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Diagnose Story Problems by X-raying Your Plot

When authors I work with struggle with certain foundational elements of their stories—like keeping characters moving along clearly defined arcs, maintaining momentum and stakes, story structure, or just getting lost…

Creating Tension with Lizard-brain Writing

(This is one of my most popular posts; it originally appeared on the Writers in the Storm blog in 2015.) Writers love their brains: We exploit our highly evolved prefrontal…

How to Weave in Backstory without Stalling Out Your Story

(This article originally appeared in Writer Unboxed here.) Your characters don’t just spring to life at the beginning of your story. If you’ve developed them fully, they are “real,” three-dimensional…

You Are a Writer, No Matter What

I’m writing this at the end of a hard year, as disheartening a year as many of us have ever known. I’m not going to recap the many offenses of…

How Writers Revise

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