Close

beat sheet

Are Beat Sheets Intimidating? Cut through the Clutter

Beat Sheets: Back to the Basics

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of story structure. I’ve created several beat sheets and have oodles of posts about the topic. But I’m also not a math person, so the idea of working in Excel for all those worksheets gave me the heebie-jeebies at first. I’m probably not […]

Pin It

September 19, 2013

Read More

WANACon: A Conference for All Writers

WANACon 2.0 logo

Forgive me for not having a post packed with writing advice today. Instead, I’m sharing writing-related information of a different sort. Last February, I posted about the fantastic experience I had with WANACon, an interactive online writing conference. So you better believe I’m excited to announce that WANACon is happening […]

Pin It

September 10, 2013

Read More

How to Find the Start of Our Story

Plant sprouting with text: Finding the Start of Our Story

A lot goes into deciding how to begin our story. We have to introduce the characters, the story, and the setting. We have to make it interesting, not confusing, or not accidentally misleading. Etc., etc., etc. If we think about it too much, we might seize up and not write […]

Pin It

September 3, 2013

Read More

Calling All Pantsers!

Close up of blue jeans with text: Calling All Pantsers

I’m afraid I don’t have much of a post here today, but I have a good excuse—with news to help writers. *smile* First, I have a guest post over at Paranormal Unbound, where Angela Quarles and I discuss the subtext in paranormal stories. What does it mean for the romance […]

Pin It

August 20, 2013

Read More

Do Beat Sheets Lead to Formulaic Writing?

Page of math formulas with text: Are Beat Sheets Too Formulaic?

Last week, Slate.com ran an article about how Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat book is ruining movies. According to that post’s author, “Snyder’s beat sheet has taken over Hollywood screenwriting. … Intentionally or not, it’s become a formula—a formula that threatens the world of original screenwriting as we know it.” I’ve […]

Pin It

July 23, 2013

Read More

A Pantser’s Guide to Beat Sheets

Map with text: A Pantser's Guide to Beat Sheets

I’ve mentioned many times that I write by the seat of my pants. I’ve also expressed my love of beat sheets—by creating several of them. I have beat sheets that focus on plot points, another focused on character arcs, and yet another focused on romance arcs. Wait, someone who writes […]

Pin It

July 9, 2013

Read More

Three Tips for Better Storytelling

Little girl reading to little boy with text: 3 Tips for Better Storytelling

Last time, we talked about how good storytelling can salvage even a poorly written book. As I mentioned in that post, storytelling skill is different from writing skill. Many people have a hard time defining what makes good storytelling—and that makes it difficult for us to improve. Yet I’d argue […]

Pin It

May 2, 2013

Read More

Recipe for a Successful Synopsis

Index card box with text: Recipe for a Successful Synopsis, Synopsis 101

Whether we’re entering contests or submitting manuscripts to agents or publishers, at some point, most of us need to write a synopsis. Many writers hate writing synopses, but I don’t mind them. At least not anymore. Synopses no longer intimidate me now that I understand what’s supposed to go into […]

Pin It

February 12, 2013

Read More

Actions and Reactions: The End-All-Be-All of Storytelling

Rippled panel with text: Building a Story One Action & Reaction at a Time

This might be a deep philosophical post. Or it might be random thoughts triggered by my remaining sugar coma (7 Thanksgiving desserts!). You’ll have to let me know. I’d been thinking about doing another post about actions and reactions in writing, but the more I thought about it, the bigger […]

Pin It

November 29, 2012

Read More

The Point of a Scene: Thinking in Concepts

Pencil connected to a light bulb with text: How Detailed Do Our Ideas Need to Be?

A couple of months ago, I read a blog post that forever changed how I approached drafting scenes. That probably sounds melodramatic, but it’s true. We’ve often talked about the differences between plotters and pantsers (those who write by the seat of their pants), and how as a die-hard-and-happy-about-it pantser, […]

Pin It

November 20, 2012

Read More