Tag Archives: action

Oh, those damned middles! (Encore)

You know how it starts, and you know how it ends. Now what? For many, including most of my writing students, the gaping black hole which sits between the beginning and the end of a story can be daunting. How … Continue reading

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Go ahead, create a scene.

Writers and non-writers have completely different notions about what a scene is. Non-writers rarely think about those that don’t feature someone being outraged over something. I suspect too many who spend time aligning verbs and nouns overlook how significant “our” … Continue reading

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Character Emotions — Part Four

Before I launch into the next emotion on the agenda, I want to pass along a link to a website which provides an interesting look at emotions. Click Here! It provides a good discussion of Plutchik’s Wheel, a tool used to … Continue reading

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Thinking and Feeling

What is it that’s so hard about getting into a character’s head? It’s a problem many of my writing friends and students encounter, and it happens all too often, or so it seems to me. I suspect in most cases … Continue reading

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Death, Doom, and Destruction

I am often suspicious of action movies. They’re not bad, as a genre. Far from it. I’ve seen some wonderful action films, and I would gladly watch them over again. But for me, that list is pretty short. I’m content … Continue reading

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Story as striptease

Despite being opposites–stories are additive; striptease is subtractive–one can still draw parallels. An ecdysiast (look it up) teases her (or his) audience by making them wonder how much farther she/he will go. Successful genre fiction does much the same thing, … Continue reading

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Characters with… character. part 1 of 3

For most readers, novels are judged by the degree to which readers care for the players in the story. Character-driven stories haven’t just evolved; they’re as old as storytelling itself. And yet, far too many novice novelists concentrate more on plots than … Continue reading

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Drama in a memoir?

There’s drama in life, so why not in the documentation of a life as well? We’ve all experienced moments where an outcome wasn’t guaranteed. The concept isn’t limited to sports or warfare. Who hasn’t taken a test of some kind, … Continue reading

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I’ll have a “MAC memoir”

Okay, it’s not what you’re thinking. I’m not talking about a manuscript and some rabbit food on a sesame seed bun. What I’m referring to are the basic building blocks of any good story, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. The acronym for this magic formula … Continue reading

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Help! My characters suck. How to write a novel — part 5

It happens sometimes. A character you think has potential turns out to be a white bread bore. And as we all know, boring is bad. You might be able to write flawless prose; your descriptions might be crisp and insightful; … Continue reading

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