Anonymous asked

Resources about family feuds in real life/throughout history? I'm working on the story of two families, they've been holding a grudge against each other for decades but I'm trying to come with the event that led to the dispute in the first place, the origin of so much hatred.


One family could edge out in the other in prestige, business, or in a major competition. The other family calls foul play. It doesn’t even need to be the whole family: it could just be two people (usually people who are important/are doted on by important people). Anyway, the families cold-shoulder or murder each other. The extended family pledges revenge and the wound is never healed.


Pros of focusing a story around friendship instead of romance


  • Less danger of writing awful purple prose
  • Friends can survive without constantly being around each other
  • Friendships are really cute
  • It’s easier to write healthy friendships
  • Somebody can be friends with two people without it turning into an annoying “friendship triangle”
  • Positive…

Good Bad Language: a post about swearing



Some advice for when you’re writing and find yourself stuck in the middle of a scene:

  • kill someone
  • ask this question: “What could go wrong?” and write exactly how it goes wrong
  • switch the POV from your current character to another - a minor character, the antagonist,…

Fight Write: Your Character's Weapon is also a Character



No, we’re not saying anthropomorphize your weapon. But here’s the thing, the best way to prove to your reader that your character knows what they’re doing isn’t what they do in the middle of a fight. It’s the behavior they exhibit outside of it,…


When to Cut That Scene




Wine 101 

  1. How-to Choose
  2. How-to Pair w/Food
  3. Using The Right Glass Shows You Have Class 
  4. Basic Types of Wine
  5. Expanded typing of Wines
  6. What Temp For EachType of Wine
  7. Knowing Your Wine Colors
  8. Wine Type Descriptions
  9. Caloric Comparison vs. Beer
  10. Coffees  

A friend once told me (while discussing wines & spirits) to learn about coffees too… " Because you’ll eventually need them, if / when you enjoy too much good spirits."

Infographics: Wine Folleys, Primer Magazine, and Chicago Food Magazine.

How to be an Adult 201


Pixar on stories

Pixar story artist Emma Coats tweeted a list of guidelines she learned from her colleagues on how to create appealing stories:

#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

#2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as…

Anonymous asked

There's so much awesome advice on this blog! I've considered some of your points, but others never occurred to me. I don't want to change my story so much that it stops being the story I want to tell, and the saga's complicated enough as it is. Is it okay if some things go unaddressed in the main story?


Yes and no.

You don’t need to explain everything in your world. I (as the reader) don’t need to know how the money is minted or the name of the guy who built the axel that was put on the wagon. I don’t even need to know the complicated science behind whatever science fiction (or fantasy) thing you may have come up with.

That being said, you need to give enough for it to make sense, or be such an amazingly fantastic writer that nobody will ever notice the holes. I have only read a few books where the writing was so fantastically good that I didn’t notice a single hole.

If it’s important to the plot, explain it in such a way that you give the audience what they need to understand it without opening up more questions. If it’s something that doesn’t actually work in real life (time travel, etc.) you are allowed to have the character say that they don’t know how it works, unless they would be in a position to actually know (i.e. scientist). Then, unless you have a really strong grasp of relativity and stuff like that, don’t try to make up an explanation. Just say that it works and accept that it will always be a hole.

A lot of stuff can be patched up with a line or two. If you’re in a post-apocalyptic society somewhere where you can’t get fossil fuel, you can get away with one line about how everything is now run on solar (or wind, tidal power, geothermal, etc.).

The point isn’t about filling up the entire world. It’s about telling the story in such a way that the world as you need to see it to understand is clear. Probably one of the best pieces of advice that I give is to talk it through with someone else. If feasible, turn on a voice recorder so you don’t lose any of it or have to stop to write stuff down, and talk through the world with a friend/colleague/etc. Tell them to ask you every question that they have about the world, and then make yourself answer the questions. And if you can’t answer it, you know you need to go back to it. Same with if they say it doesn’t make sense. If you have time, do this with more than one person. Different people with have different questions, and you will see different points of view.

All in all, though, don’t lose your story. Having a premise and plot that make sense, as well as good worldbuilding, are important, but it’s more important to write a story that you love (unless you’re under contract, in which case you should make sure you’re fulfilling your contract).

I hope that answered your question.



I just wanted you all to know that you can totally finish that piece that you’re working on, because you are super talented and wonderful and there are people that love you that would love to read your story, and you should totally do it. 


Stereotypes, Tropes, and Archetypes


What are the differences between stereotypes, tropes, and archetypes? What are they? How do writers use them? Let’s take a look at some vocabulary and how we define these terms to make sense of them for ourselves.

Stereotype (n): A widely held but fixed and…

What You Need to Know Most About Character Voice



I’m kind of embarrassed to admit I didn’t have much of an understanding of character voice two years ago. I’m an English graduate, and none of my professors in college really talked about it. I think I remember learning the definition in high school and reading it…


Here’s a nifty chart for the next time your faceless character needs a nose!
Nose Chart Reference by macawnivore


Here’s a nifty chart for the next time your faceless character needs a nose!

Nose Chart Reference by macawnivore



Let me know if you have questions!!!


How to write an irresistible book blurb in five easy steps


Your blurb will be an important part of your marketing. It is vital to get a reader’s attention. To write a good blurb, you have to make it short. Cut out sub-plots. Add tension to make it dramatic. Try not to mention more than two character’s names, and promise your audience a read they won’t forget.

I’ve come up with this easy acronym to help you create a blurb. I call it SCOPE. Follow these five steps and see if it works for you.

Possible Solution
Emotional Promise

  1. Setting: All stories involve characters who are in a certain setting at a certain time. 
  2. Conflict: A good story places these characters in a situation where they have to act or react. A good way to start this part of your blurb is with the words: But, However, Until
  3. Objective: What do your characters need to do?
  4. Possible Solution: Offer the reader hope here. Show them how the protagonist can overcome. Give them a reason to pick up the book. Use the word ‘If’ here.
  5. Emotional Promise: Tell them how the book will make them feel. This sets the mood for your reader.

I saw The Edge of Tomorrow today, and I decided to write a blurb using this formula.


  1. London. The near future. Aliens have invaded Earth and colonised Europe. Major William Cage is a PR expert for the US Army which is working with the British to prevent the invaders from crossing the English Channel. Battle after battle is lost until an unexpected victory gives humanity hope.
  2. But the enemy is invincible. A planned push into Europe fails and Cage finds himself in a war he has no way to fight, and he dies. However, he wakes up, rebooted back a day every time he dies.
  3. He lives through hellish day after day, until he finds another soldier, Sergeant Rita Vrataski, who understands what he can do to fight the enemy. Cage and Vrataski have to take the fight to the aliens, learning more after each repeated encounter.
  4. If they succeed, they will destroy the enemy, and save Earth.
  5. This thrilling action-packed science fiction war story will show you how heroes are made and wars can be won. Against the odds.

SCOPE will work for any blurb. Why don’t you try it?

by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

© Amanda Patterson

If you enjoyed this article, you may enjoy How to write a query letter in 12 easy steps and How to write a one-page synopsis