Writing Craft

For your book-obsessed teens, check out these four content-rich 45-minute sessions on craft and industry–perfect for NaNoWriMo Young Writers. As with all my Skype and Google visits, these sessions are offered free of charge. To schedule one or more of these for your class or writing group, contact me.

Plot/Pacing:
Plot is the skeleton of your story. It’s the structure everything else hangs on. In this segment, we’ll discuss how to generate plot, how to twist plot, and how to pace plot. We’ll also go over tools you can use to help you plot.

Character/Dialogue:
Character is the heart of your story. It’s the whole reason you’re telling the story in the first place. Plot without character is called news and doesn’t generate the kind of everlasting emotional connection that plot with character does. In this segment, we’ll discuss how to create compelling characters, how to reveal character over time, and how to change character for a satisfying ending. We’ll also focus on the dos and don’ts of dialogue that separate the pros from the newbies.

Setting/Research:
Setting is the skin and muscle of your story. It’s what defines the boundaries of your story’s world. Whether it’s a system of magic, a foreign country, a different time period, or a choice of venue for a scene, it provides the reader with context for the plot and for character motivation. In this segment, we’ll discuss how to build believable worlds, how to weave in description that pops without overpowering, and how to use a character’s surroundings to influence plot. We’ll also go over some shortcuts you can use in researching details for your setting.

Publishing/Platform:
Publishing is where the brain comes in. You could write the next Great American Novel, but if the market is already saturated with books that have an almost identical premise, your story probably won’t sell. In this segment, we’ll discuss industry professionals, pitfalls, and platform. We’ll also talk about networking with other writers and how that can catapult you into the big leagues.

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