Month: February 2018

Busy, but why?

Seneca poses a funny hypothetical. If you stopped the average successful, wealthy Roman patriarch as he left his home in the morning and asked him, “Where are you going? What are you doing today?” Their answer would be something like, “I don’t know…stuff.” They knew they were supposed to be doing things and saw their …

A characters dark moment

  What is a Dark Moment? It’s a particular event in the backstory of your lead character. It’s not a happy event. It’s a terrible event. It’s not necessarily the worst thing that ever happened to your character, but it’s something that has bent your character’s life and is bending it now as your story opens. …

This too shall pass

“This too shall pass” was Lincoln’s favorite saying, one he once said was applicable in any and every situation one could encounter. His plodding patience and stamina was an incredible virtue during the US Civil War, a terrible war that would call on Lincoln to be both forceful and forgiving, violent yet compassionate. Lincoln’s real …

Alinsky

Alinsky tactics. Their entire philosophy is to provoke a reaction so they can use it against you and regulate you even more. 1. “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.“ Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and …

Character Creation Part Deux

This post, I want us to go deeper into Character Creation. A lot deeper. I’d like to talk about how you develop each character’s voice. Voice is one of those things that are hard to define but easy to see. There’s a big difference between Scarlett O’Hara’s voice and the godfather’s. Just listen to them talk …

Character creation.

Plot’s good, but it’s not the whole story. The reason the plot matters is because it matters to the characters. Readers read because of the characters. If you replaced your characters with unfeeling robots, your readers probably wouldn’t care about your story. So how do you design your characters? I recommend starting small. Here are six questions …

The second layer of plot

Last post we talked about the first layer of plot for your novel—your one-sentence summary. The purpose of a one-sentence summary is to break the ice. To separate people who are in your target audience from people who aren’t. To give your target audience an opportunity to say, “Tell me more!” So let’s say you’re at a …

The foundation of your story: Plot

Plot is a complex beast. A novel has at least six layers of plot. This month, we’ll look at the outermost layer—the one-sentence summary. Why write a one-sentence summary? Because your one-sentence summary is a powerful sales tool. If you’re traditionally published, you need to sell your story seven times: You have to sell it to your …