What does your protagonist want? That’s a loaded question, right? But it’s the central idea of my latest Theme: A Story’s Soul at DIY MFA, and it’s one of the questions that you, as a writer, should consider for your story. As the article’s title reveals, your protagonist’s goals, desires, and other motivations don’t just influence the story’s plot. They also nurture some of the story’s literary themes! And in this article, you’ll learn how to do this with your writing with the help of examples from three books and four brainstorming exercises.
What’s this? Another DIY MFA article already? 😉
It’s been a while since I last took part in DIY MFA’s weekly #5onFri series; and with Maria V. Snyder’s guest post on Tuesday, I wasn’t able to promote it here until now. So, here’s last Friday’s #5onFri post, where I shared a little more of my “beta-reading preparation” stage by sharing five of the questions I posed to my beta-readers to get specific feedback on aspects of my novel.
I’m in the middle of finishing new articles for DIY MFA and Writers Helping Writers. So I thought I’d do an “easy” post this week, and one I’ve been meaning to do for a while. Your feedback has been so helpful in the past with website changes, blogoversary celebrations, and excerpts on my YA fantasy novel The Keeper’s Curse. I’d like to ask for it again today, on a component of the novel-writing process that’s more important than we might think: the blurb.
Wondering what a blurb is? Or why it’s important for writers to start working on one before their novel is published? I’ll answer those questions briefly, then give you a chance to offer feedback on the latest blurb for TKC.
Most writers would agree that the relationship (or rather, conflict?) between the protagonist and the antagonist is one of the most important “bonds” in a story. How important, though? More than we might think. In my latest Theme: A Story’s Soul post at DIY MFA, we examine how this unique relationship offers a goldmine of literary themes through the characters’ interactions and conflicting goals. Continue reading
“What do your favorite stories have in common?”
This was the question that fellow writer Elizabeth Rawls posed at her blog last year. I loved the topic so much that I wanted to respond right away, but I couldn’t. Figuring out what your favorite stories have in common is like playing a writer’s or reader’s version of a strategy game. But once you put some conscious thought into it, the answers can be rather enlightening.
Today, I’d like to share Elizabeth’s activity along with my own thoughts on developing a stronger grasp on the shared elements in our favorite stories. As you’ll find out, those commonalities may have a greater influence on our work that we might think.
Beautiful People is a monthly blog meme hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In. Every month they pose 10 questions for writers to answer about their writing and give readers the opportunity to learn more about the writer’s characters.
Ohhhhhhhhhh am I excited about this month’s Beautiful People! Most of BP posts discussing The Keeper’s Curse have showcased characters I’ve been working with for 3 years. Which means I know them pretty well at this point. Today’s, however, ventures into (mostly) unknown territory.
Last November, when Cait and Sky did Beautiful Books in honor of NaNoWriMo, I decided to share my brainstorming on a novella I’m planning to write (or start writing) when TKC is with beta-readers. I already know one of the protagonists well (it’s Eva from TKC, though 13 years old instead of 17). Her “co-star” – not so much, apart from the little bits in his character profile so far. Continue reading
After seeing a couple reading statistics articles from Sarah J. Higbee (who encouraged me to share my own) and Oh The Books!, I decided to figure out my own stats based on the books I read in 2014. So, I went through my reviews, plugged my tallies into Excel, and made some pretty graphics for your viewing pleasure. While the results didn’t really show me anything new, they made me think more consciously about my reading habits and preferences. Here’s how things shaped up: Continue reading
A Peek Into the Novel’s Villains and Antagonists
Chapters Completed: 20
Chapters In Progress: 4
Chapters Not Started: 10
“Chronicling The Craft” is an article series where I share my experience with writing my current work-in-progress (WIP), which is a fantasy novel. Every 5,000 words, I let readers know what I’ve accomplished since the previous article and share advice, discoveries, techniques, etc. Besides the word count in each article title, a “chapter ticker” at the top also tracks my progress as I use the skip-around / “writercopter” method to write the novel. Today’s installment celebrates the book reaching 75,000 and 80,000 words in length.
Yup, it’s a double installment of Chronicling The Craft! Although it doesn’t exactly mean double the fun, topics, length, etc. I went on another planned writing vacation during the first week of September. Going into that vacation, I was closing in on 75,000 words, but I didn’t want to halt the novel’s progress partway through the week to squeeze in a blog article. So, I decided to barrel past the 75K mark and see how far I could take the novel from there. Today, it stands at a hair over 80,200 words. *does a happy dance*
Here’s what I’ve worked on since the previous Chronicle: Continue reading
Meet The Protagonist – A Character Profile
Chapters Completed: 12
Chapters In Progress: 8
Chapters Left to Start: 14
“Chronicling The Craft” is an article series where I share my experience with writing my current work-in-progress (WIP), which is a fantasy novel. Every 5,000 words, I let readers know what I’ve accomplished since the previous article and share advice, discoveries, techniques, etc. Besides the word count in each article title, a “chapter ticker” at the top also tracks my progress as I use the skip-around / “writercopter” method to write the novel. Today’s installment celebrates the book reaching 50,000 words in length.
First of all, YAY! I’ve been looking forward to reaching the 50,000-word milestone for some time – not only because of the purpose I’d planned for this particular article, but because this milestone means I’m roughly halfway finished with my WIP. 😀 So, this Chronicle feels like a true celebration.
Let’s get right to the progress points since my previous Chronicle: Continue reading
Great news to share with you today: Grub Street, a creative writing organization based in Boston, Massachusetts, has published an article I’ve written for their blog! “Hello, My Name Is…: Using Journal-Writing for Character Development” explores one possible method for getting to know your protagonist (or any character for your story). I discovered this method during a one-day workshop on character development at – where else? – Grub Street last summer, and I’ve enjoyed the journal-writing experience for my novel-in-progress’s protagonist so much that I wanted to share what I’ve learned with other aspiring writers.
Click here to read “Hello, My Name Is….”
Coming Soon: Apart from next Monday’s Mini-Review on Elysion’s Someplace Better, I might have a new Chronicling The Craft article online within the next couple weeks! I’m already 1,600 words away from the 45,000-mark on my novel-in-progress. Yippee!