Writing Lesson 23 – Framing Your Story

Story Structure Structure in your story is like the frame of a house. It both holds it together and gives it shape. Sometimes we creative types don’t appreciate the word structure. We may view it as something to stifle our imagination.  However, structure doesn’t need to bind you, and it can be an essential tool […]

Writing Lesson 16 – Picking Ripe Characters

Stories Start on the Brink of Change When you’re thinking about the characters for your story, choose ripe characters. Concoct a man who is on the brink of a choice. Or a woman who must make a moral decision, say between saving her job or exposing a lie. A ripe character stands on the precipice […]

Writing Lesson 14 – Maddening Middles

A Novel is More than a Beginning and an End Here are some novel facts: Most average novels run between 55,000-80,000 words. A “long novel” is considered to be a novel upwards of 80,000 words and stopping at about 100,000. No matter how you hammer them on the page, that’s a lot of words. When, […]

Writing Lesson 12 – Creating Inner Conflict

Creating Emotion in Writing Almost every writing class or craft book will tell you the same thing: fiction must create a compelling emotional experience. The problem is these teachers also let you know that if your character cries, the reader probably won’t. So how do you build this emotion? Simply writing highly emotional phrases such […]

Writing Lesson 7 – Your Hero’s Outer and Inner Journey

The Hero’s Outer Journey A compelling hero takes two journeys in a story. The outer journey follows the plot line. It includes the goal, motivation and conflict we’ve already discussed. It begins with his goal and the steps he takes to reach that goal. Make sure you make the goal a seemingly impossible objective. A […]