Standing for what you should be writing when everyone wants you to fit the status quo takes a strong mind. I know. I had to deal with the expectations of others while sorting myself out as an author. It wasn’t easy, because I just naturally like pleasing others, and the crowd mentality can be hard to contradict. I had to realize that while listening to advice can be good, only I have the insight to decide what is best for my writing career. Continue Reading>>
The price of letting others define you is that you won't live your own dream.
If you’ve been writing for any length of time, you’ve probably figured out that having a writing career is not for the faint of heart. It takes courage to bare your soul in a manuscript, only to face the possibility of rejection and criticism. And then, there are the inner fears. What if you fail? What if you succeed? What if______. As a writer, you’re creative enough to fill in the blank. Continue Reading>>
Conflict in Fiction, Making it Real Series, Part 5
Ever paint your main character into a corner? Yeah, me too. Since we are on the topic of conflict in fiction, let’s take a look at what psychologists know about how people react to conflict in real life. As we’ve done in the past several articles, we’ll apply conflict in psychology to fiction writing. I can’t promise you’ll never get stuck again, but arming yourself with information can’t hurt. Continue Reading>>
Conflict in Fiction, Making it Real Series, Part 4
Understanding the dynamics of inner conflict in psychology can help you create believable characters who tap into emotions common to us all. Portraying inner conflict believably in fiction requires that we understand its ways and means. In this article, we’ll cover the four models of inner conflict in psychology, with examples from my own writing. Continue Reading>>
Conflict in Fiction, Making it Real Series, Part 3
One of my writing retreat partners is a mental health professional with licenses that add lots of letters behind her name. While on retreat, the other writers (myself included) have been known to shamelessly pick her brain for help in developing our characters. A keen understanding of people is a job requirement for those in the mental health field, with conflict its stock-in-trade. Drafting from psychology for your writing would seem a wise choice. Continue Reading>>
Conflict in Fiction, Making it Real Series, Part 2
Conflict in fiction is created when the main character strives to achieve a goal that solves the story problem, only to be frustrated by obstacles. The force introducing these obstacles can be internal or external. A battle rages between a protagonist and antagonist, arising from opposing motives that put them at cross-purposes with one another. This battleground exists inside or outside the main character’s being. Continue Reading>>
Conflict in Fiction, Making it Real Series, Part 1
The greatest rules of dramatic writing are conflict, conflict and conflict. James Frey
Conceived in passion, labored upon with tender care, wrapped in our creativity, fictional characters have a way of endearing themselves to their creators. We identify with their idiosyncrasies, want to be like them, fall in love with them. They are the very fabric of daydream, fulfillment of fantasy, our ideal selves.
Ever feel like a clumsy juggler when trying to keep all the elements of a story going? With so many balls in the air, you lose track of which one to catch next or where to throw it once you do. You wonder how anyone manages to write a novel without resembling a cartoon character … Continue Reading ››
It's been a while since I've done a 'Writing Questions Answered' post, so when Eric Owens asked me a good question, I decided to respond to it through the blog. Thanks for your support of this site, Eric, and for permission to share your question: