I have a transition in my current work-in-progress that has been giving me headaches for a while now. It shouldn't be so difficult—I'm just moving the main character from one scene location to another—but every time I try to revise it, I still get that niggling “this isn't working” feeling. And, okay, I've had readers … Continue reading 10 Suggestions for Writing Transitions
We are excited to welcome our newest contributor Patricia Friedrich! In a recent workshop with the wonderfully talented Lisa Cron, whose book Story Genius I had read, I learned something about my love of big words. It turns out that, whereas my big words had helped me in my academic career, they were at times … Continue reading The Time & Place for BIG WORDS
When I first started writing, I was working in romantic comedy. I didn’t really need to plot. We all know how those go: a “meet-cute” followed by a series of internal and external obstacles that keep the two characters apart, a kiss near the mid-point to show us why they should be together, more obstacles, … Continue reading Confessions of a Reformed Pantser
When building characters, a lot of people like to create dossiers or put their characters through personality tests to get to know them better. While knowing your character’s favorite food, color, and song might be helpful, there are some deeper traits that are useful to uncover while planning or before revising our characters. My favorite … Continue reading Core Motivators: Building characters and ensembles
Next Tuesday, my sophomore novel, Paper Chains, will be released into the world. In the weeks ahead, I’ve got school visits, a book festival, a writing conference, a library event, and the high-profile privilege of being interviewed by a fourth grader (one of the perks of writing for kids.) This particular fourth grader asked some really … Continue reading Story Soup -or- Where Do You Get Your Ideas?
Characters in stories inhabit a spectrum of morality that inform their motives. On the one end are pure heroes, like Superman, Captain America, and Marge Gunderson in Fargo, who live by a strict moral code and who always do the right thing for the reasons. On the other end are pure villains, like Sauron, the … Continue reading The Antihero’s Journey
I have been *slowly* working through the lessons of Aaron Sorkin’s Masterclass. It wasn’t a difficult decision for me to take it because The American President is one of my favorite movies and The West Wing has yet to be beat out of its spot for best TV show (though Madam Secretary is currently a … Continue reading When Is Your Character Real?