writing basics

September 23, 2021

At this point you should have your story's mold and sand to fill it. Now you are ready to create your narrative lens, and the way you shape it provides more than just a point of view.  You can use voice to convey many things in a story. For example, it's an especially good way to impart vital information, helping you avoid the dreaded infodump. 

Character Background 

August 24, 2021

This is the second part of our discussion on narrative vocabulary and tone.  To get the full context, start here: Narrative Voice: Vocabulary Choice and Tone (Part One) Part One focuses on vocabulary choice and ways to shed light on your characters' inner thoughts and world view through the language they use.

What is “Tone”? 

August 9, 2021

If your characters are the lens through which the reader experiences your story, and you the writer are the glassmaker, then vocabulary makes up the grains of sand which create the glass.  Likewise, tone is the mold into which you pour your hot glass to set the lens.

July 28, 2021

Now that you’ve decided who is going to be telling your reader your story, let’s take a closer look at the technical aspects of how that story is going to be conveyed, and what the impacts of these technical choices may be on a reader’s experience.

Point of View (who is telling your story) 

July 11, 2021

In our last post, we took a look at Christopher Booker's 7 Basic Plots and covered the Journey and Return, Quest, and Rebirth archetypes. We'll cover the final four structures here.  

June 26, 2021

Stories are organized around a sequence of events that contain plot drivers that influence what happens in that section. Throughout time, storytellers have drawn upon common story structures that have evolved within their culture.

May 21, 2021

One of the marvelous things about being a writer is the ability to tell any story, set anywhere. However, when your create characters and writing settings that don’t approximate your lived experience, there is potential danger that you may appropriate or misrepresent someone else’s culture and life.  

Whether maliciously or accidentally, we can sometimes perpetuate harmful biases in our writing, and the best way to remedy that is by working with a Sensitivity Reader. 

March 13, 2021

Short stories are a great way for up-and-coming writers to get some publishing credits and start to build buzz around their names. But don’t be fooled into thinking that since short stories are well, shorter, they’re easier to write or get published. 

February 20, 2021

Stories are, fundamentally, all about conflict.

In most stories, your protagonist wants something—to change a law or the government itself, to avenge a death, to hook up with the cutie, to dispel a curse—and your antagonist usually wants something that is in direct opposition of whatever the protagonist wants.

From those opposing wants come the narrative conflict and thus plot.

February 14, 2021

The term worldbuilding conjures images of secondary worlds, far away planets, and magic systems, so much so that it has become ubiquitous with writing and game development, particularly within fantasy and science fiction genres. But what exactly is it? How does one go about building a world in the first place? And what do you mean, I should consider worldbuilding even when the world I'm writing about isn't big and fantastical?