Stop asking WWYD

WWYD (“What would you do?”) is a common question in writing groups. It happens when an author reaches an impasse in the story for the character’s actions. So often it comes across like a popularity contest: I’ll have the character do whatever most of them say they’ll do, and that will make my story popular.Continue reading “Stop asking WWYD”

Advice for when writers struggle

Writer’s block. Some say it exists. Some say it doesn’t; it’s all in your head. Pointedly, both sides are right. Everything about story writing is in your head. Until it moves to your fingers to the rhythm of a swishing pen, or the clickety-clack of keys on a keyboard. Author Peggy Lantz posted about herContinue reading “Advice for when writers struggle”

Building Writers’ Resources

You may have noticed a new menu item at the top of the page titled “Resources.” I’m going to populate this area of the site with resources to help writers with some phase of the writing (such as beginnings, middles, and ends), crafting plots, subplots, scenes, and editing, avoiding and fixing info dump, pacing, activeContinue reading “Building Writers’ Resources”

more about story goals

When discussing how long a scene should be, I mentioned a concept called a scene goal. The scene goal is a step toward achieving the overall story goal. The story goal is the main character’s goal. It’s a situation or outcome they want and are convinced they need in order to be happy. There canContinue reading “more about story goals”

Writing with Others

Reference: This is a post about writers workshops and writing groups, and is my take (and expansion) on ideas presented by academicwritingsuccess.com. Disclosure: I am an editor. I also definitely have a teaching approaching when working with clients. It’s a new year and, if you are like many writers, some of your resolutions revolve aroundContinue reading “Writing with Others”

Attributions in Dialogue

Reference: Managing Attributions in Dialogue Scenes: Who Said That? (Florida Writers Association) One of the toughest things to explain, IMHO, is when attribution is necessary, when it’s not, and whether it goes in front or behind the dialogue. This blog linked above from the FWA is very bare bones and I don’t think goes quiteContinue reading “Attributions in Dialogue”

Processing Feedback

In a previous blog, I discussed the steps to go from first draft to done and ready to publish. Step 2 is getting feedback. Whether this is from alpha readers, beta readers, developmental editors, you need to get feedback from people who look out for what readers need to be able to read your workContinue reading “Processing Feedback”

What’s word (count) go to do with it?

Stacey Carroll has a great post about word counts and where they fit in short stories, novellas, novels, and even the different genres. Go read it. I won’t repeat it here. What I want to talk about is answers to the questions “how many words make a scene?” This question about word counts really shouldContinue reading “What’s word (count) go to do with it?”