Doug Landsborough

Doug Landsborough

Doug Landsborough can’t get enough of writing. Whether freelancing as an editor, blog writer, or ghostwriter, Doug is a big fan of the power of words. In his spare time, he writes about monsters, angels, and demons under the name D. William Landsborough. When not obsessing about sympathetic villains and wondrous magic, Doug enjoys board games, horror movies, and spending time with his wife, Sarah.

Premium Deep Dive: Writing Relationships

In this Dabble Premium Deep Dive, we're looking at character relationships: what's involved with them, how to write them, and what people love about them. Plus, get a FREE downloadable resource to help craft your own relationships.

Fast and Furious Fiction: How to Write More Quickly

Novels are daunting projects to tackle, especially if you're only getting 200 words done at a time. In this article, we cover everything that that can help you write fast and get that book done quickly.

Coming Up with Character Names and Why They Matter

While they can seem random, cliché, or epic, a surprising amount of thinking should go into what you name your characters. In this article, we break down why names are important, what you need to consider when picking one, and how to name your fictional characters.

How to Write a Character Sketch That Works For You

A character sketch is a great tool to flesh out a character and keep your story engaging. In this article, we cover how to write a character sketch to make better characters.

Can You Make a Living as a Writer?

Have you every wondered whether you can make a living as a writer? It is far from easy, but we break down the way you can achieve your dreams as a career author.

An Author’s Guide to the Business of Writing

Want to take your author game up a level and make it your day job? Then you need to treat it like a business. It doesn't matter if you have ten books under your belt or are working on your first one, this guide will get you ready to establish your business of writing.

50 Fantasy Story Ideas for Your Next Quest

Whether you're looking for a fresh fantasy story idea or just need a bit of prompting to unclog that writer's block, we've got your back with 50 different ideas spread across five different categories: worldbuilding, characters, plot, twists, and magic.

Everything an Author Needs to Know About Line Editing

When it comes to improving the quality of your prose and your story's readability, few are as capable as line editors. In this article, we discuss what line editing is, how it helps, and what working with a line editor is like.

Ruin Your Characters’ Lives with Tragic Irony

While it's not for every story, tragic irony can be a great way to mess with both your characters and your readers... in a fun way, of course. Learn all about it in this article.

How to Put Your Spin on Fantasy Plot Ideas (Plus 25 Original Fantasy Prompts!)

Coming up with a new, original idea for your fantasy story can be as difficult as the grand quests we write about. In this article, we look at ways you can put your own spin on fantasy plot ideas and cover 25 unique prompts across multiple fantasy subgenres.

Memoir vs. Autobiography: What’s the Difference?

While memoirs and autobiographies share many characteristics, but they are far from the same. What are the differences? Find out in this article.

What is Developmental Editing?

Developmental editing, also known as substantive or structural editing, is an intensive look at your story's plot, worldbuilding, characters, themes, and everything else that makes your writing unique. Learn all about the process and how to find a developmental editor in this article!

The Elements of Fiction Every Author Needs to Know

There are certain core elements of every work of fiction, some principles you need to know to write a good story. In this article, we cover the most important elements of fiction.

An Author's Technical Guide to Self-Publishing a Book

While self-publishing your novel is exciting, it can be overwhelming for the unprepared. Whether you're writing your first book or your fifth, this comprehensive guide will cover all the technical information you need to know to prepare yourself for self-publishing success.

How to write third-person omniscient POV: The all-seeing narrator

Third-person omniscient narrators are powerful storytellers, but are not always easy to write. In this article, we will decode the secrets of third-person omniscient POV.

What's the Sitch with Situational Irony?

Literary devices are the tools authors whip out to add a little extra polish, a bit more pizazz to their writing. Situational irony is just one of those tools, a form of misdirection that will hook your readers until your last page.

Wield Words as Weapons: The Power of Alliteration

Using alliteration in your writing is a beautiful balance between subtlety and annoying your reader. But if you get it right, you can craft killer prose that gets your audience to read exactly the way you want.

Playing the Long Game with Extended Metaphor

Metaphors are powerful literary devices to enhance our writing, and the strongest of them is the almighty extended metaphor. Learn all about it and how to incorporate it into your own writing in this article.

