Pacing, Plotting, and Causality

Plotting is in the story itself, it’s the logic, causal concatenation of events (note: not casual.) Pacing is how the writer unravels the story. First, what makes up a good plot? Interesting characters doing either interesting things, or placed in challenging situations that test their beliefs and resolve is what keeps readers turning pages. But is […]

Creating Characters

Alice Walker said that while she was writing The Color Purple her characters gave her back talk about how they should or should not act. I experience that with my virtual companions, too, and I’m sure you do the same. So, how do we as writers develop believable characters? We can’t always wait until one sits […]

Just Show, Don’t Tell and Show

New and not-so-new writers often fall in the trap of depriving their readers the subconscious pleasure of discovering the story by telling too much. When we tell, we limit our readers.  Telling is the lazy way out, but when we show our readers, we engage their senses and mind; we pull them into our words. […]

Dealing with Grief

Witnessing real grief is easy. Turn on the news. An Iraqi father holds his dead daughter, a Palestinian woman looks numb as she sits on the rubbles of her house and tells of the hacking of her family and how she is the only survivor. Anyone who has seen FAHRENHEIT 9/11 by Michael Moore remembers the mother of […]

Add Symbols to Add Depth

The use of symbols is one way to increase the depth of your writing. Many a doctoral thesis has been written on symbolism and there are many that still can be written. This post will only skim the surface to plant a seed, the expression ‘plant a seed’ being a symbol itself, albeit a trite one. However, […]

The Dreaded Writers Block

Writers who claim writers block doesn’t exist, never had it. Those who have spent days, weeks, and months not being able to put their thoughts down on paper, know it exists. There isn’t a writer in the world who hasn’t had problems—at one time or another—finding the right word or idea. Those who write columns […]

Writer’s Doubt Syndrome – WDS

In these last years, I met with many developing writers (aren’t we all). Some have found agents and publishers, others are not even looking for such an experience and swear for the independent publishing revolution. Some us have been offered publishing contracts and refused to sign the constraining clauses. No matter where the writers are in their […]

Is Writing an Act of Courage, or a Leap of Faith?

“What am I doing?” Is there anyone who at one time or another hasn’t questioned why he’s hitting keys of a hot computer’s keyboard? Do you have to dig to find the strength to keep going when you reread your work and feel it might have been better if you had hit the keys with your feet? […]

Location, Location, Location

 A French novel, from a mainstream author, fell into my hands. Although I had no problems with the vocabulary, the writer started the scenes without providing any idea of the environment where the action took place. To make it worse, he or she did not identify who was speaking. I wasn’t even sure if the character was male or […]

Pump Up Your Descriptions

Descriptions put readers into your story while engaging all their senses — sight, sound, smell, taste, feel. If dialogues move the plot forward, descriptions flesh out scenes. Victorian writers over described scenes and gave credence to the statement “That’s more than I need to know.” However, the selective use of details adds to the description. The most […]

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