While worst-case scenarios are one type of obstacle your protagonist must overcome, there are others. Hobson’s Choice dilemmas are a great tool – Your character must decide which one of two people will live and which will die. Or your alcoholic character has years of sobriety behind him, but needs to drink to prove he’s … Read more
A fundamental task in creating suspense is to confront your protagonist with obstacles and hurdles he or she must overcome. Then, just as he/she thinks they have a handle on the situation, it becomes even worse. One of the best examples I’ve read is in William Kent Krueger’s Purgatory Ridge. Two mothers and their children … Read more
Digital Book World is another good blog, even though their platform is skewed more toward traditional publishing. No matter – DBW has interesting articles and covers some of the same news as The Passive Voice. Other bloggers I follow are Joe Konrath, Anne Allen, Joanna Penn, and Jane Friedman. You should too! You can see … Read more
With the explosion of Self-publishing, there are so many people and organizations willing to take your money that your inbox is probably as cluttered as mine. Among the emails are announcements from companies who will produce my book, discover my book, buy my book, review my book, and more. Before you jump into any arrangements, … Read more
In the last Writing Lite tip, I share a simple but profound structure for writing and editing a chapter that I think is fantastic. It was created by Crime writer Nancy Picard, who is one of the most talanted authors I know. It combines everything you need to know about plot and character, and I … Read more
Let’s explore language, with an emphasis on pacing. Sometimes you want longer sentences. Sometimes you want crisp short ones. One of my favorite passages that shows the variety of pacing is from Raymond Chandler. He’s talking about a bar opening for the evening. Listen in. And yes, you can have a glass of wine.