There are many exercises and techniques with which you can experiment to develop your characters, but this is my favorite. I use it all the time with important characters, and once I get into it, I’m always surprised to learn who a character really is, what shaped them, what motivates them, and how they’re going … Read more
One of the points we’re always told when plotting a novel, no matter what genre, is to raise the stakes. The protagonist (or his/her loved ones) must confront obstacles, jump over hurdles, or solve problems… or else… But what does that really mean? I explain in this short video. Hope it helps your Nanowrimo project.
Hi, again. Here is Nanowrimo Writing Tip #2 — Beginnings. I’m still talking about suspense, but this time I start at the beginning: The all-powerful first line. I’ll talk explain how to approach it, then give you some of my all-time favorite examples. It is a little longer than I anticipated (at three and a half minutes) but hang … Read more
Hi, all. In honor of National Novel Writing Month, I decided to repost my Writing Lite video series. I hope you find them useful, even if you’re not participating. There are twelve videos, and none are over four minutes– most are under three. I’ll try to post a few each week so you have them all … Read more
A sting is a suspense technique designed to encourage readers to keep on reading, i.e., go to the next chapter. Think “cliff-hanger” and you’ve got it. But it can also introduce a character, action, or thought that makes the entire chapter that preceded it be viewed in a different light. For example, you’ve just written … Read more
Long, languorous sentences make it difficult for the reader to follow, unless he or she is a very patient reader. Most readers aren’t, sorry to say. They’re interested in story. Not the prose you’ve so carefully crafted. So, make it easy for your readers. Limit your sentences to easily understood thoughts. Each sentence should add … Read more
“Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader – not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” E. L. Doctorow I love that definition. Sensory detail succeeds when a writer uses the senses of touch, taste, sight, smell and sound to create a visceral, emotional reaction … Read more