Scenes: Character Motivation, #Preptober, Day 24

Today, you might be wondering why it seems like we're dipping back into character development, as the topic of our prompt is Character Motivation. But guess what? Character's motivations also affect your scenes! Let's explore. When crafting your scenes, you obviously want to have logical actions following one after another in time – unless you're playing with timelines and experimenting Continue Reading...

Scenes: Subplots, #Preptober Day 23

Yesterday we talked about our main plot. Today it's time to talk about subplots. First of all, what's a subplot? The most basic definition is a "subordinate or secondary plot." But why do you want or need these, and what is the purpose of subplots? Subplots typically deal with additional elements in your story, such as a romance or conflict between two characters. These are usually Continue Reading...

Scenes: Main Plot, #Preptober Day 22

It's Day 22 of Preptober, which means it's high time we started plotting this story! Let's start small: What's your story about? Think about the main story you plan to tell, and put it into one sentence that will convey the gist to your audience. This is often referred to as the "elevator pitch" or the "logline." Your pitch should be: [author_list style="star"] Short To the Continue Reading...

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon: It begins!

Hooray for reading! Today is another installment of Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon, and although the challenge started at 5 AM in my timezone, I am just getting started now. So, here are my answers to the opening survey... 1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? I'm in sunny San Diego, California. 2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? The one Continue Reading...

Setting Themes: #Preptober, Day 21

Today let's talk about themes. Themes are often used as the entry point into an idea about the kind of novel you want to write. Maybe you want to write about love or loss or forgiveness. Ambition, betrayal, coming of age – these are all themes. Writers usually pick one as the overarching idea that will guide their story (my ninja story is a coming of age tale, for instance). The problem Continue Reading...

Setting Touch: #Preptober, Day 20

We've covered all the "S" senses (sight, sound, smell) We've almost covered all five senses now – except for the very last: touch. The sense of touch is powerful, and like most senses can go in either a positive or negative direction, depending on the person doing the touching and the person receiving that touch. Think about positive forms of touching first: shaking hands, hugging, Continue Reading...

Setting Tastes: #Preptober, Day 19

We've covered all the "S" senses (sight, sound, smell), so now it's on to the Ts. Today's sense to ponder is taste. Thinking about your setting, there might be quite a lot to taste, or very little, depending on where your character is and what they're doing there. If your character is in a café or restaurant, taste is paramount! What do they want to eat, and what makes them crave those Continue Reading...

Setting Smells: #Preptober, Day 18

Having covered sight and hearing, let's now turn our attention to something that's as plain as the nose on our face. Let's talk about our sense of smell. The sense of smell can be a bit tricky when thinking about your setting. Many of us tend to ignore smells unless they are particularly bad. For instance, the smell of rotting garbage may alert your character to the fact that today is Trash Continue Reading...

Setting Sounds: #Preptober, Day 17

Yesterday we talked about settings in terms of our sense of sight. Today, let's turn our attention to a slightly under-used sense: HEARING. What kinds of sounds are present in your setting? This could be music, speech, ambient sound, or even deliberately irritating noise. Let's start with music. Writers often like to work music into their novels, whether to set the mood or to use lyrics as Continue Reading...

Setting Sights: #Preptober, Day 16

This week, we're shifting from talking about character development into creating your setting. When choosing your settings, the goal is to put your characters into interesting situations, of course. But another good exercise to try is thinking about the five senses that will be stimulated in these environments. So, today, let's start with our most frequently used sense: SIGHT. Thinking Continue Reading...