WriterSpark: Tips & Tricks for Fiction Writing

WriterSpark: Tips & Tricks for Fiction Writing

Writing is hard. Writing well is even harder. That’s where WriterSpark comes in. Join National Bestselling Author Melissa Bourbon from WriterSpark Academy as she explores tips and tricks for fiction writing, and what it takes to write a great book. Listen to conversations with successful published authors who share what works for them. Listen and learn as we explore the craft of writing and take your writing to the next level.


November 18, 2022 12 min

There are a lot of strategies for creating compelling characters in fiction. I have three tips for you to consider. These are, by no means, the only ways to help bring your characters alive. Part of it is about Stimulus; Response; and Result. Take a listen, and happy writing!


Download the Cheat Sheet: Three Tips for Writing Great Characters Cheat Sheet.



Please LIKE this episode, follow the podcast, and leave a review! I appre...
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Adding Myth and Lore to the Novels you Write


Author Julia Buckley writes the Hungarian Tea Shop cozy mystery series. She embeds myth and lore to her stories through setting, character history, and memories. 

Why should writers think about how to do this? I believe it adds depth to a story and layers to characters.

Take a listen to my chat with Julia and be inspired to dig into myth and lore.


Please LIKE this episode, follow the...
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    What is a reluctant hero? 

    The answer to that question is very simple. A reluctant hero is someone who does not set out to act heroically, but ends up doing so. They are often considered an "ordinary man (person)" who is a reluctant participant in a story. They don't want to be heroes, but they end up being heroes anyway. There are several core qualities most compelling reluctant heroes share.

    Keep listening for more! I...

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    Have you looked at The Hero's Journey through the lens of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief? If not, you are in the right place because that is exactly what I do in this podcast.

    One of the best ways to really begin to internalize the steps and importance of The Hero's Journey in writing is to analyze books and movies that use the story structure. Disney and Pixar movies offer particularly strong examples of this story ...

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    Episode 10:

    How to Research and Write Historical Mysteries

    Writing historical mystery books--or any novel, for that matter--is no easy feat. It takes time, research, a desire to learn about the era about which you are writing,

    And if you want to write a real showstopper, you have to fully immerse yourself.


    Heather Redmond

    Heather Redmond knows just how to do the research required to write truly authentic novels. She is the author...

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    Episode 9

    Creating workable systems for writers is a clear and strategic way to elevate your writing career. As a creative, my brain doesn't naturally skew toward creating systems. Being an author is one thing, but elevating that writing career to a business that earns in the 6 figures is a different ballgame for most of us.

    Prolific USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has figured out just how to do this--to go from an au...

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    Episode 8:

    WriterSpark: Tips and Tricks for Fiction Writers Podcast

    How writers in a writer's room write is different from fiction writers. But there are lots of lessons to be learned from those writer's rooms.

    Really, wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall in a Hollywood Writer's Room? I would!



    Unfortunately, most of us don't get that chance, but mystery author Ellen Byron spent years in a variety ...

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    Episode 7

    All authors were unpublished, aspiring authors at one point.

    All authors started at the beginning. They all have an origin story. How did they get their start? What was their path to publication?



    These stories can be inspiring. Motivating. Whether it’s the Joker’s, Batman’s, or our own, they are all meaningful.



    WriterSpark is me…I am WriterSpark. Today I am sharing my origin story. I started my...

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    Episode 6:

    How to Plot your Fiction Novel

    So how, exactly, do you plot a fiction novel? Bestselling author Libby Klein has some plotting 101 tips that are invaluable.

    Plotting Versus Pantsing

    Plotting versus pantsing is a popular topic. Everyone has their own process, and there is no one way to do things when it comes to writing. The most important thing is to figure out what works for you.


    In this Episode

    In this episode, aut...

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    September 27, 2022 26 min

    Episode 5:

    Do you know how to add humor to your writing?

    You don't have to be a side-splitting funny person to be able to add humor to your writing. You don't even need to be funny at all.

    So what do you need?

    You just need to understand the techniques needed to add humor to your writing and you'll be golden.

    Scott Sedita

    There are a lot of ways you can approach humor. Scott Sedita's Eight Characters of Comedy is on...

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    Episode 4


    Outlining while Still Writing by the Seat of your Pants

    Outlining (or plotting) seems opposite of writing by the seat of your pants. In a lot of ways it is. But it doesn't have to be. See how they work together. In this episode, I'm talking with bestselling mystery and suspense author Daryl Wood Gerber about how these two methods of writing actually work hand-in-hand.


    First of all, are you a plotter or a p...

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    September 21, 2022 28 min

    Episode 3

    How do you Write a Convincing Villain?

    The villain is just as important as the hero. In fact, in the WriterSpark Ready, Set, WRITE! course, I recommend starting with the villain to ensure complexity.


    In This Episode

    In this episode, Melissa chats with author Annette Dashofy about her tips to writing a compelling villain. Annette gives several tips on writing villains. Definitely keep them in mind as you write yours.



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    September 21, 2022 25 min

    Episode 2

    How to Research and Write Historical Mysteries

    Writing historical mystery books--or any novel, for that matter--is no easy feat. It takes time, research, a desire to learn about the era about which you are writing,

    And if you want to write a real showstopper, you have to fully immerse yourself.


    Heather Redmond

    Heather Redmond knows just how to do the research required to write truly authentic novels. She is the author o...

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    Episode 1

    Writing your Bliss Rather than Writing to the Market

    Writing your bliss rather than writing to the market may not be easy to do. It's tempting to want to write to the market. If you do that, however, you risk:

  • being uninspired by your own plot
  • boring readers because they will sense the lack of inspiration
  • your writing lacking authenticity
  • your readers sensing that lack of authenticity

    Follow Your Heart

    In this episode,...

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