Case Studies For Writers

a craft toolbox

Apr 15, 2019

The Critique That Crushed My Fears

By Alicia McLachlan.

Even though I’ve been writing (with varying degrees of commitment) for over fifteen years, I have only recently started to send my pieces out for feedback. For so long, the idea of sharing my writing terrified me; it felt egotistical to think my writing was good enough to put out into the world. On the flip side, I was also halted by the fear that I would find out that I was, in fact, a terrible writer; that I should give up. Because I enjoyed the act of writing in and of itself, I decided doing just that was enough for me.

Apr 10, 2019

My Critique Partner Journey


By Negeen Papehn, author of The Forbidden Love series.

I used to believe that writing was a solitary action, getting lost in the words I typed across a blank screen, just me and my characters in a world of my making. Three published books and four full manuscripts later, I’ve realized it’s anything but singular. Truthfully, it’s a group effort. The story may spill out through my fingertips, but it’s plotted, molded, and fine-tuned, by my amazing critique partners (CPs). There is seldom a page written that someone hasn’t read through and given me feedback on.

Apr 8, 2019

First-Time Critique Partner? Here Are 8 Critique Dos and Don’ts


By Rene Penn.

Is this your first time critiquing someone's work? No worries. You got this.

People with little or no critiquing experience may doubt they're up for the task. The truth is, you don't have to be an expert to critique someone's work.

Think about the last time you were blown away by the first few pages of a book. Or when you noticed that a movie dragged in spots. Or how you were disappointed by a book's ending. All of those times, you were critiquing, even if you didn't realize it.

As a critique partner, you'll learn to recognize moments that give you pause—like dialogue that needs to be trimmed or a character that falls flat.

Apr 5, 2019

Developing Character Empathy – A Darth Vader Example

By Margi Guilfoyle.

“Be Careful Not to Choke on Your Aspirations.” –Darth Vader
If you have not read Michael Hauge’s book, Writing Screenplays That Sell, it is worth your time to do so.  Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi recommend Writing Screenplays That Sell as a resource in their craft book, The Positive Trait Thesaurus. And, for good reason. Hauge’s character development advice is succinct, approachable and proven. All the quoted material in this blog (except for Darth Vader’s words, written by George Lucas), comes from Hauge’s book, Writing Screenplays That Sell.
Now, back to our friend Darth…