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Posts tagged ‘Chris Baty’

Research made easy: the five-click Google

Writers are fantastic procrastinators. We push papers, arrange paperclips, make those gigantic rubber band balls, and get sucked into the internet faster than the Roadrunner can outrun Mr. Coyote. We use any excuse to delay actually doing what we’re supposed to be doing: writing.

Research is another example. Yes, sometimes we need to do research for our stories or novels but too many of us can get sucked into that bottomless pit never to emerge again. I can’t count the number of times I’ve logged online to “do a little research” and find myself, hours later, knee deep in the different dialects that skinwalkers use. Read more

Develop your inner story god by asking questions

Someone once told me that in our questions lie the answers. As writers, we know the importance of asking questions. We ask ourselves questions about our story, characters, plot, and even point of view.

Yesterday, I was trying to figure out how to integrate 1st and 3rd person points of view in my current manuscript without it feeling forced or artificial. As I sat in the sauna reading Chris Baty’s NaNoWriMo book “No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days,” I asked myself, “What would it take for this combination of different points of view to work and flow organically from my story?”

I played around with a couple scenarios and then an idea came to me. Instead of giving my protagonist the ability I was going to give her, I thought of another ability that would suit the story better and solve my problem—allowing the 1st and 3rd person points of view to grow naturally from the story. This new ability came from my protagonist’s backstory, was nurtured by her profession and was unusual and unexpected enough to pervert my readers’ expectations. Viola! Story problem solved. Read more