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Your character is driven by 3 emotional motives. See?

Mood: The immediate (and temporary) emotions of your character. A feeling of joy after kissing the girl they like; frustration after a busy day working a summer job at the fair; despair after somebody eats the last Oreo. Situation: The plot and relationship contexts of your character. The apprehension they feel with a friend in the weeks … Continue reading Your character is driven by 3 emotional motives. See?

You don’t need a big writing vocabulary. But these words help most.

Every writer worries about their vocabulary. Words, after all, are the building blocks of our craft, so it makes sense to obsess over expanding our vocab — to ensure the perfect word is always within reach. But hey. Relax. A large vocabulary may be helpful, but it’s not a prerequisite for good writing. Many writers … Continue reading You don’t need a big writing vocabulary. But these words help most.

5 frustrating workshop rules that made me a better writer

Throughout the 15 workshops I joined in college and grad school, I encountered two types of writing rules. First, there were the best-practice guidelines we’ve all heard, like “show don’t tell.” And then there were workshop rules, which the professor put in place not because they’re universal, but because they help you grow within the … Continue reading 5 frustrating workshop rules that made me a better writer

The Habit of Art: How to write better stories, more consistently

“Art is the habit of the artist.” – Flannery O’Connor In 1955, Flannery O’Connor wrote a short story called “Good Country People,” which is often remembered in lit classes as the story where a Bible salesman steals a woman’s wooden leg. Many consider it to be among O’Connor’s greatest works, and yet… She wrote it … Continue reading The Habit of Art: How to write better stories, more consistently


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