Maybe it’s just me, but 2018 felt like a battle on so many fronts. Why not kick off the new year with a few craft books to sharpen your skills and get you battle ready for whatever 2019 might bring. There are a lot of great resources out there, but these four books are the … Continue reading Kick-Ass Craft Books to Help You March into Battle!
There’s a popular writerly sentiment that goes something like this: “Writing a book isn’t one skill--it’s actually a bunch of different skills working together.” It’s an idea I wholeheartedly agree with. So many elements need to work for a book to come together seamlessly, from dialogue to prose to that perfectly paced plot twist. All … Continue reading More than Just a Backdrop: How to Create a Fully Immersive Setting
When I finished an early draft of You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, my debut YA about twin protagonists grappling with opposite results from a genetic test, I vowed to never write another dual POV book. Two female narrators had been a challenge—there weren’t many other single-gender dual POV YAs I could use as a … Continue reading Twice the POVs, Twice the Fun! (Kind Of)
So, you wrote a marginalized protagonist…. But you’re not marginalized yourself. Maybe your dream agent mentioned wanting one on their manuscript wish list. Perhaps you saw a book deal announcement featuring one on the weekly rights report. Or maybe you wrote this book to give marginalized readers a character they can relate to. “Yes! I’m … Continue reading So, You Wrote a Marginalized Protagonist
Last week, we learned about character motivation and the importance of your main character having an “I Want” song. Two weeks ago, we learned all about agency--how to make sure your main character has an active role in their own story. Now that you’ve crafted motivated main characters, ready to take charge of their story… … Continue reading Creating Compelling Secondary Characters
Last week, we discussed character agency--the active role your main character should take in your story. Active characters make for engaging plots and tighter pacing, but how do you make an active character? Characters with strong agency aren’t just wildly active, doing things to move the plot along willy nilly. Their actions need to make … Continue reading Character Motivation: The Why Behind the Action
When reading submissions, either for mentorship contests or in the slush pile, the most common problem I find is a lack of character agency. In a rejection letter, this often translates to “I didn’t feel as swept up in the story as I’d hoped,” or even the dreaded “I just didn’t connect.” It can be … Continue reading Character Driven Narratives: Charting Character Agency