Looking to brush up your writing skills or learn a new trick or two? You've come to the right place! Check back weekly for helpful tips and articles that make your writing better. 

People always ask writers where we get our ideas. Our answers are varied—conversations, song lyrics, witnessing an interaction between strangers on a bus, the particular shape and color of a piece of fresh fruit in a loved one’s hands, an old TV show barely remembered.

Life is full of sources of inspiration and...

Finding Writing Inspiration in Your Everyday Life

May 31, 2023
by Finnian Burnett

Resonating Your Writing Using Mythic Structure, Part 2

August 29, 2022
by Jim Jackson

In Part One in this series, we talked about folktales being stories stripped of everything but essential human truths. And we asked you to think of a folktale that speaks to the best and oldest part of who you are.

Now, let’s look at the four story elements we discussed last time and use them to reverse engineer our folktales. These elements will help us uncover the frameworks we need...

Resonating Your Writing Using Mythic Structure, Part 1

August 21, 2022
by Jim Jackson

Myths and folktales have an intrinsic power to move us. They seem to have always been around. Why is that?

Why do our hearts open when the glass slipper fits and Cinderella is united with her Prince? Why do we smile when Hansel and Gretel shove the witch into the oven?

As humans, we’ve evolved to consume information through story form. Stories are the best way natural selection...

What is a folktale?

July 25, 2022
by Gail de Vos

Folktales are traditional stories, told by anonymous folk, about ordinary people having extraordinary adventures. Fairy tales are a subset that includes major characters with magical powers such as fairy godmothers, the wee folk, and genies. These days, the boundary between folk and fairy tales has become blurred, as many of the stories we now call fairy tales have very little to do with the...

Using Folklore as a Starting Point

July 13, 2022
by Gail de Vos

Folklore, which includes folk and fairy tales, legends, myths, fables, ballads, rhymes, riddles, jokes, and proverbs, offers a rich menu of ideas to use in your writing. You can retell a traditional tale or include a character from a tale in your own story. Items of folklore are in the public domain, which means that you are able to reuse them without worry (unless you are borrowing from...

Finalizing Your Novel For Query

June 24, 2022
by J.M. Frey

If you’re writing and editing your novel and plan to submit it to an agent or a publisher, there are a few more small things you can do to make sure your manuscript is polished and as professional as possible. Before you begin, note that most publishers only accept submissions through an agent, though there are exceptions, so if you're sending your manuscript directly to a publisher, make sure...

Working with Outside Eyes

June 11, 2022
by J.M. Frey

No writer can ever produce a flawless manuscript alone. Writers are simply too close to the story to know if everything has been successfully translated onto the page. That’s why writers work with reader groups, critique partners, writer’s circles, or professional editors.

Other Writing Partners

But before we dive into the specifics, let’s talk...

Stages of Editing

April 24, 2022
by J.M. Frey

Draft one of a manuscript is for you. In this draft, you get to tell your story to yourself. You can write as much as you want, go off on tangents or side quests, or infodump and worldbuild to your heart’s content.

Draft two is for your readers. Draft two is where you rework the story you told yourself to ensure that you transmit it to the readers in a way that is entertaining,...

Types of Editing

April 6, 2022
by J.M. Frey

There are many ways to approach manuscript editing, each with its own particular process, and nearly every editor and writing advice site has their or its own method.  This post will describe the most common types, explain what they’re for, and provide questions you can ask yourself to ensure that you’re approaching this stage in the best way possible.

Bear in...