Archive | Writers Toolbox

How To Write A 1-Page Synopsis

One thing writers hate doing but will inevitably have to do (one day or another, at least) is the Dreaded Synopsis. An agent may request it in his/her submission materials, or an editor might want it once your agent has you out on subs. My film agent needed it for shopping around Something Strange & Deadly, and I would imagine other rights-agents would want a short, simple synopsis for the same reason. So in other […]

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Conditioning Forces – Or, your character doesn’t live in a vacuum!

In the 1951 play, Bedtime Story, by Sean O’Casey, the protagonist is faced with the goal of getting a prostitute out of his apartment before his roommate comes home. The character’s goals are founded on the fact that he is a devout Roman Catholic, feels terribly guilty, and doesn’t want his indiscretion to be discovered. Getting the prostitute out of the house without being detected becomes the main character’s all encompassing goal. The prospect of […]

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Which Point of View is Right for You?

Recently, a writer friend of mine wrote a wonderful post about which point of view (POV) she prefers to use in her manuscripts. This got me thinking about what I prefer because lately, I’ve had some epiphanies about POV. Specifically this: the POV you use in your story actually matters. It seems like such an obvious statement. I’m certain you’re thinking, Duh, Sooz! Of course POV matters! But now I’m going to ask you a tough […]

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Secondary Characters

I love creating characters. I love love love creating characters. More than anything, character creation is by far my absolute favorite part of the writing process–and no character is more fun for me than The Secondary Character. (or Secondaries, what I call them for short) Protagonists (and usually antagonists) get plenty of attention—but sometimes I feel like Secondaries are left by the wayside, and slotted in whenever convenient. Certainly these types of characters are necessary, […]

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One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

I always struggle to find balance when I write a first draft. I’m either tweaking adjectives and commas so obsessively that I fail to move forward, or I’m plowing ahead so blindly that I write myself into a complete mess of poor pacing, character inconsistencies, plot holes, the works. I think many writers fight this battle. We know rewriting a single paragraph seventeen times won’t help us finish the draft, so we plow onward. We […]

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