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Tag Archives: Writing Rules

On Writing Technique: Scene and Sequel

Tweet Last week I told you all about classical scene structure for novels. The core of it is that the scenes driving your story should always be tightly focused on a direct conflict between two characters, and the scene should end in catastrophe for the protagonist. One More Word on Catastrophe Now…there is a great […]

On Writing Technique: Conflict and Catastrophe

Tweet Okay, I’ve been mentioning my Master of Professional Writing program left and right, but I want to say up front that full credit for the information in this week’s and next week’s posts goes to Deborah Chester. She’s the professor teaching my Writing the Novel class, and a lot of these ideas come straight […]

What I Learned About Writing This Week…from Disappointing Reads

I’m a quitter. I’ll admit it. I’ve decided that I don’t have time to finish books I’m not enjoying. Over the last month, I have picked up and almost immediately set down again two novels in particular…

On Reading Like a Writer: How to Write within Your Genre

Tweet This week we’re talking about becoming a better writer through your reading, and yesterday I talked about a college class I’m taking on that very topic. So far we’ve read How to Train Your Dragon, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, The Cinderella Deal, and First Lady. I don’t really read much young […]

On Reading Like a Writer: Better than Expected

Tweet It’s time for another post about my dad. Before we dive in, let’s have a brief review: He’s an accomplished debater, and wins every fight with sheer Dadness He’s always been a natural storyteller He spent a long time wanting to write a book, and I spent a long time telling him he should […]

On Visual Storytelling: How to Write a Visual Scene

Tweet With all these posts lately on writing rules, I’m becoming quite the party pooper, aren’t I? That’s no fun. My goal isn’t to limit you as a writer, though — it’s to help you grow as a storyteller. Yesterday’s discussion of late attribution and flickering perspective was meant to help you spot the really […]

On Visual Storytelling: The Camera Lies

Tweet Yesterday I told a story about a high school ski trip that ended with a Goofy-esque pratfall on the slopes at Aspen, Colorado. It was one of those moments too perfect to believe, and I’ve cherished it in my memory ever since. A couple years ago I got to relive the experience when Dad […]

On Visual Storytelling: Aspen Extreme

Tweet Hmm…I really need to tell the story of the time I played Little League baseball. That’s not today’s tale, but it’s one worth telling. Suffice it to say, for now, that it ended catastrophically, and that at the tender age of six or seven, the end was enough to obliterate any interest in team […]

On Writing Rules: How to Build Suspense the Right Way

Tweet As Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe have both toiled to teach us, suspense in storytelling mostly comes from the things you don’t say. However, as I pointed out yesterday, every storyteller has a stern obligation to provide readers with everything they need to know to understand what’s going on. Walking the thin line […]

On Writing Rules: Creating Suspense without Your Abusing Readers

Tweet Yesterday I told the story of a math teacher who kept me in suspense, and ultimately spared me the nightmare of taking more math classes. I also talked about how little I liked math in the first place because it was just a set of soulless rules. And then I promised you another creative […]