Ever had days when life feels like a broken-down Rube Goldberg machine? Cobbled together from bits of cast-off junk, limping along, and missing the connections that bring a satisfying result? If you have, you share something with the bulk of humanity. Most of us feel that way at some point.
A person’s life consists of an enormous jumbled mass of cause and effect events, on a scale so huge that connections are rarely obvious or traceable. By contrast, a character’s story is a relevant subset of such events in which the causal relationships are evident. Sometimes overt, and sometimes subtle, but always present if you want to create a story that resonates with readers.
Have you ever fantasized about writing a Hollywood movie? Or maybe, with a bit of luck, create the next Lost.
In a visual age, with the decline of traditional publishing, some look to writing screenplays as a way to create the “literature of the future.”
But what is the process to write a screenplay? How do you even begin? And how is it different or similar to writing a novel? In this post we’re going to look at the five step process professional screenwriters use.
Life is filled with stranger-than-fiction moments. You might be wondering, though, how do you know how to write a book based on a true story? Because in practice, it’s much harder than it sounds, right?
In stories, we get to see the cause-and-effect connections between otherwise random events. We get to experience the deeper meaning in life. We get to see through the chaos of real life and see the underlying pattern.
The literary term for this pattern is story arc, and humans love story arcs.
In this article, we’re going to talk about the definition of story arcs, look at the six most commonly found story arcs in literature, talk about how to use them in your writing, and, finally, study which story arcs are the most successful.
It’s goal-setting season again! Have you set your writing goals for 2021 yet?
Love them or hate them, the idea of setting goals permeates the entire month of January. And most of those goals are “positive.” From physical appearance to self-care to organizing your pantry, it’s all about improving one’s life.
And most of those goals end up in the dumpster before the month’s end.
I have a new approach for you: Set a goal for getting (and overcoming) one hundred literary rejection letters in 2021.
Read on for my very sound reasoning on the subject.
Have you ever felt a rush of writing anxiety when trying to finish your story?
Whether you view this as resistance or low self-esteem, writing anxiety can prevent you from finishing that beautiful, unique story that only you can tell. Here are four common problems that feed writing anxiety and tips on how to overcome them.
Have you ever seen the New Years Resolution episode from Friends? You know the one where Ross wears leather pants, Joey tries to learn how to play guitar, and Rachel tries to gossip less?
If you’re a Friends fan, I’d be shocked if you didn’t know the episode I’m talking about. Rolling Stone even suggested this episode really should be called “‘The One With Ross’ Leather Pants’ because no one else’s 1999 New Year’s resolution produces results as memorable — or disastrous.”
But even though Ross’s leather pants fiasco is what makes the episode, it’s not the only resolution that wins some laughs. Today, let’s focus on brainstorming some New Year writing prompts to kickstart your writing year with some humor.
If you’re reading this, you have goals. Maybe you have fitness goals or goals for your family. Maybe you even have writing goals.
But how do you write goals that actually work, that actually help you accomplish the things that you set out to do?
In this post, I’ll share my comprehensive goal writing process, the same process that has helped me finish twelve books, publish over 2,000 blog posts, and reach over twenty million people with my writing over the last eight years.
We’ve seen movies and read books. We know the protagonist when we see her. However, as I mentor and edit authors, I’ve had more and more writers ask me the big question: “Can you have multiple main characters in a story?”
Perhaps you’ve heard the old publishing proverb: The first page sells the book; the last page sells the next book. I’m convinced there’s a mammoth grain of truth in that. The beginning and the end of any story are critical elements that you really want to nail.
Today, we’re going to focus on how to start a story—in other words, how you can craft a spectacular beginning that will hold readers spellbound and get them to turn that first all-important page.
“Strong” is a word we often hear when describing good characters. But how do you create a strong character for your story? What makes the difference between a character your readers root for and one they forget?
Strong can mean many things. It might mean they’re intelligent like Hermione, resilient like Katniss, have exceptional physical strength like Hercules, or are cunning like Sherlock Holmes. And while all of these characters have different strengths, they all successfully encourage readers to get behind them and their pursuit of their endeavors.
Creating characters that readers view as strong is not an easy task. Here is one quick writing tip to help you write them.
What if you could begin your novel without the fear of failing? What if you had a process so foolproof, you knew you would finish no matter what? The zombie apocalypse could finally strike and you’d still finish writing your novel.
The good news is you’ve found the write place (sorry, bad habit).
We recently talked about how long your blog posts should be. Today, let’s talk about how to write a blog post that helps you accomplish your writing goals, and the three blog post templates that can help you accomplish this.
One of the greatest challenges of writing better stories is knowing exactly which scenes to write. The best scenes focus on the core elements of conflict — which means before you can write amazing scenes, you have to find the conflict in a story.
Strong scenes come from strong plans. And visualizing the conflict between your characters is a great way to do just that.