path of the storyteller / blog

the “likeability” trap


My dear storyteller, I hope no one has said this to you, but if you’ve heard it, please console yourself with the knowledge that you’re not alone. Buckle up and let’s get it over with:

“I just didn’t care about your main character. You need to make her more likeable. More relatable!”

Bah, humbug! I had to say it. Yet how many earnest writers have heard this all-too-common bit of feedback, licked their wounds for a minute, and then bravely proceeded to revise their draft to remove every character defect, cross word, and unpleasant facial expression from the manuscript?

Then, after all traces of humanity have been stripped out, the poor writer who’s fallen into the “likeability trap” throws in a saving-kittens-from-the-floodwaters scene for good measure, and perhaps adds a charming dollop of self-doubt and dorkiness to amp up...

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do you suffer from “page fright?”


Everyone’s heard of stage fright. Even Barbra Streisand has it! Imagine singing like Barbra and being afraid to perform! It’s not rational, but it’s real. 

Writers, too, can suffer from a bone-deep reluctance to share our work with the world. Call it “page fright.” And yet our readers are out there, waiting! What’s a nervous writer to do? 

In this livestream, I talk about why it’s so challenging to take that anxiety-ridden but necessary plunge and let others into our private writing worlds. 

My weekly livestream happens on Wednesdays at 1 PM Pacific. Come live and participate! Or catch the replays here on the blog. You can leave your questions and comments below.

To watch live and ask questions, subscribe to the YouTube channel here.  

And you can join the Path of the Storyteller Facebook group right here.

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overrated originality


[live broadcast starts about at about 1:18. Feel free to zip to it by dragging the little dot on the video playbar!]

Hey, storytellers!  Today was the start of something really fun: I’ll be broadcasting live on Facebook and YouTube every Wednesday at 1 PM Pacific. Tune in for frank talk about writing, and of course, if you can show up live, you can ask questions, too.  Links appear at the bottom of this post.

Today’s talk was a response to a great question that came in from one of my blog readers. In its essence: 

Why do all my story ideas feel like they’ve been done before?

Awesome question, right? In my answer, I talk about

  • why all stories are about the same thing
  • the shape, or structure, that all stories share
  • the truth about human nature that all stories strive to express

In the follow-up questions, we talk about what happens when other people compare your work to published books.

I also get into the question of...

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storytelling is golden

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