These two related booby-traps are often hidden beneath our little darlings (clever dialogue, beautiful description, etc). That is probably why Stephen King recommended we kill them. Yes, kill them dead. No burying them in the Pet Semetary, also known as “revision.” Killing means killing….as in delete forever. Yet too many times we hang on to those favorite characters or bits of dialogue, reworking them and hoping we can make them fit…at the expense of the rest of the story.
Aug 09 2010
Little Darlings & Why They Must Die..for Real
Aug 03 2010
Beware the Bog of Backstory
Think of it this way, if a guy is holding a gun to your head to take your car, do you really care about the childhood trauma that made him turn to crime? Uh…no. But basically that is what we do to the reader when we interrupt the flow of action to shift back in time and explain.
Jul 13 2010
Setting–More than a Backdrop
Keep perspective and blend. Keep conflict and character center stage and the backdrop in its place…behind the characters.
Jun 30 2010
One Ingredient to Make Your Fiction Timeless
To create riveting fiction we must put our characters in real danger continuously. They just about solve one problem only to realize they opened a door to a new and even worse problem.
Jan 13 2010
Beyond Bastards, Bullies and Bad Girls–Understanding the Antagonist
So be kind to your readers. Leave existentialism in philosophy class, and make sure to give your readers something “real” to grab a hold of. They need a focal point to be better able to cheer on your hero (heroine).