Donald Maas, Encouragement, Inspirational, Spiritual Growth, Writing, Writing Emotion

How to Handle Criticism—Part II

via Flickr
via Flickr

What a difference a week makes. I’m more at peace now than I was just six and seven days ago. And I also noticed I’ve put up other posts from time to time about handling criticism. Last week was very difficult for me. I felt humiliated in some ways, and I had to humble myself in others.

But I learned that how I respond to problems and challenges is the most important thing. Click to Tweet #amwriting #criticism

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Donald Maas, Writing, Writing Resources

Putting Fire in Your Fiction–Part V

fire-2The last few weeks, we’ve been looking in-depth about how to insert tension into every scene, because without it, the scene falls flat. We’ve looked at tension in dialogue, in exposition, action, hyping up low-tension scenes, and today, we’ll look at creating tension where there is none.

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Donald Maas, Emotion, personal stakes, Plotting, Writing, Writing Resources

Putting Fire in Your Fiction–Part IV

FireLast time, we talked about tension. Tension is the most necessary ingredient in any fiction you write. Click to tweet. Using Donald Maass’ The Fire in Fiction as a resource, we covered Tension in Dialogue, Tension in Action, and Tension in Exposition. Today, we’ll look at sprucing up low-tension scenes and avoiding the traps.

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Donald Maas, Writing, Writing Resources

Putting Fire in Your Fiction

The Fire in FictionThe tagline to Donald Maas’ The Fire in Fiction is “passion, purpose, and techniques TO MAKE YOUR NOVEL GREAT.”

The book covers everything from characterization, the story world, scenes, dialogue, and voice. Each chapter has a set of practical tools dealing with each section from that chapter. As an example, I’ll talk about Chapter Three, Scenes That Can’t Be Cut.

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Breakout Workbook, building characters, Donald Maas, Writing

Writing–The Mystery of Characters Part I

sheriff characterWhat is a character? An imaginary person we writers think up. How did I create Meghan Gallagher? She started out as a nineteen-year-old very unlikeable spoiled brat, which is what I wanted her to be, but soon learned no one wants to read about a spoiled brat, even though she was going to change drastically. A former Christian Writers Guild (CWG) mentor helped me make her more likeable, and it worked. Meghan could still exhibit immaturity and impulsiveness, but without the entitlement snobby attitudes that go with it.

How did I form her two suitors, Scott and Duncan? Well, they had to be similar, yet very different. Duncan the cowboy especially, had to be opposite of Meghan, yet in reality, had more in common with her than Scott, the doctor. I’ll deal with them in Part II, and some of my supporting characters in Part III. Continue reading “Writing–The Mystery of Characters Part I”

Breakout Workbook, Donald Maas, Writing, Writing Resources

Breakout III – General Story Techniques

breakout workbookThis week, we’ve been looking at Donald Maas’ Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook. I trust you have had your whistle whetted to learn more from this writing resource.

Yesterday, we looked at Lessons 13-24, Part II, Plot Development. The lessons covered everything from subplots, to adding tension in different ways, to how and when to use backstory, plot layering, and complications.

I’ll do the same today – pick out one point from each of the remaining lessons to encourage you to acquire the workbook and devour it. It will help you grow your novel and make it special. That’s what readers want and it’s what we writers want.

Today – I’ll be listing the lessons from Part III – General Story Techniques. This unit covers Lessons 25 to 34, everything from raising the stakes, complications, layering plot lines, subplots, turning points, conflict, and adding tension. I also talk about the Appendices.

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Breakout Workbook, Donald Maas, Plotting, Writing, Writing Resources

Writing to Breakout II – Plot

breakout workbookThis week, we’re looking at Donald Maas’ Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook. My goal is to inspire and educate you to the basics of writing, and hopefully help you find resources to enhance your writing.

Yesterday, we looked at Lessons 1-12, Part I, Character Development from Donald Maas. The lessons covered everything from adding heroic qualities to a protagonist (the one we root for), to antagonists, to enriching the major cast with secondary characters. I listed one point from each, and encouraged you to acquire this workbook and complete the fill-in exercises at the end of each lesson to help you grow your novel.

Today – I’ll be listing the lessons from Plot Development with a “nugget” from each. This unit covers Lessons 13 to 24, everything from raising the stakes, complications, layering plot lines, subplots, turning points, conflict, and adding tension.

Continue reading “Writing to Breakout II – Plot”