The Writing Life

Tag Archives | Structure

Watch More Movies (For Real)

I’m a big believer in listening and paying attention to all of the stories around you. To the people who talk about their days in a compelling way. To the family histories. To books, yes. To audiobooks. And to movies and TV shows. And in that vein, I would like to take a minute to validate all of you in your Netflix habits because I’m about to tell you to watch more movies. Stop feeling […]

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What Is Good Pacing, and Why Does It Matter?

Good Afternoon, Pubcrawlers! If you’ve ever queried a manuscript or sold a book, then I think it’s safe to assume you’ve likely heard the word “pacing” in feedback for your project. Whether the pacing was too slow, too fast, or missing something, when I’m editing client projects or giving feedback on submissions, it’s one of the notes I give the most. When a novel is well-paced, it carries the reader through the story easily to […]

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What Comes Before Part Two: Best Character, Basic Action, Weakness and Choice

Hello again! A couple of weeks ago, I gave you the start to a worksheet I use for every new project to help fill out my premise, story world, and how I choose to tell your story. Now I’d like to elaborate further on that sheet and go into the beginnings of character. Before you ever start outlining or even writing your draft, you have to know your characters. Some people do this by filling […]

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What Comes Before You Start Writing: Premise, Execution, World

Hello again! Because I’ve been in the planning stages of a new project for a little while now, I thought I’d talk about What Comes Before You Start Writing. I know we’ve all read a million posts from various sources about outlining, but I’d like to talk about something a little different, and that’s giving yourself the tools to outline well, or perhaps work without an outline entirely (if you’re more of a pantser). I’ve […]

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