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Helping Writers Become Authors

Helping Writers Become Authors provides writers help in summoning inspiration, crafting solid characters, outlining and structuring novels, and polishing prose. Learn how to write a book and edit it into a story agents will buy and readers will love. (Music intro by Kevin MacLeod.)


Ep. 628: Imposter Syndrome for Writers Is a Real Thing (+ the Key to Slaying It)
How to transform imposter syndrome for writers from an enemy into a tool for growing yourself throughout the journey of the writing life.
17:20 6/5/23
Ep. 627: 5 Ways to Use Your Character's Shadows to Power Your Story
Here are five places in your story where you can use your character's shadows to create amazing complexity and thematic resonance.
17:54 5/29/23
Ep. 626: How to Create Insanely Complex Characters Using "Shadow Theory"
"Shadow theory" is one of the most intuitive tools a writer can use to identify the contrasting elements that create complex characters.
17:09 5/21/23
Ep. 625: Why There's No Such Thing as "Just a Story"
Four reasons why the dismissive statement "it's just a story" is not only erroneous, but one of humanity's most the dangerous lies.
15:18 5/15/23
Ep. 624: Tips on Hiring and Working with a Book Cover Designer (And New Cover Reveal for Dreamlander!)
Step-by-step guide to finding the right book cover designer, preparing for the design process, and achieving an effective collaboration.
15:43 5/8/23
Ep. 623: The Backstory Drip (Backstory Techniques, Pt. 3 of 3)
Discover the versatile and effective technique of the backstory drip by learning four techniques for revealing backstory in your story.
18:18 5/1/23
Ep. 622: Backstory-as-Story vs. Alternating Timelines (Backstory Techniques, Pt. 2 of 3)
Backstory techniques are crucial to the success of any story. Backstory-as-story and alternating timelines are two possible approaches.
16:18 4/24/23
Ep. 621: Prologues vs. Flashbacks (Backstory Techniques, Pt. 1 of 3)
Learn how to use four specific backstory techniques to share character histories with your audience, starting with prologues and flashbacks.
17:20 4/17/23
Ep. 620: How Archetypes Changed My Life and My Writing
When "good writing" strikes its steel upon the flint of archetypes, there is a sudden unity of truth between author and reader.
18:08 3/27/23
Ep. 619: Here Are Two Ways to Write Organic Themes
Learn how organic themes arise from plot (and vice versa) and specifically how to recognize five important elements of an organic theme.
20:35 3/20/23
Ep. 618: Genre Tips: How to Write Literary Fiction
Learning how to write literary fiction can be helpful not only in writing the genre itself, but in raising the vibration on any type of story.
19:27 3/6/23
Ep. 617: Genre Tips: How to Write Mystery
Learning how to write mystery stories involves the most impressive trick of all: outsmarting readers while still playing fair with the clues.
17:51 2/27/23
Ep. 616: Genre Tips: How to Write Historical Fiction
Learning how to write historical fiction requires the skills to a well-drawn story, with the added responsibility of evoking times gone by.
20:16 2/20/23
Ep. 615: Genre Tips: How to Write Romance
Learning how to write romance requires both strong technique and the courage to write vulnerably about this integral part of life.
18:35 2/13/23
Ep. 614: Genre Tips: How to Write Fantasy
Fantasy combines imagination and innovation with deep roots in archetype and myth. Here are five tips for how to write fantasy.
18:38 2/6/23
Ep. 613: 5 Tips for How to Return to Writing After a Long Break
Making a return to writing after a long time away can feel overwhelming or even bewildering. Here are five tips to set you up for success.
18:07 1/30/23
Your Story Isn't Working? Here Are 6 Problems to Troubleshoot
If you currently feel your story isn't working, double-check you've ticked these six important boxes in writing a cohesive story that works.
22:42 1/23/23
6 Lessons Learned From 4 Years of Writer's Block
Long-term writer's block can be scary and confusing. Here are six important lessons to help you through the experience.
23:13 1/16/23
Ep. 610: Looking Back on 2022: 5 Reflections on a Year of Healing
I share with you 5 gifts from a year of healing, in hopes you may also find them healing or inspiring in your own journey into the New Year.
25:27 1/2/23
Ep. 609: 15 of My Favorite Books in 2022
Check out some of my favorite books from 2022 in three categories: Fiction, Writing How-To, and General Non-Fiction.
12:27 12/12/22
Ep. 608: What Are the Best Places to Write? 15 Tips to Create the Perfect Writing Space
Discover important ingredients, ideas, and tools to help you tell your stories even in situations that may not be the best places to write.
17:40 12/5/22
Ep. 607: 8 Tips for Dealing With Negative Reviews of Your Book
Examines why negative reviews of your book may be impacting you and how to re-center your perspective afterwards.
20:06 11/7/22
Ep. 606: Top 14 Tips and Tools for Creating Unique Character Voices
Creating unique character voices is one of the great challenges of writing fiction. Here are nine considerations and five tips for creating yours.
19:48 10/31/22
Ep. 605: 9 Negative Character Arcs in the Enneagram
Explores nine negative character arcs in the Enneagram personality theory, including the thematic Truths the characters are missing.
22:22 10/17/22
Ep. 604: 9 Positive Character Arcs in the Enneagram
Explore nine positive character arcs in the Enneagram personality theory, including the Lie each character starts out believing.
18:11 10/10/22
Ep. 603: Do You Need Personal Experience to Write About Something?
Do you need personal experience to write about something? Turns out there are four ways to "know" something, and experience is just one.
15:30 9/5/22
Ep. 602: 7 Tips for How to Add Complexity to Your Story
Here are seven tips for how to add complexity to your story without crossing the line into unwanted complications.
18:27 8/29/22
Ep. 601: Is Your Story Too Complicated? Here Are 9 Signs
You want your story to be complex, not complicated. Is your story too complicated? Here are nine important things to think about.
15:00 8/22/22
Ep. 600: How to Write Emotional Scenes (Without Making Them Cringey)
One of the most important keys to creating good fiction is understanding how to write emotional scenes in a way that feels genuine.
15:51 8/15/22
Ep. 599: How Perfect Does Your Story's Structural Timing Have to Be?
A closer look at the mechanics of structural timing. What is it? Why is it important? And how precise does it have to be?
17:59 8/8/22