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”

Do You Know the Key Differences Between UK and US English?

Do You Know the Key Differences Between UK and US English? Sometimes it feels like British English and American English might as well be different languages. Football versus soccer, loo versus bathroom, queue versus line… the differences are endless! We can’t help you figure all those out, but we can help with alternate spellings between … More Do You Know the Key Differences Between UK and US English?

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 55: Beginning Your Story Too Late

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 55: Beginning Your Story Too Late Story beginnings are fraught with important decisions. But perhaps none of those decisions is more important than the question of when to begin your story. Too early or too late—either one can prevent readers from engaging with the story and obsessively reading on to find out … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 55: Beginning Your Story Too Late

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 48: No Conflict Between Characters

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 48: No Conflict Between Characters I slapped the FedEx guy this morning. Okay, not really. My FedEx guy is totally cool. And he brings me cool stuff. I’d never slap him. But that got your attention, didn’t it? Way more so than if I ‘d said, “I thanked the FedEx … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 48: No Conflict Between Characters

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 31: One-Dimensional Conflict

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 31: One-Dimensional Conflict Conflict is one of the most essential ingredients of fiction. When a character with a goal meets an obstacle to that goal, conflict ensues. Story ensues. But one-dimensional conflict isn’t enough to plumb the depths of a story’s potential. So just what is one-dimensional conflict? When conflict is … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 31: One-Dimensional Conflict

Most Common Writing Mistakes: Weak Character Voice

  Most Common Writing Mistakes: Weak Character Voice Voice. That tantalizingly nebulous word is flung around so often in writing critiques and agent demands that writers sometimes get to where we almost hate the sound of it. Every author is supposed to cultivate a unique voice. But, even more than that, we’re also supposed to … More Most Common Writing Mistakes: Weak Character Voice

Part 17 of The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel

Part 17 of The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel If you ask me, the trifecta of must-have story elements are: relationships, action, and humor. Of the three, arguably the most difficult is learning how to write funny. You can’t fake humor. It either works or it doesn’t. This might prompt some writers to … More Part 17 of The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel

The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel Part 10: The #1 Key to Relatable Characters: Backstory

The #1 Key to Relatable Characters: Backstory Part 10 of The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel Ever stop to think about why you enjoy backstory? I receive lots of questions from writers about backstory, most of it along the lines of: I love my backstory soooo much. How can I cram as much as possible … More The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel Part 10: The #1 Key to Relatable Characters: Backstory

Part 9 of The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel

Part 9 of The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel The longer I study stories, the more convinced I am that the one single thing that sets apart the great stories from the meh ones is theme. What this means, of course, is that figuring out how to write powerful themes is possibly the most … More Part 9 of The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel

The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel Part 8: How to Get the Most Out of Your Sequel Scenes

How to Get the Most Out of Your Sequel Scenes Part 8 of The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel Sometimes just the mention of “sequel scenes” makes writers cross their eyes. Isn’t a sequel, you know, a followup to your first book? What does it have to do with individual scenes? The answers … More The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel Part 8: How to Get the Most Out of Your Sequel Scenes