Category: Writing

  • Why Does Your Character Do That: A New Look at BackStory

    I’ve written about backstory, flashbacks and dealing with what happens before the story starts several times before. This fall, however I’m taking a new look at backstory. Lisa Cron in Story Genius gives the backstory a whole new life. In particular, Cron asks WHY a character is doing something and then looks to something in […]

  • Interviews: Research for Fiction and Nonfictoin

    Interviews: Research for Fiction and Nonfictoin

    The next time you need information for your story, fiction or nonfiction, pick up the phone. Internet and library research only takes you so far. Sooner or later, you need an expert that means a phone interview. Here’s how to prepare for the interview, conduct the interview and use the interview. First, think about how […]

  • Why People Forget Your Character – And How to Prevent It

    Why People Forget Your Character – And How to Prevent It

    Interesting characters to populate your novel are crucial to your story’s success. And yet, too many times I find myself struggling to remember details of a character in a novel I read last year. Give your characters longevity and notoriety with these techniques. Don’t let more than 40 pages go by without mentioning a character. […]

  • Subplots: Keeping Other Story Lines in Check

    Subplots: Keeping Other Story Lines in Check

    I’m working on a science fiction novel right now, the second book of a trilogy, the Blue Planet Series. Book 1 is done, and Book 2 has a full draft that I’m revising. Book 3 is in outline form. The premise of the series is this: “Earth finally hears from space. “You only live on […]

  • Main Character: Who is Your Protagonist?

    Main Character: Who is Your Protagonist?

    A basic question for every story is this: Who is the main character? Today, many novels alternate POV characters, especially in first person. Or, the novel has an assemblage of characters. This rarely works because the reader needs to have some home base from which to view the story. The choice of a main character […]

  • Research for Your Novel

    Research for Your Novel

    Do you think that research is only for nonfiction writers? Wrong. Novelists must get their facts right, too. Here are some things I research. Characters: Research Psychology and Tropes I often research behavior from a psychologist’s point-of-view. I want to know the typical stages of grief. Or what are some common character traits of a […]