Stuff Writers Like

Storytelling

Stuff about telling stories

22

Feb'17

Surviving Your Own Torture

Have you ever had to inflict pain and suffering onto a character who you like . . . a lot?

Have you ever tipped a bucket full of "life hell" over your character and whilst you were doing it felt like you were betraying an old friend?

This week I have struggled with making one of my characters suffer. As you know I am close to finishing the second draft of my romance novel, and everything was fine until I had to write the twist at the end. I wanted to shake things up a bit for my reader and not let them think the romance was going to run smoothly. Plus, and more importantly, this particular character needed to understand the consequences of his past actions.

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28

Dec'16

Playing by the Rules

It’s tempting to believe that novelists who have already published books know “the secret.” But every novel, whether it’s your first or fifteenth, poses different challenges. Even the most experienced writers get stuck in dark alleys and thorny woods as they lose their way.

I’m about to publish my sixth novel, Folly Cove, this fall, and my means of feeling my way out of those slimy or prickly places is pretty simple: I read other people’s books and keep learning. This past week, I’ve read four novels that have taught me there really is only one rule in fiction: If it works, do it! ...

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14

Sep'16

Tips on Writing Better Villains (Video)

Your hero is well-developed and believable. You know him or her inside and out, have created character profiles and conducted interviews, have written and rewritten the perfect backstory until your hero’s author headcanon is as long as the manuscript itself.

So why would you settle for a bland, cookie-cutter villain? A strong, believable villain is crucial, and in her YouTube video, Shade gives fantastic tips for fleshing out your villain and making him or her a true antagonist, in the best sense. ...

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04

Feb'15

Why More Authors Should Use Micro Chapters

Micro chapters gave me the ability to pick up that book and read at almost any given moment during the day. If I had a few minutes on the toilet, time to read. If I had a couple stops on the bus, time to read. If I was waiting for the rice to boil, time to read. Structuring a book with micro chapters offers functionality that I hadn’t yet seen and have since adapted into some of my short stories, quick fiction and some of the longer endeavors.

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04

Feb'15

Examining Description

Beginning writers often write description without stopping to think, when they should take their time and let the exposition flow. Instead of simply writing, “Tim walked toward the door, then stopped. He freaked out at what he saw. He trembled. Then he ran.” One could write ...

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13

Jan'15

Gifts of the Boneyard

In my own work, there is nothing I have struggled with more than the repeated need for revision. I have put aside a nascent novel for months at a time because I felt overwhelmed by what was required to get it into shape. Part of the difficulty is that we must be both the creator and the physician of our writing, which are quite different skills and require quite different states of mind. The expressive exuberance of creating is what gets me to my desk. But the humble, open, unknowing that I must bring to the work of revision is where I find my strength. In the boneyard. Let me explain …

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