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:
Ever read a well-plotted book with engaging characters and exquisite execution that just couldn't grab you? Something was missing that you couldn't quite identify. This frustrating scenario happens for a number of reasons, not all of them in the author's control. For our purposes here, we'll focus on one common dialogue-writing mistake … Continue Reading ››
Ever been trapped at a party by someone who spoke in cliches? I'm willing to bet that the offending person came off as smarmy, cheesy, or maybe a little less intelligent than expected. This is also how cliched dialogue in fiction 'sounds' to a reader.
Even the best writers find that … Continue Reading ››
When you were a child, did you color outside the lines? Or maybe you were like me and kept your crayons within bounds. You might even have outlined the picture so your shading would more readily stay where it should. Welcome to the world of the meticulous.
When it comes to writing rules, you … Continue Reading ››
Ever read dialogue that made you feel like you’d just cast off in a rudderless boat? The scene seemed interesting, but you just couldn’t get a grappling hook into it. The viewpoint wasn’t clear, and you lost track of who was saying what and weren’t exactly sure where the characters even were, let alone what they were doing. This sounds like a case of the dreaded talking heads syndrome. The writer failed to set the scene in time and space or to give you enough identifying information to navigate the conversation.The result of these kinds of omissions is always a confused reader. Continue Reading>>
You are cursed. Yes, you. Being so familiar with your story that you forget to include details the reader needs to know is referred to as the curse of knowledge. It sets you up for information dump disorder, a common malady that afflicts a writer with the urge to spew details … Continue Reading ››