Category Archives: Writing tools
Setting and character
From 143-145 of Sarah Stone and Ron Nyren’s Deepening Fiction: Let a “narrator’s specific attitudes and desires color” a setting Mention “inanimate objects . . . in relation to” your character’s desire Use “an aspect of the setting to illuminate“ … Continue reading
Setting: a room
This exercise helps show how setting can characterize and how it might move a plot forward.
Slowed time, openings and endings
Consider this PDF, which combines elements from Joan Silber’s excellent The Art of Time in Fiction and Janet Burroway’s Writing Fiction to discuss slowed time and openings and endings.
Characters and dialogue
From Brian Kiteley’s always excellent The 3 A.M. Epiphany, try this exercise.
Answer these questions about your character. Consider interesting contrasts between at least two of your answers. What does your character look like? What’s the last thing your character said to someone she or he loves? Dislikes? Describe your character’s default … Continue reading
From character to plot
Consider this quotation: “Plot is about the word so, not the word and. It’s about because of the reason given; consequently; with the result that; in order that. . . . ‘When a character does something, he becomes that character; … Continue reading
Fiction writing strategies/techniques
A hasty, tentative list: Characterization Appearance, thought, action, dialogue, direct statements, other characters’ reactions Decisions Stories characters tell characterize them What physical objects do they surround themselves with? Plot Character’s desires made manifest; objections encountered and wrestled with: Desire + … Continue reading
First sentences and a rough draft
From Metro: Journeys in Writing Creatively, this exercise has lead me to very rough first drafts. Try it.
Consider these graphs. Once you’ve finished a draft, what might something like this teach you about your work? You might try it and see. by mayaeilam. Explore more visuals like this one on the web’s largest information design community … Continue reading
Towards characterization: Secrets and Contradictions
Read this brief essay on characterization by David Corbett. Give your main character a secret and a contradiction. Write paragraphs discussing scenes that might result from each and email them to me.