Writing POV: Mastering Viewpoint

Writing POV: Mastering Viewpoint

This week’s post is a preview for the workshop I’ll be teaching next week on writing Characters and POV. I find that writers either understand Point of View (POV) innately, or they struggle. With a few pointers, I hope every writer will master POV, also called Viewpoint. Writing Tip for Today: Here’s a refresher on […]

Scene Writing Tension: Boundaries

Scene Writing Tension: Boundaries

In scene writing, the tension is often centered between two characters and their boundaries. One wants something, and readers don’t know whether she’ll obtain it. By degrees, the other character either withholds or invades the first character’s boundaries, which leads to increasing tension. Writing Tip for Today: How can you write scenes with mounting tension […]

Writing Down the Beats

Writing Down the Beats

Many writing sites offer instructions for producing BEAT SHEETS—and fiction writers everywhere need to understand the concept, whether you’re a plotter, a pantster or somewhere in-between. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s discuss writing “beats” for novels, short stories and sentences. Spreadsheet Beats A “beat” in fiction used to be called a plot point. The term […]

Writing Unforgettable Characters

Writing Unforgettable Characters

Writing unforgettable characters is much more than simply giving a character a unique habit or speech tag. To be truly memorable, a character should be unique both inside and out. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s look at some ways to make characters unforgettable. Guard Against Stereotypes In writing sentences, we’re cautioned against using clichés, but […]

Writing Descriptions that Wow

Writing Descriptions that Wow

Description in writing has to be one of the hardest parts to get just right. Give readers too little description, and they are unable to experience the story world. Write too much description, and readers get lost in all the details. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s take a look at ways a writer can balance […]

Writing Your Character’s Inner World

Writing Your Character’s Inner World

When you write your character to life, you delve into what that character wants (more than anything!). But to really animate your character, readers must understand what makes that person tick. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s talk about ways to more fully imagine your character’s inner life: Back Story Need to Know We’re all the […]

Writing a Character: Conflict Balance

Writing a Character: Conflict Balance

Are your character’s inner and outer conflicts balanced? Conflict is uncomfortable. Yet a story written without conflict will struggle to attract readers. Writing Tip for Today: Writing conflict is more than a bunch of stuff blowing up. Writers must learn to balance a character’s inner and outer conflicts. Here are some ideas: Outer Conflict Let’s […]

Writing Your Character’s World

Writing Your Character’s World

I taught a writing class last night at a local library, all about writing a character’s world. For those who couldn’t make it, here’s a recap: Writing Tip for Today: Let’s discuss the kinds of things we need for writing your character’s world: Who Am I? Writing a fictional character is more than simply “you” […]

Scene Writing: Stay in the Moment

Scene Writing: Stay in the Moment

One of the most common ways I teach scene writing to writers is by pointing out examples where a scene suddenly jumps off the rails. Readers are experiencing a scene, in a particular place and time, when poof! The particular-ness vanishes. Writing Tip for Today: How can writers know if they are “staying in scene?” […]

Write Better Scenes with the Rule of Three

Write Better Scenes with the Rule of Three

  When I teach or coach writing, at some point I usually mention the Rule of Three. I didn’t invent this idea—threes are everywhere in our lives—but I do find it useful for teaching writers how to pace their scenes. Writing Tip for Today: How can writing to the Rule of Three improve your scene […]