One Quick Way to Make Your Writing Better

For every writer, there’s a method. But there are only a few rules that can make you a better storyteller.

Do you want to learn one that will instantly make your writing more interesting? Keep reading.

Stories need to feel like they’re really happening. A reader, even though they don’t know it, can get tired very easily.

A key to keeping them invested in your tale is to make it feel like there’s energy bursting off the page.

Oh sure, some writers do that by writing action-packed stories. Their books race along at a breakneck pace.

But what if that’s not what you’re writing? And even if it is, even the most “exciting” stories need to take a break now and then.

No, the real way to infuse energy into your stories has nothing to do with the type of content, but how you present it.

Check this out. What sounds better?

Silas was thrown into the wall by the ghost.

Or

The ghost threw Silas into the wall.

Both sentences tell us the same thing. But the second sounds better by far.

The phrase “was thrown” makes it sound like it happened a long time ago. The second sentence puts the object first, making it feel more active—like its happening as we read it (even though it’s still written in the past tense).

This simple approach keeps a story fluid. There’s energy to what you’re writing. And that helps the reader feel more comfortable as they read.

It’s subtle. You might not think it makes an impact, but it does. Especially if you plan on writing a 50,000+ word manuscript!

Keep this in mind the next time you write. And if you’re editing your work, definitely make this change.

5 Ways to Write Real-feeling Characters

When it comes to writing, there are a lot of opinions out there. Not only does every writer have their own pet theories on the craft, but there is an entire cottage industry that produces books, workshops, even full-blown conventions. All designed, not to make you a better writer, but separate you from your money.

But the fact remains you don’t have to spend tons of money to become a better writer. You just have to write. That plain, simple truth might not sell books or tickets, but it does produce quality writers.

When it comes to storytelling, there are plenty of opinions on what makes a great book. These days, it’s all about “high concept” plots. Best-selling books are much like big-budget Hollywood movies. They go all-in with the intense action, heavy special effects, and sweeping emotions.

But, in my opinion, they leave you feeling empty. Plot-driven books are real page-turners, but they’re not the kind of thing people will be reading years to come. They’re certainly not the kind of books that stick with you. Nor are they the ones that children will be reading in school or writers look to for inspiration and guidance.

What makes a book timeless? Characters. Strong, believable characters that feel like real people. We root for heroes because we relate to them. Plot-driven books have cookie-cutter characters, people that act a certain way because the plot demands it. They never feel all that real, and they’re certainly not memorable.

But how to do you write strong, believable characters that will stick with a reader? Here are 5 ways to write real-feeling characters.

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The “Easy” Way to Overcome Writer’s Block

The “Easy” Way to Overcome Writer’s Block

Or, Learning How to Put in the Work

I recently wrote about how I believe there is no such thing as writer’s block.

The truth is, writer’s block isn’t some kind of insurmountable hurdle that prevents you from accomplishing your goal. The hard truth is anyone can break through writer’s block, if they are willing to put in the work.

Writing is a job, plain and simple. It might not be as hard as other jobs. I doubt many writers come home as tired as someone busting rocks for a living. But writing is a demanding job that drains your mental capacity and in some cases, your emotions.

That’s really why some people use the excuse of writer’s block. They aren’t willing to confront the challenge that writing presents. How do you take a nugget of an idea and stretch it out into a complete story?

For the stories that have been written throughout history, every writer faces the same challenge. There are no perfect formulas or recipes you can blindly follow to easily produce a finished product.

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There’s No Such Thing as “Writer’s Block”

Writer's Block

Or, How to Overcome “Writer’s Block”

Okay, I get it. Saying something like there’s no such thing as writer’s block is a pretty controversial thing. Even experienced writers say that writer’s block is real.

Some have written entire books on the subject. I’ve read about writers who stare at a blank page for hours, unable to come up with a single sentence.

I know, sometimes it’s hard to write. In fact, it can be very hard. But the concept of a mental “block” that prohibits you from finishing your story is not real.

But there is a real challenge that many writers face. One that can derail or upset the progress of a story/manuscript. A problem that is often mistaken for writer’s block is very real. But it can be overcome if you’re willing to work.

Oh yes, writing is work, just like any other craft. Writers just don’t sit down at a computer and watch the words fly onto the screen. Even the most prolific writers—who have produced countless books—didn’t start there.

The secret to all great writers is this: they write… A LOT.

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Crafting a Space Opera—Let the Pain Begin

Crafting a space opera as a fiction writer

I don’t know what possessed me to want to write a “space opera.” Of course, I loved the original Star Wars trilogy. As an aspiring fiction writer, it’s not that inconceivable that I’d want to try my hand at the genre.

But, boy, it is harder than it looks.

There are numerous magnificent entries into the science fantasy action/adventure genre. Too many to count. They span galaxies, timelines, themes, and tones. They are crammed with thrills, romance, mysteries, and just a little bit of science.

And—as someone who wants to write fantasy fiction, without boundaries—it seemed like the perfect place to jump in.

Ouch.

I guess I always jump into creative projects with both feet. Even as a kid, the excitement of drawing my own comic characters or writing my own adventures was enough to propel me forward. The enthusiasm I felt for creating my own stuff was enough for me to overcome whatever hurdles laid in my path.

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