How to Use Antagonists in Your Story: The Right Way and the Wrong Way
Helping Writers Become Authors
by K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland
1w ago
How to use antagonists in your story is a critical skill that can either elevate or undermine your entire story. In many ways, antagonists are the true architects of unforgettable plots, and as you navigate the path between narrative brilliance and potential pitfalls, the art of utilizing your story’s antagonists becomes crucial to success. When we think of antagonists and how they should be written, what often comes to mind are specific characteristics. We envision villains, or perhaps just complicated anti-heroes, who offer enough charisma and enigma to spark reader curiosity and, hopefully ..read more
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A Writer’s Comprehensive Guide to Backstory
Helping Writers Become Authors
by K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland
2w ago
Hello, welcome to Everything You Need to Know About Backstory! I’m K.M. Weiland, and you are listening to the Helping Writers Become Authors podcast or watching it because this is also a video post. This video is in answer to a question from SW, who asked: “I’m interested in how you figure out how to chunk backstory and sprinkle it through the story.” This is always a pertinent question, because wherever you have a story, obviously, you have backstory. Backstory, simply put, is whatever comes before the main story. Generally speaking, backstory is the history of the characters or maybe the sto ..read more
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12 Places to Find a Beta Reader (Updated)
Helping Writers Become Authors
by K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland
3w ago
“Where can I find a beta reader or critique partner?” Without doubt, that’s the second most frequent question I receive from writers, right after where do I find a good editor?. This can be a tough question to answer for the simple reason that a beta reader or critique partner isn’t someone you simply vet and hire, like you would a freelance editor. Rather, this is a relationship you build, just as you would build any important friendship. 7 Things to Look for in a Beta Reader There are several keys to finding the right beta reader (and it is important to find the right one). You want som ..read more
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Burned Out on the Business of Writing? 6 Insights to Rediscover Joy and Passion
Helping Writers Become Authors
by K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland
1M ago
In the ever-evolving landscape of the writing profession, where deadlines loom large and market trends shift like shadows, it’s not uncommon for writers to find themselves engulfed in the relentless flames of burnout. The business of writing, with its demands for marketability and strategic branding, can sometimes obscure the very essence of what drew us to the craft in the first place: the pure joy and passion for storytelling. If you’re feeling singed by the pressures of the business of writing, fear not. Amidst the ashes lie embers of creativity waiting to be rekindled. At the end of 2023 ..read more
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5 Reasons Marketing Is Hard for Writers
Helping Writers Become Authors
by K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland
1M ago
Say the word “marketing” to a group of writers, and you’re likely to elicit a groan. Almost anyone with dreams of seeing a book in print can relate to the deflation experienced when it becomes clear that simply writing an excellent book isn’t enough to sell any notable number of copies. Sooner or later, any writer committed to publishing and selling a book will have to accept that learning how to market the book is just as important, if not more, to the book’s success than the book itself. This is often a frustrating experience since, in general, marketing is hard for writers. Why is this? Aft ..read more
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Writing Multiple Plotlines: Everything You Need to Know
Helping Writers Become Authors
by K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland
1M ago
Note From KMW: Hello and welcome to today’s post, in which I am trying something a bit different! Chances are you have either written or considered writing multiple plotlines in a story. These versatile and multi-faceted stories are all the rage (they always were—just ask Dickens!). But adding complexity to what is already the wonderfully complex challenge of writing one plot ups the stakes on every part of the writing process. This post is a transcript of a video I posted on YouTube. If you’re a subscriber on YouTube, then you probably know that throughout the last year, I consistently posted ..read more
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7 Tips to Craft Compelling Character Motivation in Fiction
Helping Writers Become Authors
by C.S. Lakin | @cslakin
1M ago
From KMW: As “the lie that tells the truth,” fiction only works when it is able to present a reasonable facsimile of reality. At the level of plot, it does this by creating a string of causes and effects that feel plausible. The foundation of this plausibility is the greatest “cause” of them all: character motivation. There are many ways to approach character motivation. You might start with the motive and see what actions result. Or you might start out knowing what you want to see happen in the plot, then work backward to determine a reasonable motive for such actions. Either w ..read more
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Lessons From 2023: 5 Reflections on “Flat Arc” Periods
Helping Writers Become Authors
by K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland
2M ago
Welcome to 2024! And welcome to what has become a yearly tradition here at Helping Writers Become Authors. Every January, I write a New Year’s post in which I look back at the year that has passed and reflect on its major themes, lessons, and gifts. When I began this little ritual six years ago, the idea was to focus specifically on what writing lessons I may have learned. However, I quickly realized the lessons that most impacted me as a creator were inevitably part of the much vaster context that is my life. Indeed, if you’re one of those who have travelled with me on this site over the year ..read more
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Top 10 Writing Posts of 2023
Helping Writers Become Authors
by K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland
2M ago
Happy New Year, everyone! Welcome to 2024! For me, 2023 was an incredibly productive year. What makes me most pleased and proud is that I feel I was able to return to a high level of productivity in a way that honored everything I’ve learned from the severe burnout I experienced in previous years. Above all, this has been a year of working through healing and growth in my relationship to the business side of being a writer (something I’ll talk about in a future post). It seems so long ago now, but the biggest news of the year was that I published what is absolutely my favorite book I’ve ever ..read more
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Merry Christmas, Wordplayers!
Helping Writers Become Authors
by K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland
2M ago
Dear Wordplayers, Merry Christmas! I love Christmas. It has always been far and away my favorite holiday. For me, it has always been the holiday of gratitude, even more than Thanksgiving. Surrounded by loved ones, nurtured by traditions, and sandwiched between the glories and disappointments of the year that is past and the hopes and challenges of the year to come—it is a potent moment. For me, this past year was both incredibly busy and incredibly rewarding. It is a year that is closing out with a return to some of its more difficult challenges, in the midst of which this Christmas holiday is ..read more
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