I’m Not as Dumb as You Think!

I wonder how many readers have thought this? Writers must resist the urge to explain or risk insulting their readers’ intelligence. Most readers catch on quickly to the fine points in a story, and they like to make up their own minds about the meanings, morals and messages. When you read a mystery, for example, […]

How to Avoid Distancing Your Reader with Patched-In Themes & Morals

I read a pretty popular novel recently, written by a fellow author in my genre, and I enjoyed it. I might have given it a solid four stars. BUT, I mentally only awarded it a three-star effort for one single reason. Near the end of the story, the author seemed compelled to explain the lessons […]

Understanding the Role of Subplots When Structuring Your Story

You often find writers and reviewers speaking of a story’s layers — whether they viewed those layers as in-depth or lacking. Layers might be defined as the presence of subplots. Subplots, when broken down, are often scenes strung together that reveal a closer look at a hero’s personal life in a way that exposes deeper […]

Georgie-Porgie, Puddin’ and Pie

You know the nursery rhyme, but do you know the story behind it? Georgie-Porgie, Puddin’ and Pie (King George was a fat glutton) Kissed the girls and made them cry. (He was also a philanderer who used his position to make unwelcome advances on women.) When the boys came out to play (When Parliament was […]


What is a hero? In writing, the hero (or heroine) is the main character of the story–the person the story is about. And we already know that a story is about someone with a problem — someone who wants something but can’t quite get it until they face the obstacle that stands in their way […]