Tag Archive 'CRAFT'

What Do Your Readers Know and When Do They Know It?

As any good operative can tell you, information is power.  Whether you’re dropping bombshells on your readers, teasing them with hints and suggestions, or letting them know ahead of time that disaster is approaching, you control their reactions by how and when you dole out the facts.  So how do you best wield the power […]

Tying Character Types to Plot, Suspense, and Emotion

Our guest today is Jeanne Cavelos, creator of the Odyssey Writing Workshops Charitable Trust, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization devoted to helping developing writers of fantastic fiction improve their work. A writer, editor, scientist, and teacher, Jeanne began her professional life as an astrophysicist, working in the Astronaut Training Division at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, but […]

Surviving a Drought

I was sitting in D.C.’s Lincoln Theater about three months ago, listening to The Milk Carton Kids and Sarah Jarosz, talented folk musicians who sing some of the most gorgeous harmonies I’ve ever heard. The theater itself is a visual concert—a beautiful 1920’s-era building, with gold ceilings and crystal chandeliers and lovely arched moldings and […]

The World According to You

How do you see the world?  Is it the Land of Milk and Honey or The Hunger Games?  Is the glass half empty or half full?  Is our human existence hilarious, serene, tragic or full of hope?  Do you sort, filter, organize and understand everything around you primarily through feelings, family, cost versus benefit, politics, […]

Corrections Are Good: How to Take Critique Like a Dancer

Today’s guest is Kim Bullock whose novel-in-progress (working title The Oak Lovers) has already been receiving praise. Historical fiction author Stephanie Cowell says this, “I’ve seldom read a novel with such intense passion. I was unable to put down The Oak Lovers; this is a riveting book.” The story, based on family member Carl Ahrens […]

Forthwringing Tonguishness

A client recently asked me why English is so bizarre.  She was trying to explain its quirks to a precocious, bi-lingual eight-year-old, and not doing very well.  Not that I did much better – English is a genuinely freaky language, with random spelling rules, no particular sentence structure, and far more words than any reasonable […]

What the Incredible Hulk Can Teach Us about Emotion in Fiction

Today’s guest is Harrison Demchick, an award-winning, twice-optioned screenwriter, and author of the literary horror novel The Listeners. Harrison came up in the world of small press publishing, working along the way on more than three dozen published novels and memoirs. An expert in manuscripts as diverse as young adult, science-fiction, fantasy, mystery, literary fiction, women’s […]

Stirring Higher Emotions

What was the most emotional day of your life?  Google for people’s stories and you’ll read a lot that are probably like your own: birth, death, betrayal, trauma, marriage, divorce, miscarriage, failure, second chance, recovery, a dream achieved, a confession of love, getting a helping hand. Now, those are events.  Let’s look at the emotions […]

Creating Unforgettable Characters

I’m fascinated by personality tests, you know, the kind you run across all the time online or in magazines. I’ve taken the Myers-Briggs test twice (I’m an INFJ), the Keirsey Temperament Test (also an INFJ) and studied the Enneagram (I’m a 2). And while all of this is fodder for good cocktail party conversation and […]

What Media Do You Study for Storytelling?

Every year or so, I re-read Stephen King’s The Stand and Bag of Bones. King may not be master wordsmith or inspiration by your reckoning, but he is by mine. I love those books. I don’t read these novels for enjoyment anymore, however; I read them to study King’s storytelling. King’s earthy writing style, memorable […]