The Most Important Ingredient

Posted On Nov 18 2005 by

Writers, please fill in the blank: Without _________, you have no story. That’s right! The answer is “chocolate.” Oh, wait, Robin is shaking her head (notice, however, she has a large bag of Hershey’s Kisses torn open next to her computer). Okay, the correct answer is “conflict.” We, who have been writing for more than three days, know this as well as “show don’t tell.” You see? It’s all quite simple really. You take a character, your hero/protag, and put him or her in the midst of conflict. Nuttin’ to it. So you think. The truth is, a good conflict …


Jodi my Hero

Posted On Nov 17 2005 by

I’ve been bugging my critique group to read something by Jodi Picoult. True, her genre is nothing like any of ours, but when I read Jodi it just makes me want to be a better writer. I’m telling you, the woman does things with words that boggle my mind. It’s almost like reading poetry, where you train your mind to see things differently, come up with new ways to describe something that’s been described a million times by writers throughout time. I’ve tried to explain what it is she writes, but I just can’t seem to put it in a …


One Ending

Posted On Nov 14 2005 by

Okay, I’ll attempt to get back into Robert McKee’s “Story” on my bloggin’ site. I’m up to “The Substance of Story.” If you haven’t read McKee’s book yet, he does a wonderful job of putting his main points in large bold letters and as separate headers. It makes it easy to find when you want to come back to it. So today’s header topic is “A STORY must build to a final action beyond which the audience cannot imagine another.” Everyone resounds with a mighty “No Duh!” But it’s harder than it looks. I think, for me, it may be …


My Voice or Lack Thereof

Posted On Nov 7 2005 by

It’s pretty sad, isn’t it, when I Writer doesn’t post on his blog because he can’t think of anything to say. Truth is, I can think of lots of things to say, I’m just concerned that some of them will have me hauled off to spend the rest of my days longing for TV time and crafts that involve nothing sharper than a boiled potato. I wanted to talk about voice a little today. I’m not sure why, it seems to be the most elusive of writing subjects. I think, because, it’s really nothing that can be taught. It just …


Sleepy Shadows

Posted On Oct 27 2005 by

By Thursday, I’m really hating the 4am routine. I sit here at my desk and drift toward the edge of sleep, pull myself back, and keep my fingers dancing over the keyboard in the hope of getting some actual work done. I mean the job I get paid for, not the writing. Unusual things happen when I get into that state of mind, though. Thoughts and images that you’d normally keep safely tucked away peek out around the edge of the door. You see things differently when you can barely see at all. Today I started thinking (passive verb alert) …


My Favorite Protag

Posted On Oct 22 2005 by

Sometimes I get a brilliant thought. Then my crit group points out that it’s not all that brilliant and I start over again. This time, though, I think I’m on to something. Okay, it wasn’t really my thought, it’s been written about time and time again, but at least I’m starting to get it. My favorite protag is me. Everything I’ve written has a protag who leads a dull life as an engineer and suddenly finds himself in unusual circumstances. Problem is, he’s still a boring engineer. I told Dineen this, that we have a tendancy to write auto-bios into …