Conveying emotions in your work can be difficult, but it’s an important part of the craft. Offering insight into your characters’ feelings helps your reader develop empathy for them. When a character experiences an event, you want your readers to feel something, too. How you choose to convey your characters' emotional responses can influence the way your readers feel about your characters and… read more
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)
The Point-of-View (POV) is the perspective lens through which your reader… read more
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.Conquering the Beast
Also known as "Overcoming the Monster", this story structure focuses on an underdog who must face a great threat or evil. The format is extremely … read more
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.
In Western literature, traditional storytelling formats are largely inherited from classical, or Greco-Roman structures, which… read more
Once all the hard work of completing the very first draft of your novel is complete (yay!), and you’ve had the time to give it a look-over and fix all the spelling errors, typos, and other general first-draft inconsistencies and issues, the next thing you’ll likely want to do before you send the book off to editors/agents/publishers is to have a fresh pair of eyes look over the book and give… read more
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… read more
My last post on this topic covered worldbuilding with a purpose, so now I'd like to explore the opposite approach. The truth is that not all stories need extensive worldbuilding, especially when they take place in familiar settings and not on imaginary worlds or some high-flying epic environment. But sometimes you want to do it anyway. Maybe you do it because it's fun, or you're… read more
Genre is a literary term used to describe categories of fiction. You'll recognize the popular ones, which turn up as special sections at your favorite bookstore: science fiction, fantasy, romance, mystery, and horror. It's is a handy way to group similar types of stories, but genre is often misunderstood. For example, many authors and readers assume that genres are fixed and… read more
Unpublished writers often wonder how putting some of their work up for free online will affect their writing career. Will it hurt or help? Well, in my case it eventually led to my first book deal. Here’s how everything went down.
In 2017 I started serially posting a novel to Wattpad (the world’s leading online story-sharing site) and as of January 2020 that same book became… read more