Narrative is the telling of a story, the events and consequences for the characters. Scenes are those passages in a narrative when we, as writers and readers, slow down and focus on an important event in the story so that we are "in the moment" with the characters in action. Scene is Action No matter … Continue reading What is a Scene?
I remember many of the writing teachers I've studied under promoting the virtues of "showing" and not "telling". But what does that mean? They meant that you don't have to tell your readers that the old woman on the park bench is sad; you can show them: The old woman on the park bench wept … Continue reading Verb Pickin’: Showing, Not Telling
Stories are a trip. And like all good trips, it's about the journey, not necessarily about the destination. As writers, it's our job to make the journey as engaging and entertaining as possible. One of our difficulties though, can be the start of the trip, the Exposition. We need to avoid too much Exposition whenever and … Continue reading The Slippery Slope of Exposition
Leafing through the 2013 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market, you might come across an odd term: "High-Concept". If you're at a similar place in your journey to become a storyteller, you might be just as baffled as I am by the term. Thanks to a recent article in Writer's Digest, a little research, and … Continue reading Becoming a Storyteller: High concept, or, Wait–what?
I'm one of Those people. Yep. I'm the guy that'll open a blast email from, say, Writer's Digest, and buy something they're advertising--thus ensuring another blast will clutter any number of inboxes. The item in question this time is a writing book (yes, another writing book) entitled: The Nighttime Novelist by Joseph Bates. This book grabbed … Continue reading Becoming a Storyteller: Building Initial Ideas, or, Get Thee to a Nunnery!
Stephen King, in his seminal work On Writing, says the following about Plotting: "Plot is, I think, the good writer's last resort, and the dullard's first choice." Wait, what? I'm a Plotter! Or, at least, I was until five seconds after I read that line recently. See, these days I've been stuck in neutral, my tires spinning … Continue reading Becoming a Storyteller: Plotter vs Pantser, or, Did Stephen King really just call me a Dullard?
I find myself in a rut these days. It could be any number of things--the fact that I hate my job, the fact that I'm perpetually tired, just regular life getting in the way. I know what I want to do--what I want to write. I tell myself what I'm going to do--what I'm going … Continue reading Helping A Former Student