getting your backstory straight

Backstory is history that helps your reader to better understand the motivations and inner lives of your characters, it can help them to care about and identify with your characters. Unlike a history lesson, backstory should be brief, giving enough information to enlighten, without disrupting the forward motion of the story. When deciding where to … Continue reading getting your backstory straight

subtxt: omg srsly wym

Subtext – the key to powerful dialogue When people talk, they don’t always say what they mean, they don’t say everything they know, and they don’t know everything they feel.  That’s why god created subtext. Often we empathize with a character more when she fights what she feels than when she expresses it. Strive to … Continue reading subtxt: omg srsly wym

making a scene

How to make a scene. Every story (and all its components) assumes a basic contract between the writer and the reader – readers want a world they can believe in, characters that matter, and stories that invite and compel them to care.  It is up to the writer to provide all that and more. At … Continue reading making a scene

Tag Lines – look who’s talking

Effective dialogue gives the illusion of real speech. Dialogue is edited speech, organized and directed, while retaining the style of real-life speech.  It should be lean and brief. When writing dialogue, it is important to be clear about who is talking, so we use tag lines such as the she said/he said device to distinguish … Continue reading Tag Lines – look who’s talking

Mona Lisa and Maserati

What is beauty and what makes a man? Evoking memorable characters and a convincing story world requires that you be specific and innovative.  Vivid characters who surprise us are the ones we are most likely to become emotionally involved with, and a world constructed with closely observed sensory details can become a reality for your … Continue reading Mona Lisa and Maserati

Stage 2: creative editing

Creative Editing Forget for the moment about rules governing spelling, grammar, punctuation and sentence structure, that’s editing too, but that kind of editing can interfere with the creative process, and as I’ve said before, some of our most admired authors have written brilliantly by breaking those rules. So, to oversimplify, creative editing is a way … Continue reading Stage 2: creative editing