Are your dialogues sluggish or messy, or confusing? Do you feel they clutter your action sequences or seem too long or too short or too cumbersome? Do you wonder why? Here are a few hints for you.

I love dialogue. I like a good dialogue better than a good action sequence. It is not, however, the most obvious type of text. I also find that I go about it differently than many writers out there. I feel people get too hung up on words. I believe rhythm is much more important. I try to write dialogue in a musical way…


Sometimes what makes a scene memorable is not what first comes to mind — it can even elude the readers. Laying out the details can be the most difficult but the most crucial part of the job.

Some people still believe that all you have to do to write proper fiction is to sit in front of your computer and start typing. You know that old Hemingway quote: ‘All you have to do is sit in front of your typewriter and bleed’? Well, I love that quote, but it makes it well easier than it is. Much of my writing…


The introduction of a character is one of the most important moments of that character’s life. Doing it in a sophisticated way for maximum impact will set you apart as an advanced writer. Here are a few lessons from Sergio Leone’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST.

This is another post prompted by somebody’s question on Facebook. People still get extremely insecure about the darndest things. I keep saying: experiment, experiment, experiment. Try it. See if it works. It takes a lot of time? Of course, it does! But if you want to succeed you need to invest your…


How hiding or revealing information to your characters and your readers can make your writing stand out and shine.

One area that comes up from time to time when I dwell upon Character Development is choosing and managing a Point-of-View (POV). Most people choose between the First Person and the Third Person POV, but there are others and with nuances between them. Some of Marguerite Duras’ texts, for instance, work beautifully in Second Person POV — where the writing works as if the narrator is speaking to somebody else. And even in Third Person, the narrator can be omniscient, knowing…


5 simple steps to make your story original or how to use tropes without falling into the old stale clichés.

Recently I watched Ari Aster’s HEREDITARY horror movie. It’s a movie full of tropes: everything in there is something you’d expect and things you’ve seen in different horror movies all your life. Still, the film feels quite new and really different. The other day somebody asked on Facebook the difference between clichés and tropes. It seemed obvious to me, but I had to think hard about it. A ‘trope’ is something familiar: like elves in a fantasy story, or the…


8 Tips to help you deal with the fearsome, ominous, and inevitable Writer’s Rejection — as it crushes you into submission or turns you into a resilient master.

How many times have you been rejected? Have you been rejected? I’m betting that it wasn’t fun at all. I hate rejection; it’s one of those things that strike at my inner core and make me tremble. Maybe that’s why I write: I wanted to put something out there people would love me for and not reject me. Not sure that was it, but it could very well be. How about you…


The final sprint of a narrative is the ‘make or break’ moment of your protagonist’s fate. It will also seal your own writer’s destiny.

I’m writing an article for a Portuguese magazine on how to finish a story and I thought I’d write something of the sort up here. First things first. I see many people intensely focused on getting the first sentence right — I believe, in my heart, that the last sentence is far more consequent. You are able to forgive and forget an average or mediocre first sentence — as long as the first scene is good…


The Midpoint of a story is a soft spot that completely changes the narrative. It can turn a Monster into a Queen and a Grease Monkey into a Warrior.

James Cameron’s ALIENS has more than 40 aka’s around the world, I’ve just found out. In Argentina it’s ALIENS — EL REGRESO (or ALIENS — THE RETURN), in Italy it’s ALIENS — SCONTRO FINALE (or ALIENS — THE FINAL ENCOUNTER). In Portugal, it’s ALIENS — O RECONTRO FINAL (or ALIENS THE FINAL RE-ENCOUNTER). Of course, at that point (1986) there was no way of knowing there would be at least 7…


There are a few things about writing that are a mystery to pretty much everyone who never tried it. There are a few phenomena, in my experience, that happen to many or even most fiction writers that seem wild and almost crazy for someone on the outside.

Something like Writer’s Block is commonly known and widely discussed, but there are other things that happen that not even writers understand, many figuring it is something that only happens to each of them. Over the years I have been meeting more and more writers and talked with many about their writing and…


Many people ask me: how do you write? What’s your process? For a long time, I didn’t know how to answer. I didn’t even know what a process was for. But now I do. And it’s solid. And it made me an award-winning author. Here’s how it happened.

‘Writing’ is its own animal. Finishing writing a story has that same feel as a kiss with someone you’re in love with. It’s like fulfillment inside a moment. As watching the sunrise from the depths. It’s something else. So writing a story is, or should be, or it is to me, its…

Bruno Martins Soares

I’ve been writing professionally for over 20 years. Find my books at https://amzn.to/3cayo5q

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store