A Writer’s Bag of Tricks

  • Brainstorming Your Genre Novel

    Brainstorming Your Genre Novel

    Brainstorming Your Genre Novel. What is it you wish you knew before you started writing?

  • Novel Planning Notes for New Writers

    Novel Planning Notes for New Writers

    Do new writers know about genres and tropes? I wonder…

  • Writer Beware

    Writer Beware

    Protect yourself from predatory agents or publishers.

  • The Shapeshifter

    The Shapeshifter

    Can a shapeshifter character add twists and turns to your plot and make your novel more dynamic?

  • The Threshold Guardian

    The Threshold Guardian

    If your hero/ine needs to be tested, consider using a threshold guardian archetype character to add tension and conflict.

  • The Outlaw

    The Outlaw

    Maybe your book needs an outlaw. Outlaws are not always the bad guy, nor are they always gunslingers, though that is what may come to mind. The outlaw and the lawman aren’t necessarily separate or opposite either. Maybe your outlaw tries to go straight, and your cop is dirty. Your outlaw can be the good […]


  • The Mentor Character

    The Mentor Character

    Maybe your protagonist needs someone to bounce around ideas with. Or maybe your hero/ine needs guidance. Or maybe your protagonist needs someone to set them straight on those things that your hero/ine doesn’t want to deal with. You may need a mentor character in your novel.

  • Do you need a sidekick?

    Do you need a sidekick?

    We talked a bit about the sidekick character last time. But should you consider adding a sidekick to your current WIP? Should you add a sidekick character to your outline? Let’s look at reasons you might want to add a sidekick character to your novel. Does your story lack tension? Does your protagonist plod through […]

  • Character Types

    Let’s talk about the types of characters you can use to people your novel. There are stereotype characters who are an over simplified characterization of a type of person which generally are flat and motivationless characters. Once example may be a bartender used in one scene in your book. There are cliché characters such as […]

  • Character Development Part 1

    Character Development Part 1

    You have worked out your story’s plot. You know the direction your story will go, you know the problems your characters will face, and how your story will resolve. Good for you. You’ve put in the time and thought to make the story plausible. But who is your protagonist? Sure, you have the general idea […]