This question came from the priority request queue for my Patreon patrons. Thanks for your support, letter writer! Dear Story Nurse, I'm doing the pre-work/planning/worldbuilding for a novel I'm super excited about. I've already written one of the scenes that first showed up in my head and gave me the idea for this story, because I … Continue reading #125: Developing a Secondary Character Within First-Person POV
#124: Breaking the Fantasy Mold
Hello Story Nurse, I've been writing fantasy for as long as I can remember. I love creating characters, I love building world, and I love the feeling of actually sitting down to write. But when it comes to actually coming up with a plot, I struggle. I typically come up with a plot about 30K … Continue reading #124: Breaking the Fantasy Mold
#123: Writer’s Mind, Beginner’s Mind
Hello Story Nurse,I want to write a novel. But I'm stuck. I have previously published non-fiction work in thesis, publication, monograph and script format. To me this kind of writing is, if not easy, intuitive. Pitching what I'm writing to the right audience is my particular strength. I've written for experts in my field and … Continue reading #123: Writer’s Mind, Beginner’s Mind
#119: Separation Before Revision, Part One
Without a degree of separation between book and self, revision is far more difficult, and may be impossible.
#105: How Much Backstory Is Too Much
Today is the fifth Tuesday of the month, which means that my answer to this heartfelt letter is available exclusively to my Patreon patrons.
#104: Blocked When Switching from Fanfic to Original Fiction
You're not entirely starting from scratch—many of your skills will carry over—but skills aren't methods, and you will have to develop new methods.
#103: Writing Fluffy Stories in Thorny Times
Hi, Story Nurse, I just outlined a romance novella and I'm trying to figure out its setting. It's basically contemporary, with the obvious AU-ness that comes along with a functioning fantasy-genre-style system of magic—but who won in 2016? Has that election even happened yet in this 'verse? Can I write a simple fluffball escapist-fantasy romance … Continue reading #103: Writing Fluffy Stories in Thorny Times
#100: Knowing When to Throw In the Towel
You have written 100,000 words of a lesson for yourself, which is that you cannot start by taking harmful stereotypes as givens and then write a harmless book.
#99: Developing a Supporting Cast
Just as protagonists in some ways embody the Big Idea of your story, supporting characters are often avatars of its themes.
#85: Trans Characters Coming Out in Historical Fiction
Queer and trans narratives are so often revelation narratives that it's easy to forget there's a lot more to our lives than that.