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Author. Word gatherer. Developmental editor. Speaker. Wayfinder. Encourager.

Archive for the 'Writing techniques' Category

Character arc

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Quick Take:

Stories are about change. The more painful the better. These difficult changes are going to happen to your protagonist–he or she will always be the character most hurt and changed by the story events. The effect of all these changes? A character arc. Proof that your protagonist has come through the fire, has been somehow […]

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Write first drafts on paper…

nothing approaches the uncluttered nondigital quiet of a page.

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Join us in Portland on February 20

For Write, Rewrite, Repeat It’s a one-day conference jammed, and I mean jammed, with insights, tactics and genius ideas you can you use to catapult your writing career into a higher gear and greater visibility. Keynote speaker is Fonda Lee. Martial artist, inventive author, whip-smart and savvy marketer. She’ll be talking about The Strategic Author. […]

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Quick Take: Search out the perfect objects to enhance storytelling

Consider weaving meaningful objects or possessions throughout your story. Then make certain these objects are repeated or reappear.  In Markus Zusak’s  The Book Thief there are books, the alphabet etched on the cellar walls,  and the beautiful accordion. The books and alphabet represent a whole world that opens up to Liesel when she learns to […]

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Quick Take: Make your Crucible Hell-Hot

In fiction the cauldron or crucible is a setting or situation that forces characters to change or make difficult decisions; to face what they’d rather not face. I’ve written about cauldrons before and mentioned how they must be inescapable. Two powerful examples come to mind–the islands in Lord of the Rings and Jurassic Park. Let’s return […]

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Quick Take: Tough Choices

People are defined by their choices. This applies to poker players and politicians, world leaders and criminals, parents and coaches. Fictional characters are also defined by the choices they make. Choices start off a story because a character needs to respond to the inciting incident and first plot point. In Act two when the protagonist’s […]

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NaNoWriMo Hacks & a Bit of Tough Love

Thirty days has November and for thousands of writers around the globe, that means NaNoWriMo or National Writing Month, a giddy, exhausting yet exhilarating, marathon and  communal activity where writers jam on the page, producing a 50,000-word novel in a month. It teaches writers discipline, commitment, and how to survive on not much sleep. A […]

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Just say no

Most of us could not hack the lives of fictional protagonists because everything they do and everywhere they turn, events are designed to shriek denials, thwart desire, and erect roadblocks. Plots and scenes are built on forces and characters that stand in their way, blocking something they desperately wants or needs, delaying gratification. The results […]

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