Tag Archive: writing tips


Epenthesis-Episode 014: Villains

Funny thing is, I just finished making the villain for my story a couple days ago and I got an email last night to talk about it! It’s weird when these things happen.

Hope everyone is having an awesome NaNoWriMo if you’re participating!

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Epenthesis-Episode 013: Believable Characters

Summary: Talking about Murdering Your Darlings, creating believable flaws, and how you can avoid making Mary Sues. I also talk about Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series and how to use unexpected contradictions to surprise the reader.

I’m thinking of writing a text blog tomorrow to give me a little break from podcasting. Or maybe a video blog! Would you guys like to see me making faces while I talk about writing?

 

 

Sorry for the lack of a podcast so far this week, guys! I’ve been pretty busy getting some things