New parents spend time and energy choosing the perfect name for tier offspring. Some writers spend a few hours choosing a character name, and rightfully so. This is a declension which can mean the difference between success and failure for your character, or maybe even your book. You can choose a name that molds the … Continue reading What’s in a Name?
Interviewing the hero is a good start, if that works for you. If not, I'm going to give you some guidelines about what a hero should--and shouldn't be, and how he might act. Remember, writing doesn't have a lot of "rules" per se, but if you want your hero to be likable, you will at … Continue reading How do I make that hero shine?
There are a lot of questions you'll be asking about developing any character. Some writers like to sit down and "interview" the characters they'll be working with over the course of a story. I am not one of those writers. Is is wrong to interview characters? Yes, and no. If you use this method to … Continue reading Defining Characters
As soon as you open your novel, on the very first page, in the very first line...what your character does and says will make or break him/her --and by association, you--as a writer. You only get this one chance to gimme a hero. He/she must be unique but ordinary, courageous but vulnerable, strong and weak … Continue reading Gimme a Hero…
Conflict is the promise we make to our readers. Once we set the stage, bring the reader into our characters ordinary world, it is conflict that keeps him reading our story. But first, you need to get your readers attention. Building a character that is sympathetic, someone we and the readers can identify with, someone … Continue reading Conflict
There are people who want to tell you how to organize your story. Sadly, writers are individuals. Every writer has, or will have, their own method for telling a story. But two things are essential to storytelling. Plot and structure. First of all let me tell you that you can take this statement to the … Continue reading What’s it all about?
I knew you wouldn't listen to my advice, you just wanted to start writing, and you know you want to keep those readers reading. So you have to take a look at the hook. You certainly can't open a story without a hook. You need one, at least one, to capture the initial interest of … Continue reading Hooking your reader
I'll be the first one to say, in spite of the excitement which accompanies starting a new project or a new book, there is also an element of fear. Fear is the one thing which diverts our attention from a project which we anticipated, and causes us to doubt if the endeavor will be successful. … Continue reading Where do I start?
For the past several weeks I've been offline. Yeah, computer problems. Everyone has them and most of us suffer in silence, or just moan and whine a little but press on when the problems are resolved. I won't do that. I have decided this is an opportunity to strike off in a new direction and … Continue reading Apologies & Introducing a New Book
“Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” ― St. Francis of Assisi In order to write that novel you always talk about, or dream of writing, you must start. I know you may not have the skills required to write the next great American novel. I … Continue reading Learning the Craft