Tagstructure

Getting Unstuck: Up the Conflict and Make a Decision

I’m deep in the throes of writing the second installment of the WITCH CITY series, WITCH CITY: VISIONARY. Being human – just like you, and yes, I mean you, I hit a plot point and got stuck. It took me a few days to find a way past this block and I think some of […]

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Throwing the Patterns Away

I’ve mentioned story patterns before – back in On Patterns and Story we dove deep into the topic. Today I’d like to take another look at the subject and talk about when and why you should throw the patterns away. Learning the Ropes Many of us have an idea how stories work when we start […]

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The Secret Adaptation Formula

Every so often I meet other writers who hear I write novels, comics and screenplays. They’re interested in taking their work from one format and adapting it to another. This is a great exercise and you can learn so much about writing when you do this. I saw one poster in a Facebook group I […]

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Group Dynamics in Fiction

Most stories will revolve around more than one character. Sure, you’ll have one character who’s central to the story and who basically owns it – but you need more people for this character to interact with. This is the ensemble and today we’re going to talk about what makes a good cast of characters. Case […]

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Story Anti-Patterns – And How to Fix Them

In programming we have a concept called an anti-pattern. This is a flawed approach at fixing a problem that causes more problems than the original issue it attempted to fix. Because of their ubiquitous nature, they’re pretty well documented (read: lots of people do this). When it comes to writing there are some anti-patters to […]

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The First Few Pages

While doing some research for a project, I stumbled across an interesting post over on Be Kind Rewrite. The 21 Best Tips for Your Opening Scene has some good advice. Check it out if you have a chance. And along these lines, I thought I’d reiterate some of my thoughts on this critical portion of […]

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Smart People – Bad Decisions

A colleague downloaded and read a copy of THE TRIP. He had a few questions for me – and I think the answer to one of them could help you aspiring writers out there. So lean in, we’re taking a deeper dive into drama here. When Smart People Make Bad Decisions The Trip is set […]

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The Strong Character

In a good story, the audience will bond with the characters and care about them as the journey progresses. When they hurt, the audience cries for them. When they succeed the audience cheers for them. At the end of the story, they’re hungry for more. So how do you go about setting up a strong […]

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The Triangle Theory

I’ve heard drama described as two dogs, one bone. Somebody has something that someone else wants. The two will come to blows over it (figuratively or literally) until the winner emerges and walks off with the prize. That’s a pretty good description. I agree with it and if you’re starting out, it’s a good way […]

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In the Middle

This is the second in a three-part series on structure. For more information, see: In the Beginning At Story’s End In the Beginning dealt with the critical first act of your story. This post picks up from there and discusses the next part of your work, the middle. Many writers focus on strong beginnings and […]

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