Plot, Premise and Story

We’ve all been there: staring at the screen or notebook wondering how to write the middle of your story. You’ve built a wonderful world and crafted some deep characters. You might even have done a great job at setting the stage and have a great idea on where you want to end up. You’ve written down a few scenes and they are glorious. But still the flashing cursor looms.

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Momentum: Killer of Blogs

Have you ever had to push a car? It’s not a lot of fun, but it is possible. But you have to make sure that the person inside the car, the person responsible for steering doesn’t do something stupid. Like hit the breaks. That’s what happens when you stop blogging. It is the end of momentum. And in a lot of ways, momentum is your best, and possibly only, friend. Read More

Does TV Rot the Writer’s Brain?

Image by zero-.

Hello, fellow quill-bearers! For your mind-bending pleasure, here is another open-ended dilly of a question:

We’re often told that to be great writers, we must read voraciously. Does the same hold true for television and film? Are there different writing lessons to be learned from watching sitcoms, dramas, and their ilk? What magical insights of word-craft mastery, if any, have you gleaned from the proverbial ‘idiot box’, ‘idiot’s lantern’ and ‘boob tube’? Read More

Romance Versus Erotica

Oh, this is going to be fun! A couple of months ago I wrote ‘The (Not So) Definitive Guide to Romance Novels‘ for Reader’s Carnival . It got me to thinking (I know, a dangerous thing):

What is the difference between a romance novel, erotica and outright porn? Is it simply age group boundaries? Explicitness versus love? Where are the boundaries? Has this changed over time? Putting quality aside, what separates Danielle Steel from E.L. James? Read More

Writing Software and Tools

Writers, like many artisans, love to talk about the tools and techniques of their trade. Honing and tweaking their systems becomes a near-obsession in itself.

I asked a number of writers their opinions on what they use and received no shortage of information. The tools used roughly fall into three buckets, reflecting the larger workflow process from mind-to-notes-to-draft-to-refine: Read More

How Important is Plot Anyway?

Let’s start with a serviceable definition of plot:

A plot is the event or events that are used to insure that you get your story and characters from point A to point Z.

In the sense that all stories move a character along a journey, be it emotional or physical, then most stories have a plot. The plot accents the intersection of events and how they affect your characters. How they react, or, in the case of characters causing conflict, how they instigate that conflict in the first place. A plot should make the reader curious about outcomes. The moment a reader thinks they know everything that is going to happen, they stop reading. Read More

All About Using Images

So, you’ve lovingly tapped out ‘The End’ at the bottom of your masterpiece. Huffing a breath of relief that you’ve done it: your word baby is born and you want to release it to the world. Pass out the cigars.

Post it to a community site for review! Submit it to your favorite e-zine! Post it to your blog! Facebook! Tweet it! Pin it! Read More