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Insights, encouragement, and actionable advice designed to help writers craft sensational novels and build their best writing lives. Always in 30 minutes or less, so you can get back to writing!

Insights, encouragement, and actionable advice designed to help writers craft sensational novels and build their best writing lives. Always in 30 minutes or less, so you can get back to writing!
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Insights, encouragement, and actionable advice designed to help writers craft sensational novels and build their best writing lives. Always in 30 minutes or less, so you can get back to writing!




How to Format a Book When Self-Publishing

Don’t underestimate the power of a quality interior book design. If you're interested in self-publishing your work, it's important that you consider every element of your book's production, including how you'll format your book for easy reading. In today's episode, I'm sharing five common book formatting options to help you discover which is right for you. // Episode Links // Article + Transcript: Tools & Resources: // Formatting...


How to Set (Truly) Effective Writing Goals

Sitting down to write isn’t always easy. When creative work proves difficult, many writers turn to goal-setting to motivate themselves to action, only to experience shame and frustration as they fail to fulfill their goals. Sound familiar? You aren’t alone. Goal-setting often proves an ineffective productivity hack for one simple reason: a goal is an aim; not an action plan. In today's episode, I share how you can set truly effective macro- and micro-goals that will help you find creative...


How Writers Can Improve Their Work With Grammarly

From the copy on your author website to the emails you send your readership and the marketing ads and campaigns you create — to thrive in your writing career, you must present your work to the world with professionalism. One of my favorite tools for achieving professionalism is Grammarly. After crafting and revising content, Grammarly reveals key insights and inaccuracies that help me polish my work before I present it to the world. And making use of this AI-powered text editor is a joy...


How to Build a Sustainable Writing Practice

Why is it so hard to put pen to paper when you desperately long to write? The answer to this question is deceptively simple: because writing isn’t easy — and neither is drumming up the motivation to complete difficult creative work. But with a well-established writing practice, there’s no need to chase the muse or strive to drum up a measure of motivation. You sit down and do the work because it’s your habit to do so. Because you’ve created a simple system that allows you to make slow but...


How Writers Can Prepare For a Fantastic Beta Reader Experience

A little beta reader feedback can go a long way toward improving the quality of your work. In last week’s episode, I answered six common questions about working with beta readers, including what beta readers are, why their feedback is invaluable, and how you can find the beta readers who will provide the most constructive feedback on your work. Today, I’m following that introduction with a guide to creating the very best beta experience for both you and your readers. Remember, beta readers...


The New Writer's Guide to Working With Beta Readers

Nothing improves the quality of your writing like a little objective feedback. A few well-honed self-editing skills can go a long way, but at the end of the day, you’re simply too close to your work to truly revise and refine it to be the best that it can be. This is where beta readers come in handy. In this new two-part blog & podcast series, I'll break down everything you need to know about working with beta readers: what they are, the value they can bring to your work, where to find...


Five Tips For Landing Your First Short Story Publication

Getting published isn't just for the lucky. In June, I had the honor of receiving an advanced reader copy of Landing Your First Publication by Mandy Wallace, a short story writing prompt + publication strategy guide that is truly the only resource you need if you want to stop wishing and starting making your publication dreams come true. In today's episode, I'm sharing five of the top short fiction publication tips I gleaned from reading Landing Your First Publication. These gems help...


How to Craft Compelling Character Backstories

Part of crafting characters involves exploring their history. Just as your lived experiences have shaped the person you are today, a character’s backstory has the power to provide depth and understanding to their characterization. But crafting a rich and compelling character backstory is far from simple. What elements should you consider when weaving your character’s history? Better yet, how do you translate that history onto the page without bogging down your story? Let’s answer both of...


How to Write Effective Flashback Scenes

Flashbacks are some of the most difficult scenes to write. When effective, flashback scenes relay vital backstory that cuts straight to the emotional core of a narrative. But like the infamous prologue, flashback scenes are all too easy to get wrong. An ineffective flashback will jar readers out of a story as quickly as a successful one will grip them by the heartstrings. How can you ensure your own flashbacks serve a powerful purpose within your stories? Let's discuss in today's...


Eight Things to Cut or Reconsider When Editing Fiction

Eager to improve the quality of your writing? Don't underestimate the power of tightening your prose. In today's episode, I'm sharing the eight items you should cut or reconsider when editing fiction, helping you transform weak and clumsy writing into irresistible read. // Episode Links // Article + Transcript: On Patreon: // Write. Publish. Profit. // Grab your copy of this epic resource bundle today! My affiliate link:...


