Developing Themes In Your Stories: Part 9 – The Midpoint

We’ve covered two plot points so far in Developing Themes In Your Stories: the inciting incident, which thrusts the protagonist into a story’s external conflict; and the Act I choice, where the protagonist takes the first step to achieving his goal. Now he’s in the thick of that goal pursuit, but not everything has been… Read more »

#5Onfri: Five Sources of Writer Inspiration

Beginning with a parachute drop in the night skies of 1980’s Afghanistan and ending in the recent Paris terrorist attacks, Assassins is a contemporary historical novel of last thirty years of conflict between Islam and the West. Based largely on my own experiences and those of others I know, Assassins lives this unending war through… Read more »

The Merits of Happily Ever After

If you ask any romance reader what they love most about their genre, most will say it’s the happily ever after (or HEA, as it’s lovingly referred to). It’s the defining characteristic of what makes a romance a romance. It’s the number one requirement for romances novels entered in Romance Writer of America writing contests:… Read more »

#5OnFri: 5 Ways Writers Can Benefit from Aromatherapy

The writing life is a constant rollercoaster of ups and downs. One day you’re struck with inspiration and don’t dare to pry your hands away from the keyboard even if the house is on fire. Other days, you doubt every single word you wrote the day before. Whether it’s the inspiration to create, the confidence… Read more »

Episode 136: Adventures in Metafiction — Interview with Dale Wiley

Hey there word nerds! Today I’m interviewing Dale Wiley, author and Missouri attorney, who has some fascinating credits to his name. For starters, he has had a character named after him on CSI, owned a record label, been interviewed by Bob Edwards on NPR’s Morning Edition and made alternative fuel motorcycles for Merle Haggard and… Read more »

Why I Write Speculative Fiction

Web Editor’s Note: Today begins our new Tuesday genre columns. Please join me in welcoming Melanie Marttila to the DIY MFA team! Her column, Speculations, will focus on all things speculative fiction. To learn more about Melanie and the other new members of the DIY MFA team, check out this post right here. When Gabriela… Read more »

Minimalism For Writers: An Experiment

I recently watch a documentary on Netflix called “Minimalism.” It’s a concept I’d already heard of—having read Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up last year. In that book, Kondo advocates a sort of personal minimalism, wherein you only keep possessions that “Spark Joy.” The documentary, “Minimalism” follows Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan… Read more »

#5OnFri: 5 Things to Know Before Building a Writer Website

So, you want to build a writer website? Good decision! Luckily for you, website building is easier than ever, thanks to big developments in this area. You can create a simple website in a matter of clicks – not something that we could recommend though. But wait, where is the catch? Naturally, in order to… Read more »