Over the years, I’ve taught novel writing students whose stories were deliberately hopeless or who featured a sociopathic protagonist. One actual story was about a man who after learning he had only months to live, set about to torture and kill every person who had wronged him. In light of the recent rash of killings, […]
from the blog:
Often, the characters we create to tell our stories seem to be average people—just like you and me. Maybe the story opens with this person sitting looking out a window. But is this Average Annie the sort of person who makes readers care? Writing Tip for Today: In order to elicit sympathy, our protagonists must […]
Recently I read Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer-prize winning All the Light We Cannot See. Magnificent novel! One of the most awesome aspects of Doerr’s writing is his ability to paint verb pictures. Writing Tip for Today: I often urge writers to use strong verbs in their fiction. A verb picture is worth even more in these […]
While all your fictional or memoir characters may seem perfectly clear to you, readers may struggle and get confused if asked to remember too many characters too fast. One solution is to create composite characters. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s discuss composite characters for fiction and memoir. Write Representatives, not Crowds Composite Characters are exactly […]
Years ago, I sent the first pages of my second novel to a semi-famous novelist acquaintance for advice. She wrote back that those pages contained something like forty-four back story references. She kindly suggested I revise. I’d become stuck in the Back Story Swamp. Writing Tip for Today: Back Story or Flashback, is one of […]
LINDA S. CLARE
Linda has always been a daydreamer, artist and storyteller. In addition to doting on grandbabies, collecting too many cats, gardening and walking on the beach, she loves to write and to help writers develop their skills.
A SKY WITHOUT STARS
Frankie Chasing Bear is caught between cultures. She wants to raise her son Harold to revere his Lakota heritage, but she also thinks he will need to learn the white man’s ways to succeed. After the untimely death of her husband, Frankie joins the U.S. Government’s Relocation Program and moves to Arizona. There she begins sewing a Lakota Star pattern quilt for Harold with tribal wisdom sung, sewn, and prayed into it.