I’ve been working on my fantasy novel lately and feeling as if I need to get closer to my protagonist. Scenes have been clicking along but I was starting to feel that some of my protagonist’s feelings and reactions to what is happening around her need to come out more.
Expanding on an idea I first heard about from author James Scott Bell, I decided to start a daily journal from the point of view of Caitlin, my protagonist.
My plan is that when I’m done writing a scene or a segment of a scene, I’ll take five minutes and write in her journal about how she feels about what just happened. Read more
In his book Plot & Structure,James Scott Bell has a great chapter on story endings. He writes about the different types of endings, including the twist or surprise ending.
In a way, all of our endings should incorporate surprise or the unexpected. We don’t want our stories to be so transparent that the reader can guess what comes next, eventually becoming bored with our story.
So how do authors come up with great twist endings? Bell admits he doesn’t know exactly as it’s not something that can be boiled down to a formula. But he does offer tips for helping us brainstorm possibilities. Read more
In my last post, “Plotting a story is like solving a puzzle,” I mentioned that I read several books to help me demystify that four-letter word “plot.”
Below are resources and books I highly recommend adding to your craft collection or checking out at the library:
Blockbuster Plots: Pure & Simple by Martha Alderson. She has another book called The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master, which is also very helpful, but Blockbuster Plots really does a great job of breaking it all down. Learn about structure, scenes, character development and everything a good story needs.
I love Alderson’s youtube channel because it’s full of fantastic short clips about the craft of writing and plotting that I play in the background when I’m cooking, doing dishes, or when I need a short break. Read more
If you’ve just finished NaNoWriMo, you’ve taken a deep breath and are now ready to dive into revisions. In a webinar Tuesday sponsored by Writer’s Digest, bestselling author James Scott Bell revealed his strategy for revising manuscripts. Here are some highlights from his presentation.
First, let your manuscript cool off. He lets his draft sit for several weeks, then he prints a hard copy. While you can read it on your computer, Bell says he likes to recreate the feeling the average reader will have when they pick up the book. It’s also easy to make notes on the pages as he goes. Read more
In a webinar Tuesday, James Scott Bell shared some writing best practices. For now, here are four tidbits of writing wisdom. Watch for more words of writing writing wisdom in my next post.
1. Write – It’s pretty obvious, but how many people do you know who “want to write a book someday,” but never seem to do it? Probably because they don’t just write. It’s the first step.
2.Don’t bore the reader – Whatever you do, if you want to write a gripping book, you can’t be boring. Keep this idea in the back of your mind as you write. Read more
Today is day nineteen of National Novel Writing Month—the month where crazy people the world over take the challenge to write a 50,000-word novel in a month. Besides fighting off a cold (I WILL win) and being slightly behind on my word count, I’m doing pretty good.
Going into the final ten days of the challenge, I have a definite plan: write 3,000 words per day for the next four days (Thanksgiving included) to get caught up with my word count and then continue my daily writing routine into the home stretch. This will be the first time I’ll have completed the challenge and I’m psyched! Read more