How the Antagonist Affects Character Arc

We often think of the antagonist as an external obstacle to our protagonist’s forward motion. by K.M. Weiland The antagonist is usually a physical entity, something standing in the way of our protagonists’ ability to achieve their physical goals and perhaps even threatening our protagonists’ lives or their physical well-being. Consequently, it can be easy … Read more

When Readers Don’t Know What Your Characters Are Talking About

A good story will always be a balance between providing readers necessary information—and keeping them curious by not giving them all the info. Nowhere is this more true than in dialogue. by K.M. Weiland Make no mistake. This is a tough wire on which to balance. Give readers too much juice, and they’ll not only … Read more

When Your Scene Focuses on What Isn’t Happening

Here’s a little-known secret about stories: they’re about what your characters do. Okay, so maybe it’s not so little known. I mean, duh, right? Your character does something and then he does something else—and, presto, you have a plot! And yet writers often end up spending a huge chunk of time describing what their characters … Read more

Why Your Story’s Conflict Isn’t Working

Conflict is the life’s blood of fiction. Conflict means something’s happening. Conflict brings change. And there’s also the little matter of human nature’s voyeuristic fascination with other people’s confrontations. by K.M. Weiland “No conflict, no story” is a rule of fiction familiar to even the noobiest of noob writers. We’re told to pack in the … Read more

8 Signs Your Writing Is Stuck in a Rut

Laziness and fear—a writer’s two great nemeses—do their best to keep us stuck in the writing rut. by K.M. Weiland Usually, it’s a very comfortable rut. All our characters are down there with us, keeping us company, cooking up tea, playing chess, and just generally having a happy ol’ time. Life isn’t very difficult, since … Read more