Tag Archives: creative writing tips

Setting and “Show Don’t Tell”

Setting, the most description-heavy part of a story, benefits from the classic advice, “Show Don’t Tell”. We’ll be addressing this advice from a few different angles in other posts, but in this one it feels right to start with the well-worn opener, “It was a dark and stormy night…” We love Snoopy and the Peanuts writing comics. They ring true in many ways. Let’s just jump in with his constant opener and how much he tells and doesn’t show. Descriptors vs.

Story Generators: From Traits to Action

Generators are great. Stuck for a character? All you have to do is turn a card or click a button and boom! There’s one complete with useful traits, their fate, flaws, weaknesses, and maybe even a little backstory. You might even get a premise with one of those things. With a couple more characters and a setting, you’ve got a great start! But then what? I don’t know about you, but sometimes the most difficult part of writing a story

The Award for Best Supporting Character Goes To…

Main characters carry the greatest weight in a story, but it’s uncommon for a great story to come out of just a main character in a vacuum. While the term may vary, secondary characters are close to the main character, very present in the story, and can’t rightly be called “minor” characters. Understanding their common uses in relation to the essential elements of story can arm you to make a deeper, more purposeful supporting cast. Character Secondary character roles are

Dear Readers and Lovers of Books, Suspend Your Disbelief

Dear Readers and Lovers of Books:   A good book effects us in a special way, doesn’t it? After the first pages, you find yourself wrapped up tightly in it and gloriously happy to lose all sense of time, place, and real life in order to more fully explore this world on white pages. This forms like a new relationship, really. You met this story and learned its name, and then you took time to get to know it (possibly

Dialogue Tools or Toys?

Writers play with language. This is definitely a kind of game. However, the same way someone doesn’t use chess pieces to play checkers, certain devices are couched in cultural conventions. While not “rules” exactly, these conventions serve to ensure written work is understood by the largest possible readership. Of course, everyone breaks these conventions just to see if they can, and the following three “toys” of dialogue are a tempting playground. Most new authors experiment with these, but it’s worth

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