John Truby’s Theory of Opponents

If conflict is what drives our stories, it would seem to follow that antagonists are a writer’s best tools to create that conflict and propel the story along. And yet tons of people, myself included, really struggle with writing antagonists that feel believable and interesting, who aren’t just mustache-twirling villains who are evil for the sake of being evil. Julie D. mentioned John Truby’s ANATOMY OF STORY in her post the other day, and by chance, […]

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Learning To Be A Better Writer Through Reading

Recently, I purchased THE ANATOMY OF STORY by John Truby, which has long been held up as a sort of Bible on craft for Hollywood screenwriters. I had seen a lot of praise for the book among fellow YA writers, so I decided to give it a try, especially because I haven’t ever read craft books. My honest opinion? The exercises are helpful and have enabled me to delve deeper into my work and think […]

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There Is No Wrong Way To Write A Book

I was lucky enough to sit on a panel this weekend and I’ve been thinking about something that kept coming up— the process. The process is how you write a book. How you get from the start of a book all the way to the end. That secret, sacred, all-magical, all-encompassing trick that a writer has for producing a story. And there I sat, in the middle of a group of panelists, who all had […]

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What I’ve Learned by Writing a Trilogy

I’ve always been a sucker for a trilogy. It started with the countless Star Wars marathons my brothers and I watched together. From there, I’d pick up N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth series and Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy. Genius compilations like Lilith’s Brood and The Hunger Games and The Lord of the Rings. They say good things come in threes. That includes my own breakthrough in the industry. Back in 2014, Random House acquired Nyxia. […]

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Beating Writer’s Block

When aspiring writers ask me for advice, the most common question I get is about overcoming writer’s block. I think perhaps the reason this question is asked so frequently is that more than one situation is given the label “writer’s block.” Obviously, writer’s block refers to not knowing what to write, but I think it can be broken down into three separate categories: Problems with idea generation, Loss of faith in your writing’s quality, and […]

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