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Craft. Inspiration. Process.

Choice

Choice

Why do we write? Why do we spend months, years, even decades engaged in the solitary act of creating a world on paper with no assurance than anyone will read it, except perhaps our immediate family, ...
Dialogue

Dialogue

“If you have a good ear for dialogue, you just can’t help thinking about the way people talk. You’re drawn to it. And the obsessive interest in it forces you to develop it. You almost can’t help ...
Opposing Argument

Opposing Argument

“The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it.” –  George Bernard Shaw Every story is essentially an argument ...
The Arc of a Scene

The Arc of a Scene

“I exhort you also to take part in the great combat, which is the combat of life, and greater than every other earthly conflict.” – Plato Hi Writers, In the rewrite, we seek to make our story as ...
But That is What Really Happened

But That is What Really Happened

“Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson In writing fiction we inevitably come to that moment that is lifted directly from our real life. Fidelity to real life events can ...
How Do I Begin?

How Do I Begin?

“A novel’s whole pattern is rarely apparent at the outset of writing or even at the end; that is when the writer finds out what a novel is about and the job becomes one of understanding and, ...
The True Nature of Our Characters

The True Nature of Our Characters

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin Good writing is a synthesis of ideas and instincts working in concert. ...
Backstory

Backstory

“The past is prologue.” – William Shakespeare When we are feeling stuck, it is inevitably because some part of our backstory is unclear. Backstory refers to what happened before ...
Staying Connected to the Source

Staying Connected to the Source

“To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination.” – Albert Einstein The rewrite uses the left and right brain ...
Humor in Tragedy

Humor in Tragedy

If you’re going to write a tragedy, infuse your story with humor. Humor pulls us towards the characters and makes us care. It also ensures that your ending will resonate. Tragedy is not about a ...
Conflating Characters

Conflating Characters

 Sometimes we’ve written characters that don’t belong in our story because their function is redundant. The character may be engaged in conflict that doesn’t add anything new to the story. In ...
Building Sentences

Building Sentences

“You become a good writer just as you become a good joiner: by planing down your sentences.”– Anatole France There are no rules that limit the length of a sentence, but when our ...
Own Your Work

Own Your Work

Just because you might be a first-time novelist, it doesn’t mean you’re not the authority over your work. No agent, publisher, or film producer knows more about the inner workings of your story than ...
The Great American Novel

The Great American Novel

Every American writer secretly dreams of writing the “Great American Novel.”What is the Great American Novel? It’s a book that captures the zeitgeist, that taps into something intrinsic to our ...
Our Characters are Malleable

Our Characters are Malleable

“Nothing changes more constantly than the past; for the past that influences our lives does not consist of what happened, but of what men believe happened.”– P.L. Berger In the rewrite we&; ...
Begin Your Novel

Begin Your Novel

There are as many ways to begin your novel as there are ways to procrastinate. Beginning your novel is easier than you think. All you have to do is sit down, get out a sheet of paper, and give ...
One Thing Readers Hate

One Thing Readers Hate

One thing readers hate are coincidences. Sure, coincidences occur in our lives every day, but in a story, they are generally a problem. Readers lose interest when coincidence leans in the’ ...
Take Risks

Take Risks

Writing your first novel is sort of like, well — there’s a first time for everything. It’s scary and exciting, and you’re not quite sure if you’re doing it right. Here’s something to remember in ...

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HOW TO BUILD A STORY

The 7 Maxims