• End of Act I: 5 Functions Determine Plot

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    In traditional jargon, Act 1 ends with a plot point that pushes the protagonist irretrievably into committing to the action of the story. The problem with writing is that the Plot Point at the end of Act 1 could be anything. At least at the beginning of the writing process. In reality, that plot point is ...

  • Fight Scenes: The Waltz of Death

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    You are thinking you need a fight scene in your novel. The most important question is "Why?" Your novel and the specific situation in a particular scene must demand some sort of physical interaction between characters. But don't think that the physical is the end-all of the scene; instead, a fight scene is an opportunity ...

  • Choose the Right Point of View

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    It’s a basic question: what is point of view and when do you use which point of view (or POV) in a novel? Point of view refers to the basic outlook of your story, who narrates it. First-person POV is firmly in a character’s head and told as if the character was narrating the action. It ...

  • 15 Minute Writing Tasks

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    Besides writing, my passion is making quilts. Now, this is a complex undertaking and takes time. I've learned to break the tasks into small chunks, something doable in only 15 minutes. For example, I cut one fabric one day, another fabric the next. I might sew quilt pieces together one day, and the next day ...

  • 5 Tips for Great Series Titles

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    I am working on a new early chapter series (more details after the contract is signed!) and the first step is to nail down a series title. What Makes a Good Series Overall Title? Here's some of the criteria we are thinking about as we work on a series title. Search Engines. The title must be easy ...

  • Think Like a Writer: TOC

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    The 31-day Think Like a Writer series challenges writers to write at least 750 words each and every day for a month. I used the website 750words.org, but you can do it with pencil and paper or on your computer. These creative writing prompts are meant to be "morning pages" or practice in Thinking Like ...