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Top blog posts for 2023

From productivity hacks to complete guides to writing, to how to write dialogue and generate new story ideas, we’ve covered these topics and more in 2023. Read on for a refresher of 10 top ideas to get you motivated and writing.

1. Writing productivity hacks

The word ‘productivity’ sounds dry and technical, like something that belongs in a boardroom. Yet writing productivity – being able to create with the least possible stress and struggle – is what divides prolific from occasional authors. This post takes a look at eight ways to write more, and more often. Ways to do so include setting smart and stretch goals, building small habits, checking in with a writing coach and using planning and productivity tools.  Read more.

Writing productivity – being able to create with the least possible stress and struggle – is what divides prolific from occasional authors.

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2. How to generate new story ideas

How to generate new story ideas is a perennial challenge at times. This post lists some really excellent and creative ways to do. For example, you could use structured prompts, or try the word-smash headlines idea where you continue the narrative line of news headlines, or smash two or more together. Draw ideas for stories from quotes, or even join a free writing sprint. Try these ideas.

3. How to write dialogue

How to write dialogue is always a popular topic, and is something that many writers have difficulties with. How comprehensive guide is all about using speech and conversation in storytelling to make your characters’ voices drive plot, tension and drama. Explore more by clicking on the various links to read more about what dialogue is, why it matters, effective vs week dialogue and dialogue devices.

How to generate story ideas

4. Character development questions

Character development questions about goals, motivations, conflicts, fears, typical habits, personality and more help build rich characterization. Build characters’ arcs by asking these 100 questions. These include questions on goal, motivation and conflict questions, backstory and formative experiences, relationships and attachment style questions, what personality types characters fit and a whole lot more.

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5. Tickle your reader’s funny bone

Funny, comedic writing is hard. Senses of humor vary in what people find amusing. Read a guide to how to write a funny story. Explore types of humor and comedy genres, humor writing tips from stand-up and comedy icons, and examples of different types of comedy writing.

6. Don’t let motivation flag

Despite the best intentions to write a story, and despite being filled with motivation to write at the beginning, it’s no use denying that motivation to write can drop off over time. Read ten practices you can incorporate into the writing process to keep your will to write strong. These include starting small, with smart goals that are realistic or using writing prompts and word games spark your writing mojo. Remind yourself why you are writing, and remember what initially inspired your enthusiasm.

How to keep motivation strong when writing

7. The horror of it all

Learn how to craft a chilling tale. Scare yourself while writing, too, after all isn’t that part of the fun of writing in this genre? This post is packed with insights, from Stephen King, John Carpenter, the script opening for The Exorcist, and more. Learning how to write horror is a useful for any writer. The genre contains storytelling elements that are useful beyond it. We explore what horror is, key elements of horror, plus tips and quotes from masters of horror film and fiction.

8. Plot development questions

Productive plot development questions for building stories help you turn the core of a plot idea into a many-layered story. Read 170 plot questions divided into helpful focus categories and answer ‘who, what, why, where, and when’ questions to brainstorm ideas. These include beginnings and inciting incidents, goals, motivations, conflicts, middles, plot and setting, turning points and more. There is also a handy worksheet of all these questions plus seventy extra on the seven basic plots.

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9. Love is all you need

Romance writing is incredibly popular, with romance reader sometimes devouring hundreds of books a year. If you love reading in the genre, and would like to try your hand at writing them, this complete guide is a must-read. Read more about the genre and find helpful resources on romance writing, publishing, plus romance authors’ tips. The guide includes terms and tropes of romance writing, subgenres, writing conflict and suspense, advice from romance authors as well as FAQs.

10. Save the cat! method

This post takes a look at the Save the Cat! method, the name of which is both intriguing and memorable. We delve into what this method entails. Plus we look at the 10 new genres suggested by the creator of the method, Blake Snyder. These include: the whydunit, rites of passage, dude with a problem, fool triumphant, monster in the house and more.

By Arja Salafranca

Arja Salafranca has published a collection of short stories, three collections of poetry and has edited anthologies of prose. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

2 replies on “Top blog posts for 2023”

Muchas gracias por su ayuda. En muchas ocasiones he aprendido cosas nuevas, otras, he descubierto con agrado que intuitivamente he hecho cosas correctamente, aún sin saber que se hacían así. Por suerte no me he bloqueado, Así, en este año que termina, durante mi tiempo libre que realmente no es tanto como desearía, he escrito tres libros, varios cuentos y microrrelatos. Muchos de los cuales están enviados a concursos, tratando de elegir lo mejor posible, porque en el mundo de los concursos no se es justo en muchas ocasiones. Pero para poder publicar algo aunque tenga calidad es necesario de hacerse de un nombre, o a veces, quizás algún golpe de suerte, encontrando quien te ayude. Pero nada de eso me amilana, sigo para adelante hasta que logre alcanzar mis sueños.

Gracias a ustedes y a todos los que leen este blog, felices fiestas y que el nuevo año sea próspero para todos.

Dear Ariel,

Thanks so much for your comment, the English translation below.

“Thank you very much for your help. On many occasions I have learned new things, other times I have discovered with pleasure that I have intuitively done things correctly, even without knowing that they were done that way. Luckily I have not blocked myself. Thus, in this past year, during my free time, which really is not as much as I would like, I have written three books, several short stories and short stories. Many of whom are sent to contests, trying to choose the best possible, because in the world of contests it is not fair on many occasions. But to be able to publish something, even if it has quality, it is necessary to make a name for yourself, or sometimes, perhaps a stroke of luck, finding someone to help you. But none of that discourages me, I keep moving forward until I achieve my dreams.

Thanks to you and everyone who reads this blog, happy holidays and may the new year be prosperous for everyone.”


You did an incredible amount of writing last year! That’s really admirable, and definitely something to be proud of. Wishing you all the best of luck with your writing again this year and all the best for 2024.

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