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Fear Thesaurus Entry: A Secret Being Revealed

Debilitating fears are a problem for everyone, an unfortunate part of the human experience. Whether they’re a result of learned behavior as a child, are related to a mental health condition, or stem from a past wounding event, these fears influence a character’s behaviors, habits, beliefs, and personality traits. The compulsion to avoid what they fear...

4 Ways Your Protagonist Is Sabotaging You (And How to Fight Back)

By Marissa Graff We love our protagonists. We spend a ridiculous amount of time, blood, sweat, and tears championing their stories. But what if they’re undermining us by behaving in ways that drive readers away? What if they’re not-so-secretly sabotaging us despite all our efforts to advocate for them? Let’s discuss four ways your protagonist...

When You Feel Like a Hack

By Christina Delay Recently I’ve been reading Marcus Sakey’s BRILLIANCE trilogy. Yes, I know I’m behind the times, but OMG have you read these books yet? I’m enjoying them immensely, both from a reader and a writer perspective. Mr. Sakey’s use of descriptors is like none other, and while I revel in his genius, it also makes me wonder what...

Fear Thesaurus Entry: Change

Debilitating fears are a problem for everyone, an unfortunate part of the human experience. Whether they’re a result of learned behavior as a child, are related to a mental health condition, or stem from a past wounding event, these fears influence a character’s behaviors, habits, beliefs, and personality traits. The compulsion to avoid what they fear...

Want Readers to Connect to Your Character? Include this Element.

Some characters have more shape and weight than others, feeling so authentic we can almost believe they walked right out of the real world. Their emotions, vulnerabilities, needs, and desires ring so true, we can’t help but be pulled in by them. These characters hold us hostage while we read, and as writers, we start analyzing why we care so much so...

10-Year Celebration: Win the Ultimate Writer’s Toolkit

It’s a big anniversary for us, folks! Ten years ago today we hit the publish button on The Emotion Thesaurus. 10 Years. Can you believe it? We wrote this book hoping to help others who struggled with showing character emotion, but deep down, we were terrified. It was our first book. We were nobodies…who would take us seriously? And we...

Phenomenal First Pages Contest

Hey, wonderful writerly people! It’s time for our monthly first-page critique contest This contest is closed. Please try again next month. If you’d like to be notified when the next one goes live, consider subscribing to the blog (in the sidebar). If you’re working on a first page (in any genre except erotica) and would like some...

Using Crisis to Reveal Character

By September C. Fawkes In the writing community, a crisis (also known as a “dilemma”) happens when a character has to choose between two opposing things. And he can’t have both. Shawn Coyne, author and creator of The Story Grid, breaks crises down into two types: a. The Best Bad Choice The character has to choose between...

Fear Thesaurus Entry: Agoraphobia

Debilitating fears are a problem for everyone, an unfortunate part of the human experience. Whether they’re a result of learned behavior as a child, are related to a mental illness, or stem from a past wounding event, these fears influence a character’s behaviors, habits, beliefs, and personality traits. The compulsion to avoid what they fear will drive...

You Wrote a Killer Love Story…But Did You Romance the Reader?

So many ingredients go into writing a strong romance. As with any other genre, we want to develop characters who are complex, fresh, relatable, and unique. They should have strong motives and desires, but also be a bit broken too, people who have been hurt by life, suffered disappointments, and see struggle. They will have had past relationship interactions...

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