J.L. Winters

woman, sad, depression

The Walking Wounded

No. 108 – tl;dr: Creativity wound, conflict in fiction, build mysteries around whether characters will succeed or fail, hold reader attention using character flaws, 5 lessons to connect with your audience, self-editing to take your novel to the next stage, 5 reasons to keep writing, 7 steps to emotional endurance, a morning tea ritual.


Afraid to Call Yourself a Writer? You May Suffer from a Creativity Wound

Early in my writing career, I wrote in secret — and hardly ever finished anything. If I got to the point where I could write “the end” on a piece, I’d bury it in a drawer. I was incapable of writing a whole novel. I always stopped after the first 40 pages or so. That went on for decades. The only things I finished were a few plays.

So where did my feeling of unworthiness come from?

Conflict in Fiction: What It Really Is and Why It’s Important to Plot

Conflict is one of the central engines of story. We’ve all heard it: no conflict, no story. On the surface, that makes total sense. But I find there can be a lot of confusion around the word “conflict.” What is conflict in fiction really? What is its purpose? What does it look like in a scene? And how can you use it in all types of stories?

Build mysteries around whether characters will succeed or fail

Often, when trying to be mysterious, authors just end up being vague. It’s really hard to invest in a mystery when we don’t have enough information to understand what’s happening entirely.

Instead, it’s often better to let the reader into the mystery in order to build anticipation. Orient the reader around whether a character will succeed or fail.

Here’s what I mean.

How to Hold Reader Attention Using Character Flaws

We are MOST attracted to characters who change over the course of a story, characters who are forced to face their flaws, because these characters are unpredictable. via Golden May Editing.

5 Powerful Lessons on How to Connect With Your Audience (Podcast)
We Grow Media

“Perfect to Me”: How Self-Editing Can Take Your Novel to the Next Stage
Writers Helping Writers

5 Reasons to Keep Writing
Little Infinite

7 Steps to Healthy Emotional Endurance for Writers

Writers need a lot of persistence. “Work-life” balance? As a writer I’ve never managed it. Oh, I try. It just never seems to happen. There’s always something else to do: chores, work, cook, write, edit, chores, edit…maybe some sleep. Without persistence (and a hefty dose of caffeine), I’d fall behind on everything in life!

7 Steps to (Re)fueling  

1. Be Honest

2. Depressurize

3. Just Say No

4. Learn Coping Skills

5. Develop Support Networks

6. Change Your Inner Dialogue

7. Re-Check the Tank

How a Morning Tea Ritual Will Set the Tone for a Mindful Day

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how creating rituals in our lives enhances our experiences. Nowhere is this more true for me than when I greet the day—it’s those simple little cues that speak to my senses, reminding me to be present and acknowledge the moment as sacred. 

Make every morning count.

Happy Writing!

J.L. Winters


2 thoughts on “The Walking Wounded”

  1. I must thank you for the efforts youve put in penning this site. I am hoping to check out the same high-grade blog posts by you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my very own blog now 😉

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