Defining MomentWhen I look back at the defining moment of my life, I often wonder how just another Saturday night turned into the event that set the course of my life in motion. The guy who started it all was Danny Tighten, the kid we all wanted to be around in high school. Now, though, he seemed particularly unambitious hanging out at the same sports bar weekend after weekend.Defining Moment by illuminara
But I happened to be there that night, barely twenty-one and not knowing there were more sophisticated establishments just down the street. No, that night I hadn’t a care in the world. I’d come with a few friends and their boyfriends, making me something like a seventh wheel, but it didn’t matter after two cosmos and a lemon drop.
I sat at the bar swaying to dance music I assume played ironically in the absence of a dance floor and watched my friends giggle and grope at each other. I was alone, but so what? It was a good night, at least until Danny approached me with a beer in hand and a cocky smi
Tips for Writing DialogueLet's think about this logically. Writing fiction is about telling a story. Every story revolves around a plot. Every plot is carried out by characters, and characters carry out the plot through action and dialogue.Tips for Writing Dialogue by illuminara
Dialogue comes from characters for the purpose of advancing plot to tell a story. Therefore, dialogue should only exist to serve the purpose of advancing plot and revealing character motivation or history that in turn advances the plot. That's why dialogue exists.
This brings me to my main point. If you take away nothing else from this article, take away this: Only write dialogue that serves the purpose of advancing your plot. If it doesn't, cut it out of your story without hesitation or remorse.
Secondly, conversations in stories should not be anything like conversations in real life. Real life almost never has a plot, and talking almost never reveals motivation or history because there's no plot to life. Therefore, if you're trying to make your dialogue as "true to
Character Creation TipsCharacter Creation Tips by illuminara
Note: I wrote this after reading a similar article in The Writer magazine about a year ago. Hope it's helpful!
Not all characters are created equal. Here are some steps to make yours superior.
Figure out what your character wants, needs, desires. A closer relationship with God? A place to belong? Just to survive? Figure it out. You cant move on to number 2 until you have.
Now that you know what your character most desires, you should be able to figure out what he/she most fears. Doing the wrong thing, being alone, death? They are the polar opposites of your characters desires.
Go back in time to before your story begins and create a detailed backstory for your character. What happened in to past to create in him the desires and fears that he has now? Be specific. Write out individual scenes, or at leas
Character MotivationCharacter Motivation by illuminara
Everyone's heard that characters should have goals, something they want and must strive for, overcoming obstacles and antagonists in order to obtain. Because, well, a story is the record of your character's journey toward achieving a goal.
While all of this is true, I think a lot of writers lose sight of an even more important aspect of character. That is, motivation. Sure, you know what your character wants.
That's the gist of motivation. What is the psychology and reasoning behind your character's goal? If your character is driven to make money, is his motivation greed? To pay off a debt? To support his family?
Motivation is your character's emotional connection with the reader. When the reader comes to understand why your character has set out to achieve his goal, they will understand your character in human terms, relate to him, and become invested in what happens to your character throughout the story.
Without a clear motivation, your character's goals don't mean much. So wha
Motivation for NovelistsMotivating myself to write and keeping that motivation throughout a writing project is one of the biggest challenges I face as a writer. I get the impression a lot of other people struggle with it as well.Motivation for Novelists by illuminara
There are a lot of tools out there such as the Write or Die program and National Novel Writing Month designed to keep you motivated, but they're just gimmicks in my opinion. Writing takes a lot of time and effort, and we as humans need a very compelling reason to exert ourselves in such an extreme manner. A timer or deadline typically isn't good enough.
The only effective long-term motivator is a real, tangible reward. Finishing a novel is a great reward, but the gratification is too long coming to really work as motivation. So what reward system will actually keep you writing and rewriting until you can call your project officially finished?
Well, there's always chocolate. Aside from that, the only compelling reasons to keep writing are that you will literally go crazy if you don't
Story Arc Explained
In every writing community, terms like "plot" and "development" and "arc" are constantly thrown around, and everyone expects everyone else to know what they mean without ever clearly defining them. Sure, vague advice about the importance of character development and story structure are great and all, but how do you actually do it? Aside from style and grammar, what are the mechanics behind a well-told story?
What does a good story look like?
The answer is surprisingly simple. Not easy, but simple. Every good story does one thing well: it asks a question, deliberates it, then answers it. This provides a framework of three acts that create what's called dramatic tension.
Here are some examples of what this looks like:
The Little Mermaid
Act one: Will Ariel become human so she can be with the man she loves?
How to Develop Story Conflict
Conflict is the central element of any story. It’s what keeps us on the edge of our seats and turning page after page until 3:00am. Or, as Wikipedia puts it, narrative conflict is “an inherent incompatibility between the objectives of two or more characters or forces. Conflict creates tension and interest in a story by adding doubt as to the outcome.”
So how do you create this all-important conflict in your stories? Well, it all starts in the development process. There are three basic steps to developing conflict, and they follow a specific logical progression because, ultimately, developing a good story is an exercise in logic. So let’s jump right in.
Step 1) Scope
The first step is drawing the boundaries your story’s scope. That might seem like a weird place to start, but scope will determine nearly every other aspect of your story.
The key here is to determine what within the world of your story is out of balance.
It's a YA decopunk novel about a girl who can transmit whatever she imagines in her head to a live audience (with a little help from technology). She movies from her small town to the city with her brother so she can complete in the annual Dream Battles. In the city, casters are considered celebrities, but she's not interested in fame. She has a speech impediment, and casting is vital to her ability to communicate. While dreamcasting may be seen solely as entertainment, she tries to bring casting's true potential to light.Trigger warnings include violence, disturbing deaths, and suicide. (But none of these are the main focus of the story.
I like to consider myself a nerd with class--not because I'm classy but because I enjoy the classic things in life. I'm the kind of person who notices all the little specks of beauty and inspiration that tend to hide just out of sight everywhere we look. I'm passionate about living a life of creativity and enjoy writing, design, photography, and architecture to name a few of my favorites.|
I'm currently living in Ohio, and I work at a gun shop for my day job and train dogs as my side job. Not even kidding. I have an interesting life.
Give a llama, get one back!
Find me on Skype: grace.sabella