Understanding the Role of Subplots When Structuring Your Story

You often find writers and reviewers speaking of a story’s layers — whether they viewed those layers as in-depth or lacking. Layers might be defined as the presence of subplots. Subplots, when broken down, are often scenes strung together that reveal a closer look at a hero’s personal life in a way that exposes deeper [...]

The Right Kind of Drama in the First Five Pages

(…Yes, there’s a Wrong Kind.) If there’s one big place to easily make mistakes in setting up scene, it’s in the beginning pages of a novel. Of course, as story-tellers, our desire is to grip our readers with something memorable in those first five pages — something dramatic. We’ve all been told how important it [...]

Writing Lesson 3.28_A Writer’s Biggest Job

A few days ago someone on Facebook said, “Write to be pleasing, but never to please.” I could sort of go with that in the sense that we shouldn’t form our words only to give people what they want to hear. But how does one write to be pleasing? I’ve also heard two other seemingly [...]

Writing Lesson 3.23_ Beginning with Theme in Mind

I recently viewed a movie with a refreshingly brilliant script. Sadly I can’t recommend the movie by title because Hollywood felt compelled to add explicit scenes, but let me see if I can describe why the movie impressed me. The writer began with the theme in mind: “Communication is more about understanding each others’ hearts [...]

Writing Lesson 3.19 – Say What…?

I just read this headline: Icebreaker Makes Push to Reach Iced-In Alaska City and my caring nature*, couple with my earnest desire to be reassured of the imminent safety of my stranded fellow countrymen, forced me to click and read the article immediately. *ahem, yes, sarcasm…but really, I DID click. Within three paragraphs I learned [...]