• Character Development

    13 More Mistakes You Could Make When Creating Narrative Voice

      Who is telling your story anyway? What is the point of view? You’ve had a story in your mind for weeks. Maybe you’ve twisted it, pounded it and cut it to pieces. You’ve already made many decisions on how it is to be told. But, have you put thought into the narrative voice? The narrative voice is the voice of the point of view character that tells the story. With a well-drawn point of view character, a story can be rich and interesting. You want to take the time to get this right. Last week, I blogged about 12 big mistakes that you can make in creating a narrative…

  • Character Development

    7 Defense Mechanisms You Could Give To Your Character

    You’ve picked out your character’s eye color, hair color, and favorite ice cream. You have even chosen their personality type, their deep dark secret, and deepest fear. You certainly haven’t ignored their greatest desire and figured out how their objective in the story works with, or against, this desire. So have you thought about adding a few defense mechanisms? A defense mechanism is a way that we handle stress. Defense mechanisms are often involuntary and can be seen as a form of self-deception. Your main character needs one or two because he shouldn’t be perfect. They should have a reason that they react to certain situations certain ways. They also…

  • Beautiful Words,  Character Development,  Craft

    Eight Ways You May Be Bungling Your Dialogue In Your Novel

      “I’m not bungling my dialogue,” you say to yourself. But you’ve had a few complaints from your beta readers about how they don’t like the characters. You’ve been told the story feels dead. While your plot is tight and your pacing is perfect, the characters themselves feel off. The trouble could be your dialogue. Dialogue is the soul of the characters. Dialogue is what brings the story to life for your reader. Are you bungling it? You may be bungling you dialogue if . . .  You’ve forgotten about the influence of setting. Your story’s setting may play a role in the way that your characters speak. But too…

  • Craft,  Organization

    Ten Questions To Ask Before Writing An Interesting Scene

    In a novel, what is a scene? A scene is a small increment of the story that progresses the story forward. A novel is full of them. And while this may seem obvious, they ain’t easy to write. Have you written a scene and not known where to start? Ask yourself these ten questions! The purpose of a scene is to put the characters in a new situation in which they are either pushed toward or pulled away from their objectives. Your scenes are the necessary steps that the characters take for the advancement of the story. Your characters could be in the scene deliberately, say Betty and Veronica arrived…

  • #Top10Tuesday,  Nanowrimo,  Revising and Editing,  Work-In-Progress

    #Top10Tuesday Top Ten Questions To Ask Yourself When You Clean Up Your Nano Project

    Nanowrimo is almost done!! And if you are one of those gold star, overachieving type, you may be wondering what to do with this little project once it’s all over. (This blog will have plenty of advice in December!) But for now, let’s list a few general tips to consider when fine tune that draft. These all have to do with the general story structure and plot –these are big issues. In fact, you can’t do much more with the development of your story until these wrinkles are ironed out. Are you ready to answer some tough questions? (And have a stronger manuscript as a result?) Let’s Go! 1. Does…

  • #Top10Tuesday,  Nanowrimo

    #Top10Tuesday Top Ten Emergency Prompts For Nanowrimo!

    Are you stuck yet? Don’t worry, you will be. When you are, don’t panic!  Don’t worry!  You’ll get through it! If you get stuck, here are ten writing prompts that might send you off on a tangent, help you finish your book! 1. Put your character in an actual emergency. Food allergies, car accident, flash flood, explosive plumbing, gas leak — none of these are planned. You don’t have to plan yours too. And even if it looks rather deux et machina -ish, don’t worry about it. You can always go back and fix it later. 2. What does your character have in his pocket, purse or glove compartment? Candy? A gun? Drugs? A crucifix?…