“In a hole in the ground, there lived a Hobbit…” With these words J.R.R. Tolkien launched an epic fantasy that has thrilled generations of readers. Yet he chose to begin his story with not with action nor with characters, directly, but with setting. Why? Because in some stories, such as this one, setting is so […]

Weather and Character Emotions

Autumn is my favorite time of the year. I love the crisp cool days and bright blue skies. Can this feeling translate to writing? Weather can become an important item to set the temperament of the scene or the entire novel. In the movie “Blade Runner,” a Harrison Ford film just after his “Star Wars” […]

Crafting Better Beginnings

(Part Two ) Opening Hooks and Setting Scenes that Don’t Get Weighted Down In Part One of CRAFTING BETTER BEGINNINGS, I gave examples of using too much back story, of actually polluting our story openings with information dumps. Today we’ll talk about opening hooks and setting scene. One of the big problems with poor beginnings […]

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 2.26 – Descriptive Writing

Readers of my book Grow Old With Me often comment about my descriptive writing style. I love to pull the reader into the scene and the story world by showing them what my characters experience. Benjamin looked over the valley as he retrieved tools from the back of his truck. That gets the message across. […]