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. 


vintage library with a globe in the aisle

In Narrative Voice: Point of View and Tenses, we looked at the difference between various points of view; now we'll consider how to put that information to good use. The question is: How do you, the author, know what point of view is best for you and your story? 

Choosing your story's point of view may be the most crucial decision you make when crafting your novel. Point of view… read more

June 14, 2024
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December 22, 2021

When it comes to being a writer, there’s this romantic ideal of someone seated primly at their aesthetic desk, ensconced in their adorable home office, laboring away for hours a day until art emerges, but this is far from the truth. There are many people involved in the process of creating your favorite books. Editors of course, and agents, publicists, marketers. But before all that, comes a… read more

November 29, 2021

Now that we know what a subplot is, let's take a look at different types of subplots and see how they work. 

Romantic Subplots

Unless the novel is a full-blown romance (where the plot of the book is firmly centred on the meeting and eventual happily ever after of your protagonist and their love interest), then any romance your characters experience in the novel is secondary… read more

November 17, 2021

Welcome to a new article series! This time, we’ll be talking about about the structural and narrative importance of SUBPLOTS. But before we dive in, let’s figure out what a subplot actually is.

According to Dictionary.com, a subplot is:

"A secondary or subordinate plot, as in a play, novel, or other literary work; underplot.”

Great, so to know… read more

October 24, 2021

So you’ve written a book, and you’re no amateur; you know the best writers get other eyes on their work, that art is not created in a vacuum. You’ve enlisted the help of beta readers, maybe friends or people in your writing circle, who will give you that valuable feedback you need. But when you finally get your work back, their comments leave you scratching your head.

What do they mean… read more

October 08, 2021

Working as a sensitivity reader or a beta reader for a writer friend is one of the greatest joys of being part of the writing community. You get to read a new story before anyone else and you have the privilege of helping your writer friend turn their just-pulled-from-the-cave-wall stone into a highly polished, beautifully cut, sparkling diamond. 

Obviously there are no hard-and-… read more

September 23, 2021

At this point you should have your story's mold and sand to fill it. Now you are ready to create your narrative lens, and the way you shape it provides more than just a point of view.  You can use voice to convey many things in a story. For example, it's an especially good way to impart vital information, helping you avoid the dreaded infodump. 

Character Background … read more

August 24, 2021

This is the second part of our discussion on narrative vocabulary and tone.  To get the full context, start here: Narrative Voice: Vocabulary Choice and Tone (Part One) Part One focuses on vocabulary choice and ways to shed light on your characters' inner thoughts and world view through the language they use.

What is “Tone”? 

Compared to vocabulary choice, tone is… read more

August 10, 2021

If your characters are the lens through which the reader experiences your story, and you the writer are the glassmaker, then vocabulary makes up the grains of sand which create the glass.  Likewise, tone is the mold into which you pour your hot glass to set the lens.

Some grains will be hard, rough, imperfect; and, poured into a straight-edged mold, would make a wonderful lens for… read more

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July 28, 2021

Now that you’ve decided who is going to be telling your reader your story, let’s take a closer look at the technical aspects of how that story is going to be conveyed, and what the impacts of these technical choices may be on a reader’s experience.

Point of View (who is telling your story) 

Point of View (POV) is the perspective lens through which your reader witnesses… read more

July 11, 2021

In our last post, we took a look at Christopher Booker's 7 Basic Plots and covered the Journey and Return, Quest, and Rebirth archetypes. We'll cover the final four structures here.  

Conquering the Beast

Also known as "Overcoming the Monster", this story structure focuses on an underdog who must face a great threat or evil. The format is extremely … read more