Close

drafting

Writing Active Settings, Part 1 — Guest: Mary Buckham

Place setting on a table with text: Using Point of View to Bring Settings to Life

The trick to sharing setting information (which our readers do need) without dragging down the pace is to write active descriptions. Active descriptions let the reader imagine the setting in their mind, keep them anchored in the story, and slip in information so seamlessly that they never realize they’re reading descriptions.

Pin It

July 22, 2014

Read More

Building a Character Arc: Start at the End

Train tracks ending on a beach with text: Want a Strong Arc? Start at The End

As I mentioned with the worksheet I shared last week, it’s often easier to work backward when we’re framing our story. At the very least, knowing the ending often makes it easier to see our character’s arc.

Pin It

July 17, 2014

Read More

Do You Discuss Your Work in Progress?

Military person with finger at lips with text: Do You Keep Your WIP Secret?

I’ve often thought about adding word count widgets to my site but quickly resist the notion. My internal debate sparked a question about how writers approach their works in progress. Do you know which side you fall on?

Pin It

June 19, 2014

Read More

Expand Our Senses and Improve Our Descriptions

Sleep mask with text: Describing with Other Senses

How many hundreds of times have we all heard the advice to “show not tell”? That’s often good advice (except for the times when it’s not *smile*). Other than the exceptions, “showing” usually is better than telling because it pulls the reader deeper into the story. But that means we […]

Pin It

June 12, 2014

Read More

Writer’s Block? Use a Random Generator

Question mark with text: Escape Writer's Block with Randomization

I’ll probably jinx myself by saying this, but I have more than enough story ideas to keep me busy writing for the rest of my natural life and I haven’t yet suffered from writer’s block. But I know others do struggle and come up blank. My “seat of my pants” writing style […]

Pin It

June 10, 2014

Read More

What’s the Perfect Job for Our Characters?

Employee Only sign with text: Finding the Perfect Job (for Our Characters)

If we write our story well, every aspect of the story will contribute to the overall picture and create an impression for the reader. There aren’t any unimportant details in a well-written story. And that means the careers for our characters shouldn’t be an afterthought either.

Pin It

April 29, 2014

Read More

3 Tips for Skipping the Boring Parts

Long road toward mountains in the distance with text: Skip to the Good Parts

I was going to rant about poor editing today, but I closed the wrong window in my computer and lost all 1000 words. *sigh* So I’ll try it again later when I’m not so sleep deprived from WANACon preparation. Instead, I’m revisiting a different topic today. We’ve heard the saying: Life […]

Pin It

February 20, 2014

Read More

What Makes a Story Event a “Turning Point”?

Wood plank balanced on an old pier post with text: How to Recognize a Turning Point

Between questions on Facebook and some of my editing clients, I’ve had several conversations lately about story turning points: what they are, what they mean, and how to recognize them. As writers, we all need to understand turning points. If we plot or plan our story in advance, we need […]

Pin It

February 4, 2014

Read More

In Defense of Pantsing

Iron fence with pointed finials with text: In Defense of Pantsing

When it comes to writing, there’s no “one right way.” We use different methods, take different paths, and have different goals. The same goes for our approach to drafting a story. Some plot their stories in advance, while others write by the seat of their pants (known as pantsing or […]

Pin It

January 30, 2014

Read More