Camp NaNo & My Escape From The Outlining Outhouse!

outlining outhouse

Last November I attempted my first NaNoWriMo, but since I’m a turtle-paced plotter and not a fast-fingered pantser, I approached it like this: A Slow Writer’s Scheme to Win NaNoWriMo. Despite that excellent plan, I didn’t win (see Results of a Slow Writer’s First NaNoWriMo). There were two reasons for that, one of which was …

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5 Overlooked Pixar Storytelling Tips

Pixar Tips For Writers

I bet most writers have heard of Pixar Studios. They are the huge animation powerhouse that is now owned by Disney. They’re best known for a string of huge blockbusters films, all earmarked for family viewing. Even if you don’t make a point of watching Pixar films (and by the way you should), you may …

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Character Need: Psychological + Moral

Character Need-PsychologicalMoral

I’ve been reading writing craft books for almost two decades, and it’s gotten to the point where most of them don’t tell me anything I don’t already know. But recently I had a creative crisis that prompted me to look hard for new information, and after a couple misses I came across THE ANATOMY OF STORY …

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6 Ways to End a Book in a Series

It’s not surprising that many writers want to create a book series. A series will often sell more books, and they can be faster and easier to write. Writing a series is such a big deal it’s not uncommon to hear aspiring novelists, many of them still working on the first draft of their first …

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Guest Post: General Leia — Aging on the Silver Screen

General Leia

Our guest today has been here several times before. Most recently she blogged about writing Wise Women Characters, a must-read post if you want to find some fresh ways to show women as strong, without making them fighters. She also invited us to take part in her fabulous SciFi Women Interview series early this year. She is …

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A Pre-Writing Checklist

Savvy Plotter-4 Story Elements-Pre-Writing

Starting a new project is always exciting. After I applied to a writers grant with my current WIP this February, I decided to start another novel, or rather resurrect an idea I’d developed a year earlier. I already had character sketches and a beat sheet complete, so I rushed right in to writing a scene-by-scene outline …

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Story Twinkies: Do You Need One?

Story Twinkie

Sorry for our brief absence. Did you miss us? Heather and I needed some down time. We logged an insane number of blogging hours during April and our work, writing, health and family lives were starting to suffer. The vacation did its job brilliantly. We’re excited to get back to work and have some fantastic …

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Masterplots Theater: Z is for Zoomorphic

Z Masterplots Theater-6

Welcome back to Masterplots Theater on this the very last day of the A-Z Challenge! Yippee! We made it! And as happens every year, we get to Z and go, “What the heck are we going to write for this letter?” Of course, now that I think of it, we could have picked zombies, but …

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Masterplots Theater: Y is for Yarn

Y is for Yarn

Welcome to my last Masterplots Theater post. As is so often the case with the last letters of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge (X, Y and Z are so hard), I need to take a few artistic liberties with this post. There are simply no great masterplots for the letter Y. There are, …

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Masterplots Theater: X is for X Meets Y (Genre Mashups)

X meets Y Mashups Masterplots Theater

Welcome back to Masterplots Theater! All month we’ve been talking about writing individual masterplots, but what if you’re deliberately writing a story in two genres? What the heck is that? Well, I’d call that a “mashup”, or for the purposes of the A-Z Challenge, an “X Meets Y” masterplot. But the real question is: should …

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