Practical Prompt 3-22-17

WriteOwls logo 150 blackYou finally have a moment to write, but what to do with your limited time? Here’s a practical prompt to kickstart the story you’re working on right now. The clock is ticking, people. Start writing.

In the beginning of most stories, the protagonist often plays a defensive game, reacting to circumstances driven by the opposition. But at some point, she has to take charge of the story. Write the scene where your main character goes on the offensive and takes control of the story’s direction.

Write with a Sense of Urgency

Naomi Hawkins-Rowe

Naomi Hawkins-Rowe

It has been nearly three weeks since our write-a-thon and we hope that you feel you have developed a steady writing practice. Habits are wonderful things to develop, especially since we can see a tangible result: word-count increase, clarity related to plot or character, or an eager hunger to write above all else. Continue reading

Insomniacs Anonymous 3-17-17

WriteOwls logo 150 blackYou’re awake. Instead of writing the Great American Novel—or even a mediocre one—you’re reading our blog. Okay, then. We offer a topic; you respond. Let your fellow writers inspire you, and return to that manuscript refreshed.

It’s St. Patrick’s Day. Have you been blessed with the luck of the Irish? Tell us about your lucky break as a writer.

Practical Prompt 3-15-17

WriteOwls logo 150 blackYou finally have a moment to write, but what to do with your limited time? Here’s a practical prompt to kickstart the story you’re working on right now. The clock is ticking, people. Start writing.

If you have trouble figuring out how to take your characters from one plot point to the next, you might try the “If this, then that,” game. For example, in the story of Cinderella, when the clock struck midnight, Cinderella had two options. She chose to flee the ball before the prince saw her change back into a servant. But she also could have stayed. Brainstorm a list of different actions your protagonist could take given her situation and knowledge base. Then, work up a brief flow chart for each possibility. Ask whether each option stops the story, ends the story, or keeps the story moving forward, perhaps in an unexpected way. Hopefully, this exercise will help you figure out the best path to get your character to the next plot point.

Is Your Story’s Emotional Arc Tried and True?

Stacey Kite

Stacey Kite

In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, one of my all-time favorite books, the answer to life, the universe and everything is 42. Like all of life’s best jokes, it’s funny because it rings so true. Everything in life can be described mathematically, as it turns out—even literature.

In February’s Scientific American, there was an interesting article, by Mark Fischetti, about a study on the emotional story arcs of novels. It turns out that the vast majority of stories fall into only one of six tried and true emotional arcs.

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