The Fault in Our Stars – that wasn’t in the book!

Posted On Jun 5 2014 by
Photo from Flickr Commons - Rivera Notario

Yes, it’s MOVIE TIME! The Fault in Our Stars opens tomorrow in a theatre near you. And I–because I’m a dad and deviousness is in my nature–have an assignment for you. Now, I know many of you found this site because I used a very popular book name in my title (that’s rockin’ SEO). I hope some of you have entertained thoughts of writing your own novel some day (which is today, consider yourself hired). I especially hope there are some teenage types who’ve daydreamed about writing, or even taken the leap and posted some of your work online, maybe …


The Fault In Our Stars – the story structure

Posted On May 14 2014 by

I’m going to try something different today. I’m a big proponent of plot structure. In fact, anyone who reads or watches a movie is also a proponent. Most just don’t realize it. If you want more info on structure, I recommend KM Weiland’s blog and book on the subject. As a bit of instruction for me and you, though, I’m going to examine a popular YA title–The Fault in Our Stars by John Green–and see what makes the book so wildly successful. Does Mr. Green follow standard structure protocol? Let’s find out. Opening: It’s a pretty good grabber. We find …


My thoughts on Write Your Novel from the Middle by James Scott Bell

Posted On Mar 4 2014 by

Welcome to my new Wednesday feature. I’ll offer my thoughts on the books and websites geared toward fiction writers. A little bit review and a little expansion on the ideas I glean from my study of the craft. So today I’ll start out with the new book from James Scott Bell. Now, Bell is one of those guys whose published novels you may not see next to King’s latest release, but the man is a fantastic writer and an even better teacher of the craft. If you ever get a chance to listen to him in person, don’t pass it …


Hidden Backstory

Posted On Feb 25 2014 by

You know the rules: keep backstory to a minimum. And that’s a good rule. I really don’t need to know that Jack Bauer was beat up in the 2nd grade by the 4th grade girl he had a crush on. I just need to know the guy’s got issues. The writers of 24 did (insert magic here) to make Jack a believable protagonist. I know it’s there, I just can’t say where. That’s what hidden backstory is: the magic that makes it real. This link has been floating around on facebook. It’s the backstory behind Toy Story. The theory (unconfirmed …


Describe the Scene

Posted On Jan 18 2014 by

Describe the scene. As an author, you don’t have the luxury of describing every detail in your scene. You will choose whatever stands out to your character. It’s exactly what you do in real life if you think about it. So let’s practice. You walk in off a city street and into this place. 1. Describe the first three things that you notice. 2. Now narrow it to one. 3. Now do the same thing from the POV of a a) Cop b) Homeless woman c) Pick a character from your current WIP. Have fun! Share your answers in the …


Create a Great Hero

Posted On Jan 15 2014 by

This week in the 6 month novel series, we’re going to create our hero. Now, this is one of those “chicken and egg” scenarios. You can come up with a basic plot first, or come up with a hero. One drives the other. If you decide to go with creating a protagonist first, your plot will be determined by his or her character. So don’t give your hero a paralyzing fear of water, then put all the action in the middle of the desert. You want him in deep. Way over his head. So how do you create a hero? …