bernard cornwell

Conversations: Bernard Cornwell

On November 26th, the latest opus from Bernard Cornwell – Sword of Kings  – will be available in bookstores in the US. If you’re already a fan of The Last Kingdom Series, then you’re no doubt as eager as I am for the newest volume. If you haven’t yet explored Cornwell’s work, then don’t wait… Read more »


The Secret to Creating an Irresistible Protagonist

In my last post, we discussed how a protagonist is the driving force behind every story. And there are four distinct types of protagonists, and different writers are drawn to different ones. They all exist on a spectrum, between what a character wants and his or her personality. Which do you gravitate towards? Let’s take… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Ways to Write What You Want to Understand

Most people are familiar with Hemingway’s writing advice encouraging storytellers to, “Write what you know.” But what most of us “know” comes from first not knowing — from daring to journey toward understanding. Writing fiction well requires we provoke our reader’s curiosity and wonder; but how can we as writers feel either curious or wonder-filled… Read more »

Five Tactics to Battle Impostor Syndrome

Many writers, especially those early in their careers, suffer from impostor syndrome: the persistent feeling that one is fraudulent and doesn’t belong in one’s chosen field, and it’s only a matter of time before the world uncovers that fact. Such feelings can be magnified if you’re self-publishing. Without the external validation of an agent choosing… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Tips for Writing Nail-Biting Suspense

Halloween is just around the corner, which means it’s prime time to read — and write! — some spooky, scary stories. And whether you’re a fan of the classic ghost story à la M.R. James, the darkly imaginative tales of Stephen King, or Gillian Flynn’s unique brand of psychological horror, you probably realize that all… Read more »

storytelling superpower

Unleash Your Storytelling Superpower

Hey Word Nerds! Gabriela here. This is the first of a super special series of four articles discussing one of my favorite topics — your storytelling superpower. I’m so excited to share it with you!  Some say that at the heart of every story, you find a compelling character. I agree… almost. Characters are more… Read more »

Six Things Editors Want Writers to Know

The typical idea of an Ask the Editor column is for you (a writer) to ask me (an editor) questions, which I then explain as larger concepts for the benefit of other writers. But without your questions, I’m stuck picking my own topics—a dangerous thing. This month, I decided to flip the meaning of this… Read more »

The Q Factor — Signpost Scene #12

Signpost Scene #12, the Q Factor, in James Scott Bell’s Super Structure is not one to forget. Though simple in concept, understanding it will determine the difference between a convenient ending and one readers will talk about for years.  This is how it’s done.  The Q Factor Tagged the “Q Factor” in James Scott Bell’s… Read more »