Get to know your characters before you write. Sit down and chat with them. Let them tell you about their loves, what their hates, about what they find fascinating or boring. Let them ramble on about their background, their upbringing, their religious and political beliefs and attitudes. Find out their reasons for living and theirContinue reading “Getting to know you”
When brainstorming ideas for stories: First, ask ‘What if… ?’ Then ask ‘How does this end?’ Next, ask ‘Who are the characters?’ Finally, ask ‘Why do I care?’ This way, you can quickly and easily sift through hundreds of ideas to find the ones that matter.
The rule of this exercise is to write quickly, spontaneously.Write a list of: 5 fun skills you would like to have 5 things you used to enjoy doing 5 jobs you would like to try 5 problems in the world you would like to solve 5 interesting people you would like to meet 5 sillyContinue reading “Buried Dreams”
You are a puppet master, helping us make sense of this crazy world. You hint at the fundamental unease of existence and human imperfection and give meaning to climatic events. Your challenge is to show this crazy existence through the eyes of new characters and situations that the reader finds believable.
We never say exactly what we mean, but we hint at what we want. We dance around the question instead of coming right out and saying what’s on our minds. Listen to your characters speak. If you can’t hear them speak, then most probably what you want them to say, most often ought not toContinue reading “Dialogue is like going out on a date”
Write a journal and become the editor of your own life, imposing on an untidy sprawl of half-remembered events, a narrative shape and organising idea. Writing can help you pay attention to your life. Writers who keep journals produce more work than those who wait for inspiration to hit them. Writing every day keeps theContinue reading “Keep a journal and write your way into clarity”
In almost every case, a well-defined antagonist gives power to the story. Alfred Hitchcock said the more powerful your antagonist, the more complex and dangerous the situation, the harder your protagonist must work to overcome it and as you ratchet up the villain’s power, the story energy rises.
There is always a conflict between what we say and how we act. Body language is far more were reliable than spoken words if we want to know the truth. How does your character behaviour show how she feels about what is happening? What does she say that is counter to this physical reaction?
How do you know what to write? Where do you begin? You have an idea and you want to build it into a story. So, put your protagonist in the dock Start with the Opening StatementsBefore the prosecution and defence present evidence and witnesses, both sides have the right to give an opening statement aboutContinue reading “Put your protagonist in the dock”
Truth is grey, not black and white. What we believe to be true can change. Above a door at the German Naval Officers School in Kiel, there is an inscription that reads: Say not ‘this is the truth’ but ‘so it seems to me to be as I now see things I think I see’.Continue reading “Write the truth as you know it”