Examples of the 2 Most Common Templates for Developing Characters

For examples of the 2 most common templates for developing characters I wrote about earlier in Characters in Action-Driven Novels and Those in Character-Driven Stories, I turn to the movies.  A few nights ago, engrossed in The Hundred-Foot Journey directed by Lasse Hallström from a screenplay written by Steven Knight and adapted from Richard C. Morais' 2010 novel The Hundred-Foot Journey, I was struck how perfectly Hassan exemplifies the character-driven profile while Papa Kadam assertively … [Read more...]

Plot Whisperer Martha Alderson’s PlotWriMo: Revise Your Novel in a Month with Literary Agent Jill Corcoran

Seven years ago, I began offering the beta version of PlotWriMo for novelists who were word-drunk from NaNoWriMo. Over the years I refined and perfected the steps to help writers revise all those words generated in November into a compelling story with a plot (and all other novelists and memoirists and screenwriters struggling to create a pleasing stories for readers).Earlier this year, I partnered with Jill Corcoran and incorporated her insight of concept and knowledge about the inside of … [Read more...]

The Universal Story: As Your Story Evolves, You Evolve Too

Universal is characteristic of the whole, covering the entire collective - everyone and everything. Story is an account of events in the evolution of something.  The Universal Story embodies both these parts. An account of events in the evolution of something characteristic of the whole. With no true beginning and no end -- though we often believe we can pinpoint the moment a new life is born, the true end of life -- when you begin writing a story, you jump right into the middle of the … [Read more...]

Plot Twists: What Are They and How to Plot Them

Plot twists engage readers - Twist the dramatic action in an unexpected (and carefully foreshadowed) direction so the protagonist is forced to define new goals and perform difficult tasks - pointing the reader in the direction of her true goal How to plot Plot TwistsAt each of the 4 Energetic Markers, imagine and list five horrible antagonists that create five most horrible events. Look for people and action that feel the most thematically true to the protagonist's ultimate transformation AND … [Read more...]