th, a few days after this article originally published. As several links to this post were part of the incident coming to light, we've decided to leave it published with an update for context, but have closed comments.
Moves and Counter-Moves: Letting Your Antagonist Drive the Plot
If you're having a hard time coming up with what your protagonist does in the middle of your story, it may help you to figure out what your antagonist is doing.
Representation in Fiction: How to Write Characters Whose Experiences Are Outside of Your Own
As publishing endeavors to address inclusion and diverse representation in fiction, an inevitable question arises: Can authors write characters whose experience is outside of their own?
Writing Exercise: How to Start Loving Your Characters
How can you make your characters—flaws and all—people that your readers can’t forget?
Third-Person Limited: Analyzing Fiction's Most Flexible Point of View
From fast-paced action to intimate drama, third-person limited POV can be adapted to any scene or situation.
How a Strong Character Arc Can Make Readers Love Your Protagonist
Novel readers love it when a protagonist dramatically transforms from Page One to The End. Jerry B. Jenkins shares the fundamentals of developing a strong character arc.
How to Fall in Love with the Writing Process: 6 Questions to Hone Your Creative Workflow
Plots and characters will come and go, but for successful writers, passion for the writing process burns on. Use these 6 questions from Bob Mayer to transform your creative method from craft into art.
From YA to YEAH: 4 Ways to Keep Teen & Young Adult Readers Hooked
Many YA authors are adults, which means the generation gap between these writers and their intended audience can make it easy to miss the mark. Teen writer (and avid reader) Lorena Koppel lays out four ways to make sure your YA novel meets young audiences' expectations and interests.
Grand Finale: Two Strategies for Writing Great Story Endings
Powerful, unexpected story endings will leave readers hungry for your next novel. Consider the following techniques to help your story resonate long past the last page.
5 Considerations for Writing About Historical Figures in Fiction
Historical fiction author John Thorndike shares five considerations he's learned to keep in mind while writing novels about historical figures.
4 Essential Steps to Making Your Protagonist Real, Even When They’re Nothing Like You
Writing your protagonist always requires deep thought and consideration, but crafting believable, realistic protagonists who are nothing like you presents unique challenges. Author Donna Levin offers four essential tips to help you work through these challenges.
No More Mr. Nice Guys: How to Write Flawed Characters & Antiheroes
Flawed characters and antiheroes make for fascinating protagonists—but their behavior can risk alienating readers. Follow this blueprint for flawed-yet-relatable heroes who can still provoke empathy.
Literature as a Lifeline: How Stories and Genetic Testing Can Save Lives from Mental Illness
Literature comforts in a way clinical definitions and diagnoses cannot. It can help people recognize the symptoms of mental illness in themselves long before the predator of suicide pounces. Kristen Davis Schwandes explains why it is vitally important for writers to accurately portray the thought processes involved in mental illness.
What a Coincidence: 7 Clever Strategies for Harnessing Coincidences in Fiction
Well-timed coincidences can catapult a story forward, but a poorly planned one can bring your readers to a dead stop. Use these 7 strategies to harness the power of this storytelling tool while steering clear of common missteps.
The Perception Gap: Using Character Perspective to Propel Your Plot
Your characters’ views of the world can do much more than simply define who they are. Jane Cleland discusses how to use character perspective to propel your plot.
100 Writing & Publishing Tips from the 2018 Writer's Digest Annual Conference
In case you didn't make it to the 2018 Writer's Digest Annual Conference, or you didn't manage to catch a session you were dying to attend, we've selected 100 of the greatest writing and publishing tips from the speakers who graced us with their knowledge and experiences.
Adding Dimension to Characters: 10 Sly Character Development Techniques
These underhanded character development techniques are designed to relax your “thinky” brain and to draw instead on your curiosity, intuition and slightly devious sense of play in order to help your characters reveal their own inner workings.
47 Things Longmire Author Craig Johnson Taught Me About Writing Fiction
Landis Wade shares 47 tips about writing fiction that he learned in a writing workshop with Craig Johnson, author of the Longmire series that was adapted into a popular TV series.