Grab Your Reader’s Attention by Writing the Perfect Hook

Hooks can be incredibly powerful openers, especially to draw your readers into your book from the first line. In this article, we're covering everything you need to write a hook to start your novel.

How to Write a Good Hook Readers Can’t Resist

A hook can be a great way to start a story, but it requires skill and a bit of finesse to pull off properly. That's why we've put together this guide to writing good hooks!

Opening Scenes With Oomph: Writing In Medias Res

The way you start your novel is one of the most important decisions an author can make. In medias res (literally "in the midst of things") is one of the most effective options you have to open your story. Learn more about it, including how to write an in medias res opening, in this article.

Weaving Magic and Science Fiction Novels: A Match Made in the Cosmos

While magic feels at home in fantasy stories, it fills a creative niche in science fiction, too. In fact, it makes some great stories. But combining magic and technology can be tricky. We cover everything you need to know in this article!

How to Write a Thriller Novel in Dabble (Guide + Template!)

Dabble is a sleek powerhouse and an invaluable tool for writing thriller novels. In this guide, we discuss exactly what Dabble brings to the table and even include a template for your next thriller!

How to Design Spaceships in Sci-Fi: A Complete Guide for Authors

Spaceships are a cornerstone of the sci-fi genre, and they're incredibly fun to create and write. In this article, we do a deep dive into everything you need to consider when writing your spaceships.

How to Write Horror Novels With Dabble (Guide + Template!)

If you want to write something that will scare the socks off someone, you'll want to use a writing tool that comes with the features and functions you need. In this guide, we're going to be covering exactly how to write your scary story with Dabble, plus you'll get a handy template to help you out!

How to Write Science Fiction with Dabble (Guide + Free Sci-fi Template!)

Writing a sci-fi novel doesn't need to be like venturing into the abyss of space. Not when you have Dabble by your side! In this guide, we cover how to write a science fiction novel with Dabble, the best novel-writing platform out there. Plus you get a free template to help you write your best book!

Dabbling in Magic: How to Write Fantasy with Dabble (Guide + Template!)

Dabble is a powerhouse of a writing tool, but it feels extra strong in the hands of a fantasy writer. If you're looking to pen a grand adventure full of magic and monsters, use this guide and template to leverage all Dabble has to offer.

The Massive Guide on How to Build a Magic System

Ready to enchant your readers? Dive headfirst into our jam-packed guide on crafting a mesmerizing magic system. From the nitty-gritty of magic users to the art of setting up those big magical twists, this guide is bursting with all the tricks up our sleeve, and they can all be yours!

The 1-2(-3) Punch: Publishing and Promoting a Trilogy of Books

Trilogies can provide many benefits to authors: expanded character and plot development, extra twists and turns, and even increased revenue. In this article, we discuss all that and more as we look at publishing and promoting a trilogy of books.

Hard vs. Soft Magic: Which is Best for Your Fantasy Novel?

All magic systems are made of hard magic, soft magic, or some hybrid between the two. In this article, we discuss what these two schools of magic are, what they bring to the writing table, and how you can wield them in your writing.

Stress Your Readers Out: How to Write Tension in a Story

Tension is such a powerful tool in gluing your readers to your book, but only if you know what you're doing. In this article, we discuss what you need to write killer tension.

An Author's Guide to Creating a Worldbuilding Bible

Creating a whole fictional world can be a daunting task, but there's one tool you can use to make this fun, intricate process better: a worldbuilding bible. In this article, we discuss exactly what you need to create that document and give you a template to make one right here in Dabble!

The Best Character Template Ever (100+ Character Traits!)

We've got you covered with the best character template ever to help bring your story's characters to life!

Killer Atmosphere: How to Create a Setting for Thrillers

Settings are to thriller novels as Robin is to Batman, Hannibal is to Clarice, and pineapple is to pizza. That is to say, your thriller's setting is an integral part of what your thriller is, so we want to get it right... and that's what we're learning about in this article.

Which Publishers Accept First-Time Authors?

If your dream is to see your book on the shelves of local stores, big retailers, and displayed in major online outlets, you might want to get published by a publishing house. But for first-time authors, which publishers should you be looking at? We break down everything you need to know.

