Getting Closer to the Character

People read stories and go to the movies 70% for the character. We love to peek into other people's lives, even if the other people are mere characters in a book or movie.This last writer's story was filled with dramatic action, which made for an exciting story. I found myself anxious to hear what happened next, and what happened after that. The writer masterfully provided more and more compelling action, and did so seamlessly through consistent cause and effect. The Dramatic Action plot line … [Read more...]

How Personal Themes Affect Your Writing

Mary Cronk Farrell posted a question on the last entry I made:Thank you for sharing your wisdom on theme and giving a story depth. I have just finished the first draft of my mystery novel and am beginning to revise using your plot planner scene tracker. I have no idea what my theme is. Can you give me some ideas about how to tease it out? The characters are working out some conflicts besides the mystery, so I know there is some kind of theme about relationships. But what?Thank … [Read more...]

Giving a Story Depth

Most writers have a preference for one plot line over another. Some are Character-driven writers. Others are Action-driven writers. Some have strengths in both. Not many are Thematic-driven. The deeper meaning of a story comes up out of the story itself over time. Thus, the Thematic Significance plot line is generally saved for the last or is either ignored or overlooked all together. The more aware a writer is about their own personal themes, the more attuned the writer will be in the search … [Read more...]

Yet Another Case of Waxing on For Too Long in the Beginning

The Universal Story Form is made up of three parts: the Beginning, the Middle, the End. Simple, right? Right.The Beginning makes up of 1/4 of the entire page, scene, or word count.The Middle makes up 1/2 of the page count.The End makes up 1/4 of the page countSimple, right? Well, it should be, but sometimes it's not, and for a very simple reason.Often writers go on for too long in the Introductory mode at the Beginning. This is normal. Writers warm up at the Beginning. They get to know their … [Read more...]

Character Development Plot versus Dramatic Action Plot

The writer tells me scene by scene her children's picture book story. As I create her own individual Plot Planner, it becomes obvious how each scene flows one into the next in flawless cause and effect. The tension rises in each scene greater than the scene before. She reads me a couple of short scenes. Her writing is lyrical and her voice unique. I listen intently, becoming more and more immersed in her story. Convinced of the merit to her story, I wonder aloud about her next step -- has she … [Read more...]

Archetypes — People Who Exhibit A Particular Trait Strongly

Archetypes appear more clearly in people who exhibit one trait strongly. I am inclined to study the people I work with. Most plot consultations take place over the phone, so I rely on overt comments and breath, perceived posture, expressions, and movements. For help on a deeper level, archetypes shed meaning. Over and over she laments her uncertainty. She blurts out doubts in herself, her abilities, the actual presence of others. Why bother, she cries out? A writers' life demands more from us … [Read more...]