5 Exercises for Honing Your Story Instinctseiland

5 Exercises for Honing Your Story Instincts K.M. Weiland How strong are your story instincts? This abstract and sometimes elusive concept rests at the very bottom of a writer’s toolkit. Your story instincts determine how successful your storytelling is, and whether you are able to offer readers the all-important “it” factor. Your story instincts are … More 5 Exercises for Honing Your Story Instinctseiland

7 Rules for Double-Checking Your Antagonist’s Motivations

7 Rules for Double-Checking Your Antagonist’s Motivations Honestly, antagonists drive me nuts. They are, perhaps rather poetically, the great nemeses of my writing life. I still struggle with them, for all the reasons mentioned above, in every book I write. In fact, I’ve come to realize that much of the reason I’ve been blocked for … More 7 Rules for Double-Checking Your Antagonist’s Motivations

The 3 Acts of a Writer’s Life–Or How Your Age Affects Your Writing

  J by K.M. WEILAND The 3 Acts of a Writer’s Life–Or How Your Age Affects Your Writing   I’ve been writing consistently since I was twelve, which means I’ve now been writing for the (amazingly long very short?) period of twenty-two years. In that time, almost as much about my writing has changed as has … More The 3 Acts of a Writer’s Life–Or How Your Age Affects Your Writing

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 3: The Thing Your Character Wants vs. The Thing Your Character Needs

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 3: The Thing Your Character Wants vs. The Thing Your Character Needs   The Lie Your Character Believes is the reason for all character arcs. After all, if everything’s hunky-dunky, why change? We might think of the Lie as the cavity in a tooth. Everything might look shiny and white … More Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 3: The Thing Your Character Wants vs. The Thing Your Character Needs

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 2: The Lie Your Character Believes

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 2: The Lie Your Character Believes   People hate change. We may sit around and wish our lives were different, but when the rubber really starts streaking the tarmac, we usually find ourselves wishing we could just hang out here in our safe and familiar haunts. Characters are no different. … More Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 2: The Lie Your Character Believes

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 12: Your Questions Answered

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 12: Your Questions Answered Because of its fixed nature, story structure, once learned, is easy to grasp. However, it’s also a subject that inspires endless questions. A few weeks ago, while I was finishing up the last of the posts in this series, I asked those of you who follow me on … More The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 12: Your Questions Answered

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 11: The Resolution

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 11: The Resolution   The resolution is always a bittersweet moment. You’ve reached the end of the story. You’ve climbed the mountain, and now you can plant your flag of completion at its peak. But as the finale of all your work, this is also the finale of all the fun you’ve … More The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 11: The Resolution

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 9: The Third Act

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 9: The Third Act   The third act is the moment we’ve all been waiting for—readers, writers, and characters alike. This final section of the story is the point. It’s what we’ve been building up to all this time. If the first and second acts were engaging and aesthetic labyrinths, the … More The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 9: The Third Act