Category Archives: Writing: Craft

Plot, character development, writing series, story arcs, structure, organic writing, and other aspects of the craft side of writing fiction.

Clarity in Writing

I just finished reading a slew of manuscript samples and came away with an astounding epiphany: Crafting readable text is a lot harder to accomplish than to recommend. The inability to accomplish usually revolves around a lack of knowledge on how to achieve basic clarity (i.e. readability). Yet, without a clearly written narrative, how can readers… Read More »

Quit Your Day Job and Write Full Time

You’ve dreamed of it all your life: Sitting on a breezy veranda, laptop open on the table in front of you, hammering away at the keyboard while a well-oiled cabana boy brings you fresh drinks and flexes his muscles. Or you want to live the Hemingway life in Key West, getting drunk every day as… Read More »

Ditching the Character Interview

Ah, the character interview, the go-to tool for literary and genre writers alike to help them get a feel for their characters’ inner and outer worlds. As if grasping a character’s, er, character is as easy as filling in the blanks on a standardized form. When I first began writing fiction, I tried this route… Read More »

Plot: It’s Not the Car. It’s the Driver.

There’s a lot of discussion about the originality of story ideas (or the lack thereof) among writers. In fact, it can be quite the controversy, particularly when one writer feels that another has ripped off key aspects of her plot. The truth is that there are only so many plots out there and they’ve all… Read More »

Sounding Boards

Last night, my son and I talked for five hours straight, discussing our various projects. Essentially, we were bouncing ideas off of one another. He’s a game developer currently working on a MOBA (multi-player online battle arena). I suggested a few different ways he could branch out and gave him feedback on a UI (user… Read More »

Death Is a Part of Life

My great-aunt Dixie passed away last week. She was a pistol, one of the best women I’ve ever had the privilege to know and love, and she will be greatly missed. The sky was bright and beautiful the day of her funeral, but bitterly cold. She would not have approved of us lingering at her graveside… Read More »

Character Motivation

We recently watched Battle: Los Angeles for the umpteenth time. The plot is very simple: A group of Marines led by a Staff Sergeant on the verge of retiring must rescue civilians trapped behind enemy lines after a devastatingly brutal alien invasion. Battle offers a lot to viewers. The Marines are the underdogs. (I like… Read More »