Or how to keep your readers hooked even with the most passive of scenes, without special effects.

Writing is a lot like lying. How hard can it be to follow something you made up? Mind map design by Freepik.

When all your book readers have is words on paper and their imagination, how does and author communicate that something happening on a page is intense without eerie music and dramatic cutaways?


Or how two visions of one story revealed the sociocultural duality surrounding the changing ‘role’ of Japanese women.

Eihi Shiina as Asami in in Audition (1999). Source IMBD.

It was the first time I both read the book and watched the film. What I discovered in adaptation was rewarding.

Audition is a 1997 Japanese novel written by Ryu Murakami — an author known for fiction addressing the hard topics in Japanese society, think school girls involved in drugs and compensated dating for example. In 1999 it was adapted into a film by director Takashi Miike — a director known for, well, shocking films.

The plot is as follows: the main character Aoyama is a middle-aged widower looking to remarry. Aoyama’s friend, Yoshikawa, a film producer, comes up with…


Or how to work through the ‘I don’t know how to write this’ blocks and get addicted to writing in the process.

“If only writing my novel was as fun and addicting as Tetris,” I lamented. Then did it.

Not blocked but lost.

When I haven’t written in a while, a part of me wants to blame work, studies and other forms of ‘busyness’. However, my PlayStation sees right through me: I’ve earned three new achievements and spent about eight hours gaming. That’s a whole workday, where’d I find that much time?

Where is the keyword here. “Where am I, where am I heading?” and the variations of “Have I been here/I’ve already been here/I don’t want to backtrack/why am I…


Outlining your writing using tarot archetypes as a focus tool.

Current mood. Rewrite-editing my second draft this NaNoFiMo April 2021.

When you’re a creative writer but not superstitious.

Tarot cards and storytelling go hand-in-hand. When explaining the art of tarot interpretation to skeptical friends, my keywords are “analysis” and “brainstorming”. Just like in literature and psychology, tarot has defined “archetypes” and “tropes” which can serve as tools for interpretation, understanding problems and working towards conclusions.

If you’re a creative novelist but identify as a “right-brain” logical thinker, the classical 72 card tarot deck could still be your new outlining tool in your writing toolkit — right next to your mindmaps, hero theory or Scrivener.

Limiting Your Thinking

If you ever created a story using only the magnets on your fridge or…

Anna-Maria Ninnas

I try to hack the art of writing with all sorts of problem-solving techniques to tame my messy brain, and case studies of stories I want to learn from.

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