Email class on character strengths and flaws, and how they're actually the same! Jan 18-Feb 22
Here's a rare chance in January to take an email class with Alicia Rasley. Link: Western New York Chapter. (Scroll down till you see my name.)
Being, Doing, Becoming – The Heroic Flaw and the Heroic Journey Jan 18- Feb 22
Nature abhors perfection – and so does the story. Fiction, like nature, is all about change. So in a story, heroism requires more than being perfectly heroic, and even more than committing heroic acts. It also requires the ability to change under pressure, to grow into someone better even if it hurts.
In the same way, creating a heroic character requires more of the author than merely creating a perfectly brave protagonist and inventing exciting events to showcase those powers and skills. It requires providing the protagonist the need to change, the courage to change, the opportunity to change, and the motivation to change.
The imperfect protagonist makes the three-dimensional story possible. The character moving through the external plot is a story of only two dimensions. The internal journey, the process towards psychological or emotional or life change, provides the depth that takes this story into three dimensions. In this interactive workshop, we’ll explore how you can determine your own character’s heroic flaw, and use it to develop a meaningful opening, a powerful journey, and a dramatic and satisfying ending.
I'm not going to be doing email courses after this, so if you're interested, this is your chance. Here's the link: Alicia Rasley's Workshop -- $40
The Story Journey: Where Character and Plot Meet
What's the story journey? It's the basis of the story, the fundamental element that determines everything else. And each story, like our own life journeys, is a unique combination of elements.
In my articles, my books, my newsletters, my courses, and my coaching, I'll help you discover the uniqueness of your own story-- and develop it through your character journeys and plot events.
- Invitation: NaNo challenge support group? Anyone interested?
- Now in the public domain! Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods”! Finally!
- Attribution, the No-lose Way to Use Other People’s Wisdom and Avoid Plagiarism
- The Oxford Comma, Robert Frost, and Comma Suicide
- Who Cares? Character Values and Conflict
- Who Cares? Character Values and Conflict
- SmartBlogger post about Stephen King on writing
- Who said that???? Quote investigator site
The Character- Plot Journey
Braiding the Character with the Plot
If you think of the plot as the protagonist's journey, you can overcome a lot of the Fear of Plotting. So let’s talk about the journey, and then connect it to the parts of the plot.
WHAT IS HIS/HER JOURNEY? Read more!
Sneaky Plot Problems: The Top 10 Countdown (FREE)
Plot Problem #10: Backstory Blunders
The past is prologue, for sure, but you can tell too much too soon dragging your plot down, if everything about the characters' past is explained right upfront in Chapter One. (Click here for more problems.)
Five Bad Habits of Good Writers
1. Bad habit: Thinking that you have only one book in you. Many writers start out because they want to tell one particular plot, a story that’s been inside them for a long time. They write that story in a white heat, and then… then what? Are they done being a writer now that they’ve written that one book? No. Other bad habits here!
Three Quick Tricks to Powerful Pacing
I think of pacing as making sure that important events happen frequently enough that the reader doesn't get a chance to quit reading. That doesn't mean every scene has a turning point, but every scene has to have some event that affects the overall plot, or that scene is basically "skippable". And every scene can help set up for a later turning point.
There should be some measurable change that happens because of this event. I have to say, as soon as I started applying this rule, my pacing picked up, because the plot had more events and more changes. Read more about pacing.
Here are a few quick tips for creating dazzling dialogue.
#1 Keep it short
Three to four lines between "--", then insert an action, change speakers, switch to a quick thought. This creates more white space, suggests more movement, forces you to be cogent and quick.
More Than a Hook: The Scene’s First Paragraphs (FREE)
There’s a trend recently that calls for opening each scene "in media res"— with some kind of clever line (the "hook"), or sudden action or a line of dialogue. This can be effective in drawing the readers in, but keeping them in requires more than clever lines. It requires a paragraph or two that anchor the scene in some specific place, time, and situation.