Every book on writing emphasizes that your characters, especially the protagonist, need to change over the course of the story. But change how? What constitutes character change?
In the past, that’s been a sticky one for me. Whether it was because writing books seemed to emphasize the importance of personality flaws that made characters annoying or immoral, or because I didn’t catch the subtleties, I interpreted the phrase character change to mean a change in the characters’ characters.
Last month, during our Write by Midnight challenge, a friend recommended a writing app to me. I’d always been skeptical of those kind of writing tools. (Come on, either you write or you don’t; how could an app make you more efficient?) But, on a whim, I gave it a try.
To my surprise, it was a lot of fun. And because it was fun, it gave me a little extra writing motivation—for a few days. Then I got frustrated with the app. The problem was it didn’t do the things I thought it should do. Continue reading
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.
I’m one of those people who continually says, “If I could just get organized.” Over the years, it’s become my mantra. When I say it, my husband simply smiles. (Kind of like I smile when he comes home from a round of golf and says, “I finally figured out what’s wrong with my swing.”)
But a side benefit of doing the Write by Midnight challenge is that I have been more organized this month. I came up with a realistic writing schedule—one that I think I can actually maintain. Continue reading
We’ve all heard the advice “write every day,” and it’s the base goal of the Write by Midnight challenge: to establish a daily writing habit. But one thing I’ve seen in the first three weeks of WBM is that I am a yo-yo writer.
One day my production is great—600 words plus at a rate of better than 450 words/hour, and I easily surpass my 500 word/day goal. But then the next day’s word count is dismal. (I mean really dismal, like 35 words in two hours.) Then it’s back up to OK the following day. A graph of production looks like a schizophrenic EKG. Continue reading