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”

How to Build a Better Villain

The first thing writers should know about villains is that the best villains are such likeable guys. Anakin Skywalker, a good guy who was tricked by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. Hans Landa, a charming, circumspect, polite SS officer who hunts and kills Jews, even women and children. The Joker, a pitiable character who could have beenContinue reading “How to Build a Better Villain”

How to Begin Your Story

In January 2020, Robert Lee Brewer, senior editor at Writer’s Digest, posted 25 Ways to Start a Story.  I know what you’re thinking. Wow. Starting Chapter 1 is sooo hard.  Yeah, but it’s waaay easier if you know Ernest Hemingway’s trick: utter honesty.  “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write theContinue reading “How to Begin Your Story”

Nine Thoughts Before Writing Chapter 2

Sasha Marie Stone posted Five Ways to Find Time for Blogging on WordPress.com at https://wordpress.com/go/content-blogging/five-ways-to-find-time-for-blogging/ I’ve revised her tips for those who want to write a novel.  1. Did you actually write Chapter 1?  Congrats. If you’re feeling like a writer, you should.  Stone suggests scheduling writing dates with yourself. I feel compelled to write everyContinue reading “Nine Thoughts Before Writing Chapter 2”