R is for Reversal

One of the many things I’m learning from writing this blog is that people have different definitions for writing terms. When Robin first wrote a post on reversals, I thought to myself, “Oh, I call those Turning Points!” Perhaps that’s the screenwriting term. But both mean the same thing – a moment where the story …
Continue reading “R is for Reversal”

Q is for Questions

Questions are what keep readers interested in a story. At every moment in your novel, the reader must want to know the answer to a question, otherwise there’s no reason to keep reading. There are three types of questions in every good story, and I’ll endeavour to give you some tips on how to make …
Continue reading “Q is for Questions”

P is for Pinch Points

If you’re a plotter, or if you read Heather’s O is for Outlines post, you know about tentpoles. These are crucial events in every story that give the plot a shape. Pinch points act like the secondary flanking poles on your tent. They prop up the story structure between the first plotpoint and the midpoint, …
Continue reading “P is for Pinch Points”

O is for Outlines

As a screenwriter, outlines are mandatory. Not so for authors. If you’re penning a novel, it seems as if you must choose between two camps – plotter (those who outline) or pantser (those who start writing a manuscript sans outline). But it doesn’t have to be one or the other, and I think the vast …
Continue reading “O is for Outlines”

N is for Narrative

Narrative is a story’s fuel, and just like rocket fuel, if you use the right amount you head for the stars in style. Add too little, and you get no lift off. Add too much, and we know what happens, and it’s not good. To make matters more complicated, narrative is a compound – POV, …
Continue reading “N is for Narrative”

M is for Midpoint

If you’re a plotter like Heather and I are, you should know about the importance of the midpoint event. It’s one of those important story structure tentpoles Heather will be telling you all about in her O is for Outlining post. The midpoint is when critical new information is introduced to the story and it …
Continue reading “M is for Midpoint”

L is for Laughs

I’ve spent most of my career writing cartoons and teen sitcoms where getting laughs from the audience is paramount! Not surprisingly, many screenwriters are comedians. I, alas, am not. Luckily, we all have the ability to be funny if we keep in mind the following three tips… 3 Tips for Making People Laugh Subvert the …
Continue reading “L is for Laughs”

K is for Kittens!

Know what we need in the middle of this A to Z Challenge? A fun post full of cute kitty pictures! But I also have some bonafide advice for writers with cats. Just this year we adopted a stray kitten from the shelter, and I’ve learned a few things about writing from home with a …
Continue reading “K is for Kittens!”

J is for Juxtaposition

A few weeks ago I posted on how to use juxtaposition in a setting, as character development and in prose to enhance a scene. Juxtaposition is:   Today I’m writing about how to use juxtaposition in plots and in the action scenes. 3 tips for using juxtaposition. Juxtaposition works well for:  A quick pop of something …
Continue reading “J is for Juxtaposition”

I is for Internal Conflict

A couple letters ago, I talked about External Conflict – all those forces in the universe that are bumping up against the protagonist. Now we’ll discuss Internal Conflict – the sometimes black hole of doubt within the hero. Like External Conflict, Internal Conflict must get in the way of the hero achieving his goal. Most …
Continue reading “I is for Internal Conflict”