What We Can Learn About Writing from “Hamilton”

What We Can Learn About Writing from “Hamilton” Hamilton is an international sensation. Fusing hip-hop and musical theater, Lin-Manuel Miranda created an impressive telling of Alexander Hamilton’s life story. As writers, there’s a lot we can learn from the show, its creation, and its namesake. As Aaron Burr says in Aaron Burr, Sir, let me … More What We Can Learn About Writing from “Hamilton”

Kill the Thought Verbs! Get Readers Involved

Kill the Thought Verbs! Get Readers Involved Story is action. Verbs create action. When your characters act, readers turn pages. But, you may slow down your readers when you go inside your character’s head. Not because you are going inside their head but because you revert to thought verbs. What are thought verbs? They are … More Kill the Thought Verbs! Get Readers Involved

7 Things Your Character Is Hiding

7 Things Your Character Is Hiding   Being able to write realistic, consistent, multi-dimensional characters is vital to gaining reader interest. Doing so first requires we know a lot about who our characters are—you know, the obvious stuff: positive and negative traits, behavioral habits, desires, goals, and the like. But it’s not always the obvious … More 7 Things Your Character Is Hiding

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 62: Head-Hopping POV

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 62: Head-Hopping POV You know you’ve moved beyond recreational storytelling to serious writing the moment you discover you’re hopelessly confused about POV. Other than perhaps show vs. tell, no fundamental principle of fiction dogs writers more than creating a solid narrative—which often begins by understanding how to avoid head-hopping. It … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 62: Head-Hopping POV

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 61: 5 Types of Clunky Dialogue

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 61: 5 Types of Clunky Dialogue When you write excellent dialogue, you will simultaneously sharpen the rest of your narrative tools. When you write clunky dialogue, however, it’s unlikely readers will be able to engage with the story on any level. Happily, dialogue is usually one of the most enjoyable … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 61: 5 Types of Clunky Dialogue

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 60: Flat Plots

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 60: Flat Plots One of the most deflating criticisms authors hear is that “they’re writing flat plots.” Not only does this (seem to) indicate a certain lack of personal depth, it’s also a sign the story is boring and forgettable. Fortunately, there’s no reason you need ever fall prey to this … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 60: Flat Plots

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 63: Purple Prose

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 63: Purple Prose Words, glorious words! Fellow logophiles, were we not initially drawn to writing because of our sesquipedal amours? We love words. We love big words, arcane words, chewy words, beautiful words. We love combinations of words that are bold, poetic, eloquent, and sometimes even showy. So it’s little … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 63: Purple Prose

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 58: Too Much Description

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 58: Too Much Description Sooner or later, most writers will get their hands slapped over description, whether it’s too much description or too little. The bad news is that this is a big deal in narrative fiction. Get the balance of your description wrong, and it could throw off your entire story. … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 58: Too Much Description

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 56: Unfulfilled Foreshadowing

 K.M. WEILAND Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 56: Unfulfilled Foreshadowing Sometimes writing feels like magic. You look back at the story you’ve created and it seems like it came from beyond you. One of the coolest examples of this is with foreshadowing. Some little something you wrote in the early chapters without even thinking about it … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 56: Unfulfilled Foreshadowing