writing act three

Writing Act Three: Our Hero Accepts the Reality of His Situation

It can be frightening and exhilarating to realize that our story is bigger than we are, that in fact, it does not “belong” to us, that we are simply a...

self-publishing

Opportunities in Self-Publishing

The goal of every first-time novelist is to see her book between covers. The paradox is that when we make this goal more important than the story, we tend to...

humor is not writing funny

Humor Is Not About Writing Funny

Humor connects us. It makes us care. I don’t mean one-liners. Humor is not about jokes, it is about human behavior. It’s a vital aspect of any story, adding depth,...

Storytelling

How to Master Storytelling: Ask the Right Questions

“It is a parable of art that, to be universal, you must be specific. Otherwise, you are just talking about an abstraction. So you have to talk about a particular...

the end of the story

First Time Novelists: The End of the Story Informs the Beginning

In Steven Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he states: “Begin with the end in mind.” For first-time novelists, this is helpful advice. But let’s clarify. When...

Myths that Prevent Us from Writing

Myths that Prevent Us from Writing

There are myths that prevent first-time novelists from not only completing their novels, but from even getting started. Some of these myths are concocted by the world out there, and...

90-Day Novel Writing Course

Twelve Principles of The 90-Day Novel

In creating a story, there are no rules. But there are some basic principles that may help guide the writer to completion of a first draft. When we stay out...

a writer's worst distraction

The Internet: A Writer’s Worst Distraction

Sometimes the deeper we get into our story, the more we seek distraction. The internet will suck the life out of any writer. It will turn the most disciplined among...

theme of the story

The Dramatic Question, or Theme of the Story

Shakespearean plays begin with the chorus telling us what we are about to see. They don’t tell us the whole plot but rather provide a context for the events that...

plot vs. theme

Plot vs. Theme

Any writer can experience that moment where you suddenly realize that your “idea” of the story isn’t going to get you to the end. This moment is initially devastating and...