My Passion's Pen

Helping to polish what your passion pens.

Archive for the category “Storytelling”

Make Readers Suffer—Great Fiction Goes for the GUTS

“Fiction is the opposite of our human nature. Human nature is to avoid conflict at all costs. To write fiction? We must dive into the Miserable Messy head-first. Create problems at every turn (not mere “bad situations” but conflict).” Kristen Lamb

Make Readers Suffer—Great Fiction Goes for the GUTS.

Caveat Venditor—Five Mistakes KILLING Self-Published Authors

Too powerful not to share.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Rise of the Machines Human Authors in a Digital World, social media authors, Kristen Lamb, WANA, Rise of the Machines

All right, it’s about to be a brand new year and many of you are wanting to finally see your books published. ROCK ON! But, I am the friend who will tell you if there is toilet paper hanging out of your pants. Writing isn’t all glitter and unicorns and I want to warn you of the most common stumbling blocks, because I really DO want you to succeed.

When I began writing I was SO SURE agents would be fighting over my manuscript. Yeah. But after almost fourteen years in the industry, a lot of bloody noses, and even more lessons in humility, I hope that these tips will help you.

Self-publishing is AWESOME, and it’s a better fit for certain personalities and even content (um, social media?), but we must be educated before we publish. In fact, my last book Rise of the Machines (cover above) is much…

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How to Dump Info Without Info Dumping

Ellen Brock

As much as we all know to never ever use info dumps, it doesn’t always make sense to convey something through dialogue or a flashback, and sometimes you need the reader to know the information right away – you don’t have time to trickle it through several chapters.

So for those times when you truly need to do some telling instead of showing, here are some tricks to slip it in unnoticed.

Landscape

Establish a Scene

Before moving into an info dump, always establish a scene. This means that the very first information conveyed needs to establish the basics: who, what, when, and where. Let the reader know what your character is up to and they will have something to visualize. Visualizing something (anything!), helps the reader stay engrossed in the scene.

The Scene has to Matter

The scene you establish must be in some way integral to telling the story…

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“It’s Not You, It’s Me.” When You and Your Manuscript Need to Have a Talk

This is such a refreshingly honest piece. Sometimes our skills are simply not up to par with the story we’ve envisioned.  There is no shame in admitting that.

Don’t get discouraged.

Work on other things. Read. Learn. Write. Grow. One day your ability will exceed your vision and that perfect piece will flow uninhibited.

Don’t give up.

“It’s Not You, It’s Me.” When You and Your Manuscript Need to Have a Talk.

Exclude Us From Novels

Print this and post it at your workstation as a self-editing guide.

A list of what shouldn’t be included in novels, including words and common fiction elements. Use this list to safely exclude unnecessary elements from fiction.

via Exclude Us From Novels.

Mastering Scene Transitions

Good scene transitions are vital for making your novel move forward without dragging and to keep you, the author, from giving too much importance to every

via Mastering Scene Transitions.

How Much Back Story Should I Include

A writer asks how much back story is too much for a novel. Tips for knowing how much back story to include and where to put it.

via How Much Back Story Should I Include.

Novel Boot Camp – Lecture #5: Character Motivation

Ellen Brock

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We all have motivations – the things that make us do what we do. But it’s not entirely uncommon (okay, it’s really common) for writers to not put enough thought into their characters’ motivations.

After all, motivation is easy right? Bad guys are motivated by evil. Good guys are motivated by good. Easy peasy.

Not so fast! Motivation is a vital component of a successful novel. Weak motivation can not only reduce the effectiveness of your story, it can completely ruin it!

Plot-Dictated Motivation

The plot dictating the characters’ motivations is one of the worst things that can happen to your novel. You can write the most interesting twists and turns with a premise that has “bestseller” written all over it, but if the characters’ actions aren’t authentic, it will fall completely and horribly flat.

A lot of people believe that authentic actions come from well developed characters, but character…

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Novel Boot Camp – Lecture #13: Handling Romance

Excellent advice.

Ellen Brock

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Full disclosure: I am not much of a romance lover. In fact, I rarely enjoy romance even as a side plot. This is mostly because it is typically done in a way that is so shallow, predictable, and annoying that I want to throw the book (or throw up). That said, I have edited a few romances over the years that I truly enjoyed because they had fantastically lovable characters and conflicts that were different and unique.

So here is my best advice on writing a romance that even I (and my fellow non-romance-lovers) will enjoy.

Don’t be Disgusting

No, not that kind of disgusting… I’m talking about the really disgusting part of romance – the mushy-gushy lovey-dovey, OMG I love you sooooooo much kind of disgusting.

You don’t want your readers’ eyes to roll back in their heads with exasperation, nor do you want them gagging into their e-readers…

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Don’t Fake It—Learn the Craft

If you want to write a novel or other fiction, learn the craft. Don’t fake it. You can learn how to write, learn the rules and the elements of fiction.

via Don’t Fake It—Learn the Craft.

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