Lesson #77: Writing the Show-Down

Every story has an ending. Smash-bang stories, however, will have smash-bang endings. By smash-bang, I don’t mean action-packed, surprising, or emotional. (Though a smash-bang ending can be this way). When I say “smash-bang ending,” what I really mean is that the ending is influential and changes the reader, makes the reader contemplative, and/or leaves the […]

Lesson #71: Adding Layers to a Plot

  My dad has a best-seller story idea. Are you ready? He died. They all went home. The end. (That’s not the plot. That’s the book. All of it. *clears throat* He’s not much of a reader…) Though there are many plot “skeletons” and formats we generally use in fiction (as the wonderful example above […]

Lesson #65: Strengthening Characters

In this lesson, we’ll discuss how to strengthen an already-existing character. Check out Lessons #62, #63, and #64 to learn more about strengthening plot, voice, and setting. Questions to Ask Are you editing an old manuscript? Have you transferred a character from one story to another? Are you editing your current manuscript and noticing some […]

Lesson #63: Strengthening Your Voice

  There are two “types” of voices in a story. The author’s voice and the narrator’s voice. In this lesson, we’ll give you some tips on how to strengthen BOTH types of voices. First, let’s define “voice.” (After all, it’s essential to understand voice before you can strengthen it!) I have a best friend. Let’s […]

Lesson #56: Tips for Following Through With Goals/Finishing a Manuscript

As I write this post, I’m sitting on my daughter’s couch looking over at her desk. It’s piled with special pens, highlighters, post it notes, notebooks, and multiple hole punches. In short, my daughter has become a goal-setting, planning, and tracking champion. Her planners have planners which have companion planners. It’s a little overwhelming…and guilt […]