Tips to Write Like a Pro

So a couple of months ago I attended another writer’s conference in my area. I’ve meant to share some of what I’ve learned with all of you, so that’s on the agenda for today. One speaker, Brian A. Klems, talked about some tips to write like the pros. I won’t go over all of them with you, since we’ve talked about some of them already. But I will go over some of the ones that stood out to me along with my thoughts about them. Don’t just open with action, open with conflict Get

Writing Mysteries

Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, some of the most iconic characters come from mystery stories. Let’s continue to explore other genres and take a look at mysteries today. Just as with horror, building a suspenseful mood is key to keeping those pages turning. Every description of the setting and more should build up the atmosphere and create a sense of urgency and suspense. Build up the mystery of the situation and the characters. Use red herrings. Red herrings are clues which mis

What to Consider for Supporting Characters

Besides the protagonist, several other characters feature in our stories, as they should. What would our tale be without the antagonist? Certainly it would fall flat with no conflict. But supporting characters can be complicated. For instance, how do we know when to give one a sub plot or a story arc? How do we recognize other major players? Maybe they’re a viewpoint character that features a POV from their perspective. Either way they get page time either along with or separ

Archetypes Versus Stereotypes

Your goal to making characters should be to create real people, not cardboard cutouts. You want characters to feel genuine and fleshed out, not one-dimensional. You also want them to be unique, even when you use an archetype. An archetype is a reoccurring type of character that serves a specific role in your story. So we have the wise, old mentor, or the fool, or the hero. They are familiar characters for us and we know how we should relate to them and understand their roles.

How to Add a Romantic Subplot

If your story is lacking depth and layers you may need to add a subplot or two to it. What is a subplot? A subplot is a smaller plot line that works alongside your main plot line. The most common subplot is the romantic subplot or love interest. But this subplot should add dimensionality to your story. So how do we go about that? To write a good love subplot it first has to be believable. It’s all about the characters and how they react to each other. Would these two people f

On Strong Female Characters

Today I wanted to talk about female characters and more specifically how to write strong female characters. Now strong female characters have warped into their own cliché and stereotyped forms of the kick-ass heroine who would rather knock you out than talk to you. So how do we give strength to our female characters without the stereotypes? Let’s take a look. Key elements Write people first and women second. Your character is a human first and foremost. She has to have a goal

How to Write a Female Character

Last week we covered how to write from a male POV and this week we are tackling how to write from a female POV. This may seem intimidating for guys who know women are complex creatures that can be hard to understand, but first and foremost women are people, so don’t feel too intimidated. Here’s a few tips to help. Make your female character a person first. All of us have a connection to being human and what that means. We share experiences and feelings, so it’s a good place t

How to Write a Male Character

Writing a guy’s perspective when you’re a woman can be daunting. Men think differently, feel differently, and do things differently so how do we write a male character and a male POV without making a caricature? Remember that men live in the present and do things one at a time. They will focus on what they’re doing and what is happening here and now, not thinking about a million different things while doing the task at hand. Men are doers. They are action oriented and much mo

Short Stories

Short stories are a completely different beast than novels are. In some ways they are trickier to write given the fact you have a far more limited amount of words to tell your story. So what are some things to keep in mind? First you want to start as close to the end as you can. Jump right into the action and excitement and explain as you go. Most people start their short stories too soon. You want to start with a first sentence, first paragraph, first page that hook your rea

The Mary Sue

****Update**** Before we get down to business I wanted to update you all on what’s going on in my writing life. I have begun as a columnist at a great site for writers, Our Write Side and you can check out my articles right here every Tuesday. Those articles usually answer a more specific topic that I mention here briefly so it’s great supplemental reading without being too redundant. Check out my column and let me know what you think. ******** The Mary Sue. Who is she and wh

Writing well-rounded Characters

I’ve decided to keep this blog dedicated to writing, whether that’s my writing or any aspect of the writing process. I meet with a lovely pair of writers each week where we explore different aspects of writing. So, much of this blog will probably be gleaned from my writer’s group, but should be as helpful and informative as our group has been so that we can all advance as writers. I encourage all of you to join local writing groups or start one of your own if there aren’t any