Motif vs. Symbol: The Duo of Deeper Meaning

Symbols and motifs are powerful tools for an author who knows how to use them, but getting this storytelling elements right can be tricky. In this article, we discuss what motifs and symbols are and how you can use them to make your novel unforgettable.

How to Plug Those Plot Holes

Plot holes can quickly make Swiss cheese of your story, ruining all the carefully crafted character arcs, themes, and beautiful narrative you've worked so hard to create. So let's figure out how to identify, fix, and prevent plot holes!

Alternatives to Chapterly: What Writing Tool is Best For You?

What do you need from a writing tool to create your best story? It's not an easy question to answer. With so many options out there, we're taking a look at Chapterly, a popular tool for authors, as well as ten alternatives you might want to consider.

Alternatives to Hemingway Editor: Brush Up Your Writing Style

Hemingway Editor is an effective, free tool you can use to bolster your writing, but is it the best out there for you? In this article, we look at the best alternatives to Hemingway Editor for authors.

The Five Best Alternatives to Atticus

Looking for an alternative to Atticus? The online writing and formatting tool is good, but there are some powerful options out there you might want to consider for your author journey.

Six Great Alternatives to Ulysses

Ulysses is a great tool for authors, but is it the best for you? While many writers have found success with Ulysses, others look elsewhere for the perfect companion in their writing journey. But where should you look? Here are six alternatives to Ulysses to check out!

Writing to Market: What Successful Authors Know

Writing to market is what serious, career-oriented authors do. It means taking your passion and sculpting it to meet the needs of your audience to make a living. But how do you write to market? Let's chat about it.

An Author's Guide to Crafting Memorable Side Characters

Even if they aren't the star of the show, secondary characters can live rent-free in the minds of your readers long after your story is over. That's if you put in the work, though. So, in this article, we're going to figure out how to craft memorable Side Characters.

A Not-So-Technical Guide to Creating a Setting for Sci-fi Stories

So you want to send your characters to the far reaches of the galaxy, huh? Or maybe a rogue AI is taking over the world? Whatever your sci-fi plot, you need a strong setting for your story to take place in. We cover how to write a sci-fi setting in this article.

9 Different Types of Magic Users to Use in Your Writing

One of the coolest parts of writing a book with magic is creating your magic users. Here are nine different types of tried-and-true spellcasters you can use in your story!

The Author's Guide to Creating Sci-fi Characters

Sci-fi is a genre defined by incredible world, futuristic technology, and pushing the boundaries of what's known and unknown. But it only works if you can write great sci-fi characters. Need help with that? We've got you.

How to Create a Spinechilling Setting for Horror

Every horror story has fantastic and spinechilling settings to up the ante (and the scares). Dive into our comprehensive guide to creating your own horror setting, from understanding the basics to avoiding common mistakes and leave your readers trembling.

How Do You Write a Conflict in a Story? Let's Fight About It

Conflict is central to every story you write, but actually writing that conflict is tough. No need to fight for information, we've got all you need to write conflict!

Free Writing Exercises to Make You a Better Author

Welcome to the imagination gym, where we're going to introduce you to a bunch of free writing exercises you can use to create a custom author workout plan.

The Writer's Guide to Creating Horror Characters

Writing a creepy horror story is one thing, but coming up with complex, compelling characters in that story is a whole other matter. Luckily we've got your back with a guide to writing horror characters.

The Author's Guide to Writing Fantasy Characters

Fantasy stories are epic tales filled with interesting and compelling characters, but coming up with that cast of imaginary people can be difficult. We cover everything you need to write your fantasy characters in this guide.

A Killer Guide to Writing Thriller Characters

Whether you're writing a down-on-their-luck detective or a cat-and-mouse duo of hero and serial killer, thriller characters are what push your stressful story forward.

What is Freytag's Pyramid? How An Old Story Can Help You

One of the original story structures, Freytag's Pyramid is the foundation for dramatic stories and tragedies. Learn all about it with Dabble!

How To Write About Technology in Sci-Fi

Technology is to sci-fi as peanut butter is to jelly. So you want to make sure the tech you're writing in your science fiction story is the best it can be and leave a sweet taste in your reader's mouth. How? Read on to find out.

What is Hard Fantasy?

