Pearl

Lately I've been giving a lot of thought to what motivates a protagonist to action. Lisa Cron, in her terrific craft book STORY GENIUS, describes what she calls the character's "misbelief" - a belief that has been the source of much agony for the character. Others refer to this characteristic as a "back-story wound", or a "fatal flaw", but I love the idea of a misbelief that results from perhaps a … [Read more...]

Bury the Backstory

Recently I watched one of my all-time favorite movies yet again, A Knight's Tale with the late Heath Ledger. I love it for its quirky characters, its wry humor, its evocative dialogue, its historical twists, and its way of making history relevant by the use of contemporary music. But I also love the way the screenplay unfolds the story. Many beginning writers (*raises hand*) make the mistake of … [Read more...]

Getting To The Story Heart

Today, a blog post for writers: getting to the emotional heart of your writing. This is one exercise in a series of exercises I've got planned for my talk at our Montana spring SCBWI retreat in two weeks. Readers want stories that touch them in a deep way. They want stories that resonate long after the reading is finished. To write such a story you must be willing to push outside your comfort … [Read more...]

Tips For Writers & Readers

If you've browsed my website in the past you'll know that in my Fox's Den I'm creating a series of links to helpful tips for writers, readers, teachers, and librarians. Over the next few months, I'll be adding to those files. Many are downloadable pdfs. Here's what I have there so far: For writers - getting started: thoughts on being a writer; professional organizations for writers; conference … [Read more...]