Developing Themes In Your Stories: Part 10 –The Act II Crisis - DIY MFA. There comes a point in every story when, despite the protagonist’s best efforts, everything goes wrong.
The midpoint taught her to take an improved approach to achieving her story goal. But that won’t protect her from experiencing the worst possible setback in her pursuit. Now her goal seems unattainable, her task insurmountable – and the protagonist hits her emotional rock-bottom.
Writing Great Endings. By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy This week’s Refresher Friday takes a heavily revised look at creating great endings for your novel’s climax, chapters, and scenes.
Enjoy! Since the ending is the last thing readers read, it often determines how much they like the novel. A fantastic story with a lousy ending can ruin a book, just as a ho-hum novel with an amazing ending can have readers raving. But don’t forget—scenes have endings, too, as do chapters, and of course, the ending of the novel itself. Writing Great Novel Endings Novels end when the core conflict of the story is resolved. "Satisfying" can mean anything. Also keep in mind that what works for a standalone book is different from a book in a series. If you’re unsure about your ending, ask: 1. Planting the Clues and Hints in Your Story.
By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy This week’s Refresher Friday takes an updated look at blazing the trail of clues in our novels.
Enjoy! We’ve all read stories where clues were so seamlessly dropped in along the way that until the big secret was revealed, we never even realized they were there. But when we finally did, all the pieces of the story fell into place and we were awed by the skill in which that trail had been created. Those writers made it look easy, as if they knew from page one what clue went where and how it would all come together in the end. I’m sure there are writers out that who really do write that way, but for many of us, those clues are either planned ahead of time, inserted after the fact, or happy accidents. Seven Maxims of Storytelling, Part One. “First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him!”
— Ray Bradbury Plight: The Source of Your Story At the heart of every story lies a plight. Notice that it’s not a question. Your protagonist has a plight. Become a Story Genius: How Your Character's Misbelief Drives The Plot - WRITERS HELPING WRITERS® We’re welcoming story coach Lisa Cron to the blog today.
Her new book, Story Genius, released not long ago and is traveling toward me via drone, or spaceship, or whatever thing Amazon’s using these days. I can’t wait for it to arrive.
Words and Grammar. Tips. Here's a novel outline that contains the common elements of Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Twilight. I am researching the common elements present in the first books of Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games and figuring out why they work.
I started outlining the shared traits of all three books below. BEGIN “DREARY HOMELAND” FOR CHAPTERS 1 THROUGH 4.5 (the average separation period occupies the first 21% of the example novels) BEGIN “AWFUL-AWESOME LAND” FROM CHAPTER 4.5 TO 19.5 (the average initiation period occupies the middle 71% of the example novels) BEGIN “HOMEWARD BOUND” SECTION FROM CHAPTER 19.5 UNTIL THE END (the average return period occupies 8% of the end of the example novels. WRITING TOOLS. Character Pyramid Tool (PDF) Visualize your character’s FLAWS & associated behaviors (for a deeper understanding of this tool, please reference The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Flaws) Character Target Tool (PDF) Organize and group your character’s POSITIVE ATTRIBUTES by category: moral, achievement, interactive or identity (for a greater understanding of this tool, please reference The Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Attributes) Character Profile Questionnaire (PDF) Not your average character questionnaire!
Reverse Backstory Tool (PDF) Work backwards to find your character’s wound, needs & lie (for a deeper understanding of this tool, please reference The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Flaws) Weak Verb Converter Tool (PDF) Transform all those generic, boring verbs into power verbs Scene Revision/Critique Tool Level 1 & Level 2 (PDF) A ‘light’ and ‘in-depth’ revision checklist for creating compelling characters and scenes. Passive Voice. What this handout is about This handout will help you understand what the passive voice is, why many professors and writing instructors frown upon it, and how you can revise your paper to achieve greater clarity.
Some things here may surprise you. We hope this handout will help you to understand the passive voice and allow you to make more informed choices as you write. Myths So what is the passive voice? 1. Use of the passive voice is not a grammatical error. 2. The passive voice entails more than just using a being verb. 3. And Pretty Words All in a Row: Tightening Your Narrative Focus.
By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy First drafts are typically messy.
We let our creativity guide us and the story goes where the story goes. It’s not uncommon for a first (or even second) draft to be a bit all over the place. Eventually we’ll get to a point where it’s time to tighten, not only the prose, but the narrative as well. It’s time to look at your narrative focus. Narrative focus is the theme or idea that ties a sentence, paragraph, scene, chapter, and book together. Sentences Have you ever read a run-on sentence? Bob ran for the car, jumping over the barrel of firecrackers he still couldn’t light, trying to ignore Sally screaming that she’d never leave the keys in the ignition and he was looking in the wrong place.
Um, what? Do you have any idea what this sentence is trying to say? Try keeping the focus of each topic together.