Professional Author Tips

Final Hot Tip: The Bad Guy (Antagonist) Thinks He’s Good

We’ve reached the end of my short hot writing tips for cold nights (even though those cold nights are still with us, here in Montana at any rate). Today I want to present a final hot writing tip – about the antagonist. Opposites Attract Protagonists in stories need counterbalancing. They need opposing forces, obstacles, difficulties…. Read more »

Hot Writing Craft Tips for Cold Winter Nights, Number Three

For this week’s hot writing craft tips, let’s look even more closely and with a sculptor’s eye at words and sentences and paragraphs. Diction and Syntax Diction (word choice) and syntax (sentence structure) are more than just grammar terms – they are the materials writers use to shape thought. By understanding and using how the… Read more »

Round Two Writing Tips

These small tips are my Season’s Greetings to you all!! And maybe I’m making a small statement about 2020? I hope you enjoy! Conflict and Tension Every story benefits by having high tension and strong conflict. First drafts are generally not high tension drafts – it isn’t until revision that I add as much tension… Read more »

Planning To Plot

As promised in my last blog post, in this one I’m going to address the multiple ways you can look at plot, and how simplifying your approach may in fact help. The Plot Paradigm The earliest plot paradigm harks all the way back to Aristotle, who defined the three-act structure in his Poetics, as this:… Read more »

Writer Tips: Formatting Your Manuscript

For the next handful of posts I’m going to be offering tips for writers, from the most basic elements to the most advanced. In today’s post, a pretty basic tip but clearly one that needs updating from time to time. Not long ago I was helping a writer with a manuscript, and they sent me… Read more »