Writing a Story is Like a Vision Quest

Give birth to the dream of writing a novel-finishing a screenplay-publishing a memoir is like a vision quest  The journey offers the gift of transformation, one that is often deep and profound. Along the way to crafting a story and living a writer’s life, it is easy to get detoured. You find yourself wandering aimlessly and meeting one dead-end moment after another. Whether you're in the flow of writing a story or stalled and blocked, there comes a time in all of our lives when you feel … [Read more...]

21-Days to Goal: How to Be Your Best at the Start of the New Year Starting Today!

The trick to starting off the new year on more solid-footing, begin now.1) Think about how you'd like 2015 to be for yourself personally (I appreciate how difficult the task to separate yourself out from your family and friends and community at large. For this exercise, try). If the entire year feels too daunting, visualize simply the very best January you can imagine for yourself personally.2) Write a long-term - 21day -- goal of the skill(s), belief(s), ability(s), habit(s) you wish to take … [Read more...]

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...]