Why Readers Care About Characters

Action, Inaction and Raising the Stakes Even if you’re writing a romance, even if you’re writing a children’s book, even if you’re writing nonfiction, you’re writing action scenes. Not an easy task, even for the best novelists and screenwriters. “Writing a good action scene is more difficult than it appears,” wrote screenwriter Brad Johnson, bestContinue reading “Why Readers Care About Characters”

Twisted Sense of Humor? Write Dark Comedy

The very best of the very darkest comedies make audiences laugh at the very sickest and very twistedest stuff. (Yes, of course twistedest is a word. Twist, twister and twistedest.)  In the movie Fargo, Peter Stormare’s character killed Steve Buscemi’s character. Stormare destroyed the evidence by feeding the body into a woodchipper, which spewed bloody meatContinue reading “Twisted Sense of Humor? Write Dark Comedy”

Create Characters from Salvation Army Shoes

Adrian Fogelin brought two bags of used shoes to writer’s conference in St. Augustine, Florida and dumped them on a table. And that’s where I learned the trick of creating male and female characters from a size 13 Nike or a strappy yellow pump. Fogelin is the author of several novels for middle readers andContinue reading “Create Characters from Salvation Army Shoes”

Enter the Mentor

If you’re plotting according to the hero’s journey, step 4 is Meet the Mentor.  Mentors exist in every genre. And often, the unlikely the mentor, the better.  Mr. Miyagi mentored The Karate Kid.  Shug Avery was Celie’s principal mentor in The Color Purple. She was also Mister’s mistress, and filled the traditional mentor roles of mother, confidant,Continue reading “Enter the Mentor”