How to Write an Epistolary Novel

Epistolary novels use fictional letters, tweets, emails and other types of communication to create a story with a unique narrative style. This is not a new form, epistolary novels have been around since the 18th century, but after a downturn in popularity they are enjoying a renaissance and the trend shows no sign of slowing. …
Continue reading “How to Write an Epistolary Novel”

3 Tips for Research Management

As Heather pointed out in her last post, the second half of 2017 got a bit overwhelming for us. Heather took on a huge workload, five jobs to be exact. And I balance a lot of stuff even in a normal year: work, community volunteering, political activism, one husband, two kids, three cats (one with …
Continue reading “3 Tips for Research Management”

Writer Struggles: 6 Steps to Get Unstuck

Last June, I started a ghost story for Camp NaNoWriMo. I really liked this idea. I’d set it in a historical period (the Gilded Age) which I know well. I’d selected a location I loved working with (Newport, RI) but for some reason the story wouldn’t gel. I had a beatsheet and an expanded outline …
Continue reading “Writer Struggles: 6 Steps to Get Unstuck”

Writer Struggles: Killing Nice Characters

Killing off a nice character, even a secondary one, is a big deal. Every single time I consider doing this as a writer, I struggle with my decision. Did I handle the death correctly? Will killing off this character just piss off the reader? Is this death achieving what I intended it to achieve within …
Continue reading “Writer Struggles: Killing Nice Characters”

Using the Forbidden Love Masterplot

Last year we ran a whole series of posts called Masterplots Theater from A to Z. Because we had some plots that started with the same letters, we had to cut several fantastic masterplots. ‘Forbidden Love’ was one of our unhappy victims as Heather wrote about the Fool Triumphant Masterplot instead. We did cover several …
Continue reading “Using the Forbidden Love Masterplot”

4 Core Components of an Awesome Sidekick Character

I’ve always loved sidekicks, Chewbacca, Samwise Gamgee, Ron and Hermione. Sidekick characters can enhance the story tension, help flesh out the protagonist, and move the plot forward in a number of significant ways. Several of the masterplots that Heather and I wrote about last year include a sidekick character as a possible component. Sidekicks are …
Continue reading “4 Core Components of an Awesome Sidekick Character”

4 Visual Tricks for Writers Who Want To Rock NaNoWriMo

Are you entering National Novel Writing Month in November? If you answered yes, the odds are 50/50 you’re doing some planning this month. If not hardcore plotting, at least making notes and brainstorming your story. I’ve done NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNo many times and I’ve won my fair share. For me, planning is the best …
Continue reading “4 Visual Tricks for Writers Who Want To Rock NaNoWriMo”