One Simple Rule of Writing Horror

I love scary stories! As a kid, I devoured every R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike and Lois Duncan on my small town library’s shelves. When the Scholastic Book Fair came to my school, I ordered more spine-tingling novels. I would read them under my covers with a flashlight, not for atmosphere but because I was supposed …
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How To Choose A Main Character

In a novel, the main character must go through a life-changing event that transforms them by end of the book. (For more read What Is Character Change and How to Create Character Change.) With that in mind, it should be easy to know who is my protagonist, right? Just build the novel around whoever has …
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Writing Unforgettable Endings

The thing about writing a novel or film is that it all comes down to the ending. A great ending is what makes a story memorable. All of the books on my bookshelf have unforgettable endings. The books that don’t make the cut may have had fascinating premises, entertaining characters, and intriguing plot twists, but …
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Reading For Writers 101: Character Change, part 2

Last week’s lesson was about how Character Change makes a story more satisfying, and I evoked the good name of James Bond to make my point. Audiences and readers, now more than ever, want characters who grow and evolve. But figuring out your character’s change is just one step; you also need to develop how …
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Reading For Writers 101: Character Change, part 1

I read a lot. And since I’m a writer, reading isn’t just entertainment, it’s instructional. I learn from every book, whether good, bad or middling. That’s what inspired “Reading For Writers 101.” Today’s lesson: Why character change makes a story worth reading. Months ago I read a book where, frankly, the main character was a …
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