Amongst the elves, orcs, wizards, and ancient curses of fantasy is "hard fantasy," a term that is part subgenre, part writing style. If you want to know what hard fantasy is, exactly, you've come to the right place.

The Book Themes We Love Most and How to Write Your Own

Themes add an important element to our stories, giving them meaning and adding extra depth. We'll cover some common book themes and how to write stories with them in mind.

How Do I Format a Novel?

Sure, it isn't fun, but formatting your novel is an important part of the writing process. Whether you're submitting your manuscript to an agent or publisher, or you've decided to self-publish, understanding how to format a novel is essential for all authors.

How to Describe Spellbinding Magic in Fantasy Novels

Magic is what makes fantasy so great, which means you want to get the words right. But how do you go about describing magic? Is there supposed to be a reason behind each arcane word? We cover it all in this article!

The Anatomy of Action: How to Write a Fight Scene

Fight scenes are what some readers live for, but writing them can be tough. Let's dissect how to write a fight scene in your novel.

What is a Magic System?

Magic is a staple of many genres, but a spellbinding book needs a good magic system. In this article, we cover what a magic system is and why you should care!

Novel Planning: A Practical Guide

Planning your novel isn't as easy as it seems, and it starts before you jot down that first word in your outline. There are really countless ways to plan your novel, but we've created this practical guide to help you find your best system.

What's the Point of a Foil Character?

Maybe you've heard of foil characters before, but what exactly do these types of characters do? How can you make a good one? Don't worry, we cover everything you need to know about foil characters in this article.

An Author's Guide to Correcting Passive Voice

You've probably heard that writing in a passive voice isn't as great using the more active counterpart. But why? And how do you fix passive writing in your manuscript? We cover everything you need to know about correcting passive voice in this article.

The Last Editing Checklist an Author Will Ever Need

Congratulations on finishing your draft! Now it's time for the dreaded editing phase. Don't worry, dear author, because we have a comprehensive editing checklist for you and your book, no matter what stage you are at.

How to Finally Finish Writing Your Book

Sometimes writing the last few chapters of your book is more difficult than the tens of thousands of words you've already written. Don't worry, this article's going to get you set up with a system to finish your novel.

10 Different Types of Magic to Use in Your Writing

Magic is an incredible addition to fantasy stories, and there are a lot of different options you can choose when building your magic system. In this article, we look at the ten different categories of magic to use in your writing.

Story Structures: The Fundamentals You Need to Know

Story structures are the frameworks that tie your story together. A story structure can help guide your book to be the best it can be!

Why Should I Care About My Book’s Theme?

It's easy to dismiss your book's theme as an afterthought - or not a thought at all. Let us convince you why theme is important for your story.

How to Get Back Into Writing: Dust Off Those Author Cobwebs

Getting back into a writing groove can be tough, but it's something every author deals with. In this article, we cover a variety of mindset tips and actionable advice to help you get back into writing.

Dabble vs. Ulysses: Which Should You Write With?

What you write with can make a huge difference to fiction authors. But with so many options out there, how do you decide which to use? In this article, we'll be comparing Dabble and Ulysses to see which one is best for you.

How to Set Writing Goals for Novelists

Goals can be powerful tools for authors, but how do you go about setting effective writing goals? We've got your back.

How Do You Know If You Need an Editor

After you've spent so long writing your best story, do you really need to hire an editor to work on your book? In this article, we discuss five scenarios where you need an editor to help your story reach its full potential.

Dabble vs. Novlr: Which is Best for Writers?

When it comes to novel-writing platforms, Dabble and Novlr stand out above the rest. But which one is best for you and your writing? We compare the two in this article.

How to Write An Awesome Story With Multiple Perspectives

Writing with multiple perspectives can elevate your story from good to great, but it's not as easy as it might seem. Join us as we cover everything you need to know about writing from multiple points of view.

The Best Examples of Good Dialogue

Great stories contain great dialogue. But writing good dialogue isn't easy, so we're going to cover what makes for good dialogue, why it's important, and cover examples of good dialogue in pop culture.

How to Write Dang Good Dialogue

Dialogue is an important part of writing a story. It's how characters plot, fall in love, and even how they can fight. In this article, we cover everything you need to know to write powerful dialogue.

