Blog Archives

Review: “Writing Deep Scenes,” Alderson and Rosenfeld

Pros: Wonderful tips Cons: A couple of… miscalculations Rating: 4 out of 5 I have mildly mixed feelings about Writing Deep Scenes: Plotting Your Story Through Action, Emotion, and Theme (by Martha Alderson and Jordan Rosenfeld). It feels very mechanical

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Plot Art Collection

Sorry for the lack of posts recently—things have been crazy! Here’s something that ought to make up for it: in addition to collecting character-inspiring art for you, I’m also collecting art to inspire plots! These might be images of situations,

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Character Art Collection

One of my favorite resources for fleshing out a character is the vast wealth of portraiture found online. Art, photos… There are multiple ways to use such items to help you with a character. The two major ones are art

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Mountain Men

Today, create a side character (someone who will appear in a story but isn’t meant to be the main character). Base the overall image on a stereotype, but then give the person a quirk that’s completely unlike that stereotype. When

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‘The Sleeping Beauty Proposal’

This morning I reviewed Sarah Strohmeyer’s wonderful book The Sleeping Beauty Proposal. One of the nifty things about that book is the way in which Strohmeyer takes the concept of the ‘Sleeping Beauty’ tale and applies it to modern-day life:

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Wedding Bells

Imagine that one of your fictional characters is getting married. How would it happen? Write the scene. Alternative #1: Imagine that someone close to one of your fictional characters is getting married. Alternative #2: Imagine that you are getting married!

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Tell their story

Visit this page and, for the moment, simply look at the photograph without reading the text. (Just in case you read this entry sometime months from now and the picture is gone, it’s an old black-and-white photo of young men

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The ultimate niche genre

One thing that fascinates me is discovering that what seems like a simple plot idea has been turned into an entire mini-genre of its own. I’m still agog at the wealth of Scottish Highlands time travel romances out there—who knew

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Birth of a character

Write up a scene depicting your character’s birth or arrival in her parents’ arms or home. You’ll probably find this says a lot about your character’s family and parents, but by extension this can also give you insight into the

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What your readers feel

This morning I stumbled across Eudaemonia’s post on Bell’s plot & structure book (it’s a great book, and I highly recommend it!). Anyway, Lisa shared two exercises from the book and her results: “Set aside ten minutes of undisturbed writing

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