character, General

Emotional Arcs

In every scene of your story, your characters should want something. What they want can vary wildly and often contradicts what other characters want. This is a part of creating conflict and tension. Today however, we’re talking a little bit about actions and reactions. More specifically, we’re discussing how emotional arcs work in scenes. With… Continue reading Emotional Arcs

Exercises

Exercise: Unheard

If you’ve ever had to be in the same room as someone on the phone, you’ve also had a huge chance to listen to half a conversation. The half you hear is just as important as the unheard half. As an exercise: Take a two-person conversation from a story (yours or someone else’s). Designate Character… Continue reading Exercise: Unheard

Exercises

Scene Unsticking Questions

It happens to the best writers. Even in the middle of a draft that’s going well and with a well-detailed outline, sometimes we get stuck on a scene. It might be that we’ve opened a huge plot hole we don’t know how to close. Or, we’ve written our characters into an impossible situation and were… Continue reading Scene Unsticking Questions

General

Music as Inspiration

Music is a universal force. No matter where you go in the world, part of the culture includes songs, instruments and the like. Which is why it should come as no surprise that music can also provide a lot of inspiration. Music, like literature, breaks down into genres. Folk, R&B, country, classical—genres in music as… Continue reading Music as Inspiration

Exercises, writing

How To Start a Story

With the new year opening before us, it's a good time to start thinking about beginnings. More specifically, how to begin a story. Beginning lines and scenes are two of the things that need the most polish and effort put into them, largely because those are the first two things a reader sees when they… Continue reading How To Start a Story