what drives your story?

The past is always with us. It lives inside us and it drives our stories. Without our pasts we might be happier, but we couldn't write. Our characters, like us, behave who they are. They create their destinies as we create ours. I've heard it said that ‘in opera, tragedy is the collision of two … Continue reading what drives your story?

less is more

Don't do this: The following 99 word paragraph is filled with passive voice and adverbs: Gloria was extremely tired and she walked lethargically from her car to the Quick Stop Convenience Market. The Market was brightly lit even at 2AM and Gloria was surprised at how many cars were parked in the lot, and how many people were in the store. She imagined for a moment that … Continue reading less is more

when characters speak

A good scene has tension and suspense, however subtle. Dialogue works best when demonstrating the friction between two points of view, or a failure to communicate - the speaker is not being articulate or forthcoming, the listener isn’t listening, they misunderstand each other, or they are so focused on their own agenda that they actually … Continue reading when characters speak

word choice matters

Some words – fun, beautiful, scary, amazing, special – are so overused they have lost their ability to convey anything meaningful – in fact they are bland: “A beautiful woman walked into the waiting room, spoke with the receptionist and took a seat.”  gives us no meaningful information about the woman. As writers, we must define beauty in … Continue reading word choice matters