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Writing Process – It Takes Two

Writing Process – It Takes Two

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 which interact in such a way to generate plot...

Writing Process – For Want of a Want

Writing Process – For Want of a Want

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 heroes, I would argue, are...

Writing Process – Premise Keeper

Writing Process – Premise Keeper

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 gist upon which a plot can be built. It’s the true...

Writing Process – Plot (Part 3: Conflict)

Writing Process – Plot (Part 3: Conflict)

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. Allow me to clarify with a charmingly folksy definition of...

Writing Process – Plot (Part 2: Character and Premise)

Writing Process – Plot (Part 2: Character and Premise)

I’ve concluded that plotting for plot’s sake is a mathematical exercise doomed to yield soulless results. Starting with plot and ending with plot isn’t storytelling, it’s puzzle-making. There is now and always has been a market for these sorts of puzzles — the Mystery...

Writing Process – Plot (Part 1: Coming to Grips)

Writing Process – Plot (Part 1: Coming to Grips)

I have a mental/emotional block when it comes to hashing out plot. I take some comfort in knowing I'm not alone in this, but Ive decided that it’s time to address the problem directly. Heres a window into my longstanding M.O.: I create a character and follow him to...