Browsing Tag

Fiction

The Importance of Character Agency at the Carrollton League of Writers

I will be a guest of the Carrollton League of Writers.  It’s a casual atmosphere at a local BBQ restaurant.  I’ll be speaking on The Importance of Character Agency and how this relates to the reader’s ability to relate to your story.  I will be available to…

5-session-class-novel-writing-level-4-start-date

5 Session Class: Novel Writing: Level 4 (Start Date)

Are you ready to take your novel writing skills to the next level? It is often said that, “Story Is Character.”  In this course, you will learn how to design dynamic protagonists, villains, mentors and sidekicks, and love interests – and how to handle unlikable characters and antiheroes.  Aspiring writers will…

seminar-writing-vivid-side-characters

Seminar: Writing Vivid Side Characters

You know you need a spectacular protagonist, facing off against an equally strong antagonist.  But what about all your spear carriers, love interests, sidekicks, mentors and henchmen?  They don’t always get much page space, so how can you use what you do give them to make them memorable?  We…

narrative-as-interpreter-in-fiction-writing
Literary Terms, Writing Tips

Narrative as Interpreter in Fiction Writing

When we’re talking fiction writing, what really is narrative?  It’s everything that isn’t action and isn’t dialogue.  Which means it’s the glue that holds it all together.More directly, narrative is how we help the reader interpret the action and the dialogue.  We given them…

a-writer-reads-always
Musing, Writing Tips

A Writer Reads, Always

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” ― Stephen King“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” — Oscar Wilde“I…

well-i-wasnt-expecting-that
Literary Terms, Writing Tips

Well, I wasn’t expecting THAT!

This whole month, I want to talk about the relationship between writing and reading.  I’ve talked to so many writers who say they don’t read inside their own genre because they’re afraid of copying someone else’s idea.  (More on this later – I’m planning an entire…

freytags-pyramid
Literary Terms, Writing Tips

Freytag’s Pyramid

In 1863 Gustov Freytag, first known as a playwright and later a novelist, published Die Technik des Dramas.  (Released in English much later as Freytag’s Technique of the Drama: An Exposition of Dramatic Composition and Art.)  While his novels reflected some of the ugliness and turbulence of the time…

well-darlings-youre-weighing-us-down
Literary Terms, Writing Tips

Well, Darlings, You’re Weighing Us Down . . .

“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” – Stephen King (not the first person to say it, but perhaps the most ominous)It’s a common piece of advice to give to beginning writers, and it’s been attributed…

this-things-important-right
Literary Terms, Uncategorized, Writing Tips

This Thing’s Important, Right?

One of my favorite books from the Children’s Lit classes I took in college was Treasure Island.  Stevenson stuck with me as an example I wanted to emulate, because nothing in that book is wasted.  Every piece of foreshadowing pays off, every bit of character development comes into play…

ready-set-goal
Uncategorized, Writing Tips

Ready, Set, Goal!

Have you set goals for the coming year?  Most of us look at a new calendar, fresh with unspoiled pages, as an opportunity.  It’s a reset.  A chance to think about what we want to develop in our lives, what we are ready to let go.  A story offers…

dross-and-hero-stuff
Musing, Writing Tips

Dross and Hero Stuff

Can we be brutally honest?  As a writer, you simply cannot be a nice person – at least not when it comes to your characters.  There is no quicker way to lose reader interest than to present characters who never face failure or loss, who are never in danger, who never…

to-wiki-or-not-to-wiki
Musing, Writing Tips

To Wiki or Not To Wiki

So before I started teaching writing, I was a Youth librarian.  And as everybody says, you can take the girl out of the library, but you can’t take the library out of the girl.  Especially when it’s someone like me.  I was always the one chasing down the…

im-definitely-not-in-a-story-right
Literary Terms, Writing Tips

I’m Definitely NOT in a Story, Right?

Last month I talked about character self-awareness in the psychological sense.But today, I want to get into the other way this term is used when talking books:  literary self-awareness, where we find fictional characters who either understand their genre, or who realize they are taking part in…

using-pinterest-to-improve-your-writing
Writing Tips

Using Pinterest to Improve Your Writing

I’ll admit it.  I am a Pinterest addict, heading rapidly towards 10,000 pins.  I make some sort of Pinboard for every class I teach, and every project I plan – not to mention those I’ll probably never get around to.   While the most obvious thing for a writer…

outlining-and-road-trips
Writing Tips

Outlining and Road Trips

We went on a mini-road trip over the weekend, and that got me thinking about journeys, both real and literary. The weather the past week or so has been unseasonably warm and absolutely gorgeous. We have a brand new little car (after sharing a gas-guzzling vehicle for three…

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Writing Tips

Character Development and Development as a Writer

On Friday, we had a meeting with the new/returning  Work Study Employees for the kids/teen camps.  I asked them all to tell each other their majors.  When they’d gone around the room, one of them jokingly asked, “So what’s your major.”“Life,” I said.  And it…

physical-description
Writing Tips

Physical Description

So I thought I’d kick this off with a few of my favorite things. Bicycling into the sunset, a really good chocolate cupcake, The Princess Bride. Let’s focus for a moment on that last one.I’ve spent the morning putting together my PowerPoint for the character development…