Learn Plotting: Miss Peregrine’s Home…

Plotting: MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN Line-by-line writing is important. Characterization is key. But for most readers and editors of genre and mainstream fiction, what’s most important is story. A story that grabs the reader by the throat, hauls her inside, and doesn’t let her go until the story comes to a satisfying end. How does a writer create a work of fiction that compels the reader to keep turning pages? Ransom Riggs demonstrates his mastery of story in his wondrous first novel, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. In chapter one, our protagonist Jacob, … [Read more...]

Recommended book for readers and writers

Gazette, Lions of Little Rock

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine.   Plot and character development work together in a finely crafted novel. A character wants something but faces difficult circumstances. As she grapples with her problems, she is beaten down by events or her own mistakes. She feels discouraged, flawed, maybe hopeless at times. But little by little, as she feels her way, she learns from her missteps. And she grows stronger. At the end of the novel, we recognize that, whether or not she is successful in getting what she wants, she has developed and changed for the better because of her … [Read more...]

Character Building


Note: When writing here about characters, when the gender isn’t specific, I won’t use the awkward phrase “him or her” or constantly repeat “the character.”  I’ll use the female gender, but please know that I’m referring to either male or female. Character Building My favorite job as a writer is creating characters. I need to know and understand them and what goes on inside their heads, so I can make them authentic and memorable. Many elements go into creating a rounded character. I generally start writing the first draft, not knowing a lot about my protagonist. I put her in a situation and … [Read more...]