Writing Lesson 2.19 – Discovering the Arc

For centuries, explorers, scientists, and Bible scholars have been hoping to find the resting place and remains of Noah’s Ark. But as writers, we are on another search. We are exploring to find our story or character arc. A story without a compelling arc is unfinished. It lacks conflict. Characters don’t grow. The primary thing [...]

Announcing the 2nd Annual NOVELWritingSite Writer’s Contest!

Sharpen your pencils and recharge the batteries in your laptops! It’s time to begin planning for the 2nd Annual NOVELWritingSite Writer’s Contest! We’ll accept entries April 15-May 1, 2011, so you have about three months to pick your best story ever and brush up the first five pages using the skills you’re learning. Why only [...]

Writing Lesson 2.18 – What Are You Talking About?

If you babysit or have younger siblings, maybe you’ve had a child burst into your presence and start talking a mile a minute. Having no context, you probably stopped said kiddo after a minute or two and asked, “What ARE you talking about?” Readers need context. It would be a mistake to just dive in [...]

Writing Lesson 2.17 – Weasel Phrases

Last month I posted about “weasel words”—those unnecessary words that sneak into your manuscript. These weasels have companions that accompany them. Their friends are phrases or words that spoil the ‘show vs. tell’ aspect of your work. I’m talking about words like: thought                    wondered                    felt knew                        saw                             noticed observed                  realized                      noted [...]