Just diving in doesn’t work. How do I know? Because it’s my default approach to writing, and I have boxes (and hard drives) full of unfinished stories. But allow me to clarify: By “diving in” I mean writing before your
I have a tendency to write lean — as in close-to-the-bone. In my college days, I was compared to Hemingway from time time, not because I was as good as him, but because I was similarly stingy with detail. I
I don’t know George R. R. Martin, and I would not presume to speak for him. I am, however, willing to speculate about his motives and processes. It seems to me — and I could be wrong — that Martin
One idea isn’t enough. If you’re writing fiction, you need two or more concepts in order to have a viable premise. But they can’t be just any old concepts. Preferably, they should be ideas in opposition to one another or
Too much is made in writing how-to literature of the main character’s Want, the motivator which propels him through his story. In describing this force in terms of a desire, would-be writing gurus are doing their readers a disservice. Most
I’ve written three essays on plot, all of which can be found on this website. In the first installment, I gave my definition of the term “premise”, and it goes a little something like this: “…it is the springboard or
There’s an old axiom: “drama is conflict”. Without conflict, you have two guys in an empty room with nothing interesting to say or do. If you want a story, you need to get the two guys mad at one another.