If you read much, you already know novels are not limited to a single plot thread. A lot of books I’ve read have a main plot, at least one subplot, and a character arc. Your main plot is the scaffold on which you build the story and measure progress. Character arcs and sub-plots add depth … Continue reading DIY MFA: Growing Your Character
“I think people respond to dystopian stories because they're ways of acting out anxieties that we have and fears that we have about the future. So much media's coming at you over the Internet, your brain gets overloaded. You don't know what to do with it. And one thing you can do with it is … Continue reading Random Quote for August 10, 2020
Katra Alterian had been trying to call her cousin, Elayna, since yesterday, to no avail. It was not like Ela to ignore her calls. So, she drove to Ela's house to talk to her cousin. Katra ran into Talbot on her way to Ela's room. "Have you seen Ela or Eli?" she asked Talbot, the … Continue reading Chapter 1: Clues
A story is a plot, a character, and a setting glued together by conflict. Some writers can fully outline their book before they write a single word of their novel. Other writers begin with a concept and a character, then watch the characters as they move from point A to point Z. Still, others combine … Continue reading DIY MFA: Picking a Path
Today’s word comes from a reader. Follow me on Facebook: @jjshaunauthor. Today’s Word Part of Speech noun Definition A belief in human equality especially with respect to social, political, and economic affairs.A social philosophy advocating the removal of inequalities among people.Belief in the equality of all people, especially in political, social, or economic life. History … Continue reading Wednesday Word for August 5, 2020
Eliam Alterian peered into the cave’s mouth, his flashlight beam catching a glint in the darkness. “Check this out, Ela,” he called over his shoulder as his twin hauled herself up onto the rock shelf. Avid rock climbers and spelunkers, Eliam and Elayna loved testing their skill in the Rocky Mountains near the family compound … Continue reading Adventures of the Alterian Family: Prologue
When I read a mystery novel, I expect to find some aspects during the story. A valuable item will go missing, some puzzle must be solved, or a body will turn up. The same holds true when I read a drama, romance, or fantasy novel. Each form has its own structure, and readers of those … Continue reading DIY MFA: What Makes a Plot?
(C) 2020, JJ Shaun As writers, we all want to write the next Great American Novel. But why? What made you realize that you wanted to be a writer? I can only answer for myself. I’m a life-long reader, even though I haven’t been as much of a reader lately as in the past. When … Continue reading Why Do You Write?
What is a plot? According to Brandon Sanderson, the plot is a promise made at the beginning, progress toward fulfilling that promise, and a payoff at the end. What does that all mean? In the first few sentences, paragraphs, and pages, you make a promise to your reader. That promise includes the tone. Is it … Continue reading DIY MFA: Learning to Plot
If you’ve been reading these pages, you know I’ve been watching the videos to Brandon Sanderson’s BYU course on writing science fiction and fantasy. As I listen, I’ve been brainstorming on what I call my New Concept and decided to make changes to my stories to fit with what I’m learning. If you’ve poked around … Continue reading Finding the Story