How Fiction Writers Can Improve The Quality Of Their Prose

Feel like your writing skills aren't doing your stories justice? I hear you, writer. I love crafting characters, plots, settings, and story worlds, but I lack a natural knack for prose. Unsatisfied with my writing, I've spent the past several years working day in and day out to level up my writing game, and though I'll always be improving, I'm proud of where my prose now stands. The process of improving your writing can certainly be intimidating. In today's episode, I aim to help you...


Why I Set & Quit a Hundred Book Reading Challenge

“If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.” — Stephen King Earlier this year, I mentioned in a newsletter that I had set out to read 100 books in 2019. Five months and 35 books later, I've decided to call this challenge quits. Why? Well, the answer's a bit complex, as is the reason I decided to take on this challenge. In today's episode, I'm sharing the dangers of setting arbitrary creative goals and chasing other authors' ideals. If you don't...


How to Structure Compelling Scenes

Every phenomenal story unfolds in a series of scenes. And if each scene in a book is a link in a chain, one weak link can threaten the overall power of a story. How, then, do we craft well-structured and compelling scenes for our stories? In today's episode, we break down what exactly defines a scene (hint: it's not just a fun, frightening, or steamy moment between characters), the six elements that most compelling scenes contain, and how you can ensure your scene serves a powerful purpose...


Feel Like You're Falling Behind In Your Writing Life?

I've long wondered if I'm falling behind in my writing life. I blog about writing (and talk about it here on the podcast), but I haven't yet published my fiction. And as I toil away on my manuscript, it seems like every other writer I see is passing me by, hot on the trail of their writing dreams. Am I falling behind? Am I working hard enough? Am I enough? These are the doubts that I've lived with for many years, and though I'm still a work-in-progress, I've done a tremendous amount of work...


How to Utilize Motifs In Your Fiction

Motifs are one of those literary devices that are often ignored because of the belief that they only have a place in academic circles. But in truth, motifs serve two key purposes that can be just as powerful in genre fiction as in literary novels. In today's episode, I’m breaking down exactly what a motif is, the purposes it can serve, and how you can begin making use of motifs in your own stories today. I also share examples of motifs from The Great Gatsby, A Game of Thrones, and Bridge to...


Can You Really Make a Living Writing Fiction?

It's one of the questions I'm most frequently asked as someone who blogs about writing: Can I really make a living with my writing? But what if I told you this is the wrong question to ask? If you're interested in building a writing career, the better question to ask is: Is building this career the right choice for me? In today's episode, I’m breaking down a few common myths about what a writing career looks like, sharing whether (and how!) it’s possible to make a living publishing...


Eight Ways Writers Can Combat Imposter Syndrome

Have you ever worked hard to achieve an important writing milestone, only to downplay your accomplishment? Have you ever sat frozen in fear while staring down a new project, terrified that others will think your work just isn’t up to scratch? Have you ever wondered if you “have what it takes” to be a writer, unsure if you can even claim the title? This, my friend, is Imposter Syndrome. And in today's episode, I'm breaking down exactly what Imposter Syndrome is (and isn't), eight ways you...


Eight Things To Consider When Working In A New Creative Medium

Whether you’re preparing to write your first novel or short story, screenplay or video game script, or something else entirely, working in a new creative medium can prove an intimidating process. To better prepare, here are eight lessons I learned from diving into my first non-fiction book on writing! Article + Transcript: On Patreon: The Newsletter: Well-Storied Communities:...


How To Craft Static Character Arcs For Your Novel

We've talked about positive and negative character arcs, but what if your character doesn't change over time? You, my friend, have a static character arc on your hands. Let's break down how you can bring it to life! Article + Transcript: On Positive Arcs (Ep. #6): K.M. Weiland's Work: Support My Book On Writing: Subscribe to The Well-Storied...


How To Craft Negative Character Arcs For Your Novel

Will your character's tragic flaw or limiting belief ultimately prove their emotional downfall? In today's episode, we're talking all about how to craft epic negative arcs for your story, writer! Article + Transcript: Support the Podcast: Well-Storied Communities: All Episodes: You can find the show on: iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play, Youtube, RSS,...