Quote of the day
Great work is the result of seeking out tension, not avoiding it. Great work doesn’t require reassurance, in fact, it avoids it.
~SETH GODIN, author of What to Do When its Your Turn (and its Always Your Turn)
Scenes are the basic building blocks that make up your plot and the rising and falling action of your story, but how do you construct a scene and make sure it works towards creating a satisfying novel?
New writers are particularly vulnerable to messing up characters. We drift too far to one end of the spectrum or the other—Super-Duper-Perfect versus Too Dumb to Live—and this can make a story fizzle because there is no way to create true dramatic tension. This leaves us (the frustrated author) to manufacture conflict and what we end up with is drama’s inbred cousin melodrama.
They say there are two types of novel writers: pansters and plotters. Pansters catch the spark of an idea and just get down to the writing. Plotters, on the other hand, create an outline of the novel before stringing sentences together.
Plot is key. But it is only one aspect of story structure. It represents events which happen in the External World, what we see (Action) and hear (Dialogue) in a movie or TV episode.
Got Love? Got enough Love? Got the right kind of Love? No matter your genre or style, a good story needs some kind of Love to engage us emotionally. Too often people think Love is just the romantic or sexual kind. But wait – there’s more. Love of adventure, land, community, family, friends, warrior bonding, love of pets, love of learning, love of death and destruction, interspecies love, transformative chivalric love….
Publishing your new book is always a stressful time, with so many elements to consider. Will it work? Is is a good book? Will readers like it? Will the damn thing sell? Did I get all the typos?
But for many authors, the separation between literature and genre isn’t so clear. The choice to write genre is often about money, yes, but authors like Iva are also weighing the costs and benefits of less tangible perks like community, mentorship, and audience response. Put another way: can romance writers really have it all?
If we never listen to feedback, we’ll never improve. That’s certainly true, but in a world where everyone has an opinion (whether it’s about Hillary Clinton’s wardrobe or Ellen Pao’s leadership style), who should you actually listen to?
There’s the obvious sort of laziness, the laziness of not trying very hard, of avoiding strenuous tasks or heavy lifting, of getting others to do your work or not showing up for many hours each day.
Just as important as the process you use for developing ideas is the process you use for organizing them. Idea organization matters on many different levels.
The official history of Japanese food in the United States says that Americans didn’t get a taste of raw fish and vinegared rice until the late 1960s, when groovy Hollywood stars and trendy Buddhist humbugs began turning the squares onto the best thing since sliced bologna: sushi. But that’s wrong.
Is running really a better form of exercise than walking, given that running can lead to more injuries?