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 #70 The Hero’s Journey

Hold on, this is gonna be a wild ride. I’m gonna take you on a journey—the hero’s journey—in 800 words or less. When I teach this, it’s a six-week course! I can do twelve hours of lecture and worksheets on this topic, so this will be very basic. First off, it’s important to know that […]

Lesson #68 Creating Complex characters

Before we dive into today’s lesson, I have a message to pass along from you from Kim. She’s been…hmmm…how do I sum this up? Kim spent a couple weeks in the hospital with various, terrifically painful conditions, and she’s not done having surgeries yet. There. That’s fairly succinct. She promises to have her lessons up […]

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 #22: Villains

Antagonists AKA Villains We’re moving into… *dramatic music* villains! What is a villain, exactly? Well, another name for a villain is “antagonist” – that is, someone who is against the “protagonist” (our hero.) Thus, the villain is the character who is against or opposed to (conflicting with) the hero. Heroes and villains have been conflicting […]

Lesson #19: Heroes

You know what to do! Grab your pen and paper, computer, notebook, and/or whatever else you like to write with. For the month of May, we’ll be covering characters – heroes/heroines, villains, secondary characters, and minor characters. In this lesson, we’re going to discuss the different types and characteristics of heroes/heroines. In Lesson #20, we’ll […]