It’s Good to Be Bad: Writing a Villain Protagonist

Not all protagonists are heroes. In fact, some of the best stories feature villains as the main character. But writing a villain protagonist isn't easy, so let's break down exactly what you need to know.

Finishing your First Draft - Day Six

Plot is pretty much everything that happens in your story. So let's look at some methods that can help map out your story.

Revising vs. Editing: What's the Difference?

In the world of writing, revising and editing might be used interchangeably, but there's a pretty big difference between the two. Use this article to understand the difference and make your story the best it can be!

Finishing your First Draft - Day Two

Writing well requires preparation. Set up your space, gather your tools, and adjust your mindset to crush your writing goals.

Writing Complex Characters Isn't Confusing

Readers craze three-dimensional, deep, complex characters, but writing them can be daunting. In this article, we break down how to write complex characters in your novel.

What are the different types of book editing?

Editing your book can be a daunting task. In this article, we breakdown the different types of editing and when you should apply them.

How Many Scenes Should Be In My Novel?

Part of the technical side of writing is figuring out how long your book should be. This includes understanding how many scenes should be in a novel, which is what we discuss in this article.

Finishing your First Draft - Day Three

Your writing method will determine a lot about your process. Are you a Plotter or a Pantser?

How to Write The Perfect Sword Fight

There are few things as thrilling to read as a well-composed sword fight. But there are few things as complex, too. In this article, we cover all you need to know to write some incredible fight scenes with swords (or other melee weapons).

Finishing your First Draft - Day Eight

Theme is subtle, tricky, and will likely be the most effective way to get your audience emotionally engaged. So how do you do it?

Turn Fantasy Into Reality: How to Write a Fantasy Novel

Writing a fantasy novel is a big, exciting, and rewarding undertaking. In this article, we cover everything you need to know about writing a fantasy story.

How to Write a Horror Story That Will Keep You Up At Night

There is an art to creating a series of sentences and paragraphs that will give your readers nightmares. Learn everything you need to write a horror story and make your audience afraid of the dark again.

Seriously, What Makes Good Prose?

Prose describes how you write your book, and it can be challenging to get right. So, in this article, we cover what makes good prose.

How to Write a Thriller That Will Grip Your Readers

So you want to write a heart-stopping, white-knuckled, edge of your seat thriller? Well you've come to the right place. Join us as we decipher everything you need to know about writing a thriller.

Should I Pay a Publisher to Publish My Book? NO!

The publishing landscape is always changing, so many writers wonder: should I pay a publisher? Let's take a look at all your publishing options.

How to Make More Money as an Author

The key to making more money as an author is to find the opportunities that best suit your skills and interests and work hard to achieve your goals. By exploring different options, you can increase your income, reach a wider audience, and achieve the success you've been dreaming of.

Punctuation Basics - A Beginner's Guide

Writing with proper punctuation can feel like the hardest part of writing. Don't worry, we've made a Beginner's Guide to Punctuation to help!

The Creator Archetype - Everything You Need to Know

The Creator Archetype breathes life into their art, often to an obsessive level. Learn all about using this archetype in your writing!

The Common Person/Everyman Archetype - Everything You Need to Know

The Common Person or Everyman is a powerful archetype that can instantly relate to your readers. Learn how to use it in your writing!

What the Heck is a One-Dimensional Character?

Being told your character is "one-dimensional" can feel like a slap to the face. But what does that even mean? And is there a place for one-dimensional characters in books? We discuss all that and more in this article.

Dabble vs. Microsoft Word: What Should You Use to Write Your Novel?

Fiction authors have a difficult decision to make: what platform should you use to write your book? In this article, we objectively look at which authors should use Dabble and which should use Microsoft Word.

Popular Magic Systems to Inspire Your Writing

Are you looking for a little inspiration to write your own system of magic? In this article, we examine seven examples of the most popular magic systems in literature.

What You NEED to Know About Your Characters

When you make up fictional people, you're going to become an expert on them. You'll know them more than you know some of your friends. But what do you absolutely need to know about them before you start writing? Let's break it down.

Building Your Magic System: A Full Recipe

Magic is an essential part of most fantasy stories, but creating your own magic system can be tough. We break down everything you need to write your own magic system in this article.