The ABCs of How to Write a Good Story

A story is more than a beginning a middle and an end. Seasoned writers know that each part has a bunch of specific functions to perform. If any of them fail the story will be less than satisfying for the reader. This series is about more than the ABCs of how to write a good story. I’ll deep dive into how the right beginning, middle, and end can make a good story. But before we start, we need to find common definitions of terms writers throw around. There are hundreds of decisions to make before you start writing a story. The writer makes some of these decisions subconsciously and often makes them in a willy-nilly sort of order. Each writer’s process is different and that is okay. So, today we’re going start making decisions by defining the word story. What Is Story? There are hundreds of variations on the definition so I’m going to be arbitrary. I find Lisa Cron’s definition most accurate and useful. A story is about how the things that happen affect someone in pursuit of a difficult goal, and how that person changes as a result.–Story Genius by Lisa Cron There are stories where the person […]

Stories Need Structure

Reading is fundamentally part of being a writer. Many writers start off as a reader. And over time they decide to try to write their own stories. At least that’s how I started. Unfortunately, reading stories does not teach you how to write stories. Stories need structure even if it’s applied at a subconscious level. A Pantser at Heart A pantser is a writer who starts writing without a plan. Years ago, that was me. I’d start with a voice and an idea. Yup, my characters talked to me, or through me. But my stories were unsatisfying. There was no pace, very little conflict, and too often, very little story. They weren’t the stories I’d dreamed of writing. More than Beginning-Middle-End I’m sure you’ve all heard that stories need a beginning a middle and an end. But that’s not enough. Many stories have beginnings and middles and ends. What they don’t have is pace or structure or, sadly, compelling conflict. Indie authors suffer from this most ONLY because self-publishing makes it easy to put it out there before their writing has matured. There are plenty of traditionally published authors whose stories suffer from a lack of understanding story structure. As […]

Name callers: Improve Your Insults AKA Fun With Words

To All Name Callers: Improve Your Insults (AKA Words Are Fun)

I’m tired of all the school grounds name calling that is done in the name of “discussing” politics and speaking up to protect us. Name calling is an attempt to bully or diminish someone with demeaning language. It is the least effect means of “discussion.” So I’ve decided to issue a challenge to all name callers: improve your insults. And because it’s unlikely the name callers will do research in order to improve their insults, I’m providing you with a choice of words. (In case you don’t get it—I’m not really asking you to improve your insults. I’d rather you don’t insult anyone. I provide this list because I love words and these are fun to say.) Suggested Words Acerbate—a bitter person Bedswerver—An adulterer Billingsgate—coarse or abusive language Bloviate—people who talk for a long time or who inflate their story to make themselves sound better Bumfuzzle—confused, perplexed, flustered Cacafuego—Swaggering braggart or boaster Contumelious — insolent; rude and sarcastic; contemptuous Dingus: A person regarded as stupid Discombobulated—Very confused and disorganized  Drate-Poke—One who drawls or speaks indistinctly. Flibbertigibbet—a silly person who talks incessantly Fopdoodle—Insignificant or foolish man Gardyloo—a warning shouted before slop bucket is dumped out the window Gobermouch—Prying person who likes to […]