2 Dialogue Tips from Studying SitComs: Just Spit it Out


I learned that Sit-Coms just spit it out. On one episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, Raymond’s brother Robert comes over to take the kids to the zoo. Raymond realizes that the kids might even like Uncle Robert more than him. Robert actually spits it out: You’re not a good father. Of course, in a sit-com, […]

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3 Types of Character Arcs: Choose the Best for Your Novel


How Does Your Character Change? You know your character must change somehow over the course of your novel. But how? And more than that, how do you sync the changes with the external plot? The middle of a novel can suffer from the dreaded “sagging middle” and it’s mainly because you don’t have a firm […]

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8 Ways to Enrich Your Character


Character Revision: 8 Ways to Jumpstart a Make Over You have a first draft, but you realize that your character needs work. How do you retrofit a character when you revise? I don’t think of a personality transplant. Instead, I try to add to and enrich a character. Here are 8 suggestions on how to […]

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Develop Sympathy with Character Traits 9


Use Character Traits to Make Your Character Sympathetic Yesterday, we looked at 9 character traits that can be used to develop sympathy for your character. Today, we’ll look at using those traits in your story. It’s not enough just to tell yourself, or write on a checklist, that your character has these traits and is, […]

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interior thoughts

Why did he reach forward? http://www.flickr.com/photos/keenahn/3265008271/

Interior Thoughts Reveal Character I spent time yesterday adding more interior thoughts to a character. My critiquers felt they needed to know the character better at this point in the story. I’ve done the requisite “Show, Don’t Tell,” but readers still felt they needed more to really know the character. What does she FEEL here? […]

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While my WIP novel is out with readers, I thought I’d look at my process for this novel and how it differed from others. Writing Process for Novels Vary Widely Writing process varies. First, my process was different for this novel. I find this to be always true, that what worked for one novel, won’t […]

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Connecting Emotional and Narrative Arcs

Connecting Emotional and Narrative Arcs The emotional arc is the inner conflict; the narrative arc is the outer conflict. How do you get these two arcs to mesh? Peter Dunne, in his book Emotional Structure: Creating the Story Beneath the Plot has a simple suggestion. Dunne says to write the headline of a scene on […]

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