The Ultimate Guides to Writing

In-Depth Writing Advice

Looking for writing advice? Need something to share in your blog or your next writing newsletter? Look no further! Explore these in-depth “ultimate guides” to writing dialogue, creating flawed characters, and writing story exposition. Even if you’re an experienced writer, you’re sure to learn something new.

Writing Dialogue -The Ultimate Guide

Writing dialogue can be very frustrating. We spend our lives listening to people talk, so new writers often assume that dialogue should be the easiest thing to write. How hard could it be to make a character sound like a human? It turns out, it’s actually quite a challenge.

Writing dialogue that feels natural and motivated is a real skill that takes time to develop. The first step is understanding this simple secret: If your characters sound like they have no personality, it’s because you haven’t given them one!

If you want your readers to be able to connect with your characters, they can’t have “stick figure” personalities. They have to have well-defined, individual features. This includes well-defined character flaws, backgrounds, and personal details.

Read more about writing dialogue.

The Ultimate Guide to Writing Character Flaws

Writing a “perfect” character like Superman can quickly bore your readers. Showing your characters working through personal struggles is the key to making your stories relatable, moving, and powerful. Flaws should reveal something about the character, besides the fact that they are imperfect. Character flaws, and your character’s efforts to overcome them, should also tie into your story’s plot and theme.

When you write, give your character internal and external challenges. While he’s fighting cannibals in the jungle, he also has to deal with his fear of snakes. While she’s creating the first human clone, she also has to deal with her abandonment issues.

Character flaws must harm the character in a meaningful way. A bad temper isn’t a significant flaw if it never causes the character any problems. A violent temper is a real flaw or a temper that drives them to argue or make reckless decisions.

Read more about writing character flaws.

Writing Excellent Exposition – The Ultimate Guide

It’s easy to include more backstory and world building than your readers will want to read. Writers spend ages thinking about every detail of our little, imaginary worlds, everything from the god that eats its followers to the demon that brings them back to life, so it’s easy to want to explain everything. But if you do, readers will often lose interest and skim past your world building details, or even worse, stop reading altogether.

If your story piles on too much information too quickly, cramming in more facts than your readers want or are able to remember, your exposition starts to feel like an “info dump.” Have you ever asked someone what should have been a quick question, only to have them ramble on and on until you wished you’d never opened your mouth? Annoying, right? If you’re not careful, your story can end up making your readers feel that way, too.

How do you do exposition in the right way? You have to ensure that readers care enough about the exposition to keep reading. The key to great exposition is relevance and pacing.

Read more about writing exposition

If you find these useful, please leave comments and let me know! Be sure to bookmark this page. When I post a new ultimate guide to writing, I’ll be sure to add it here.

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Happy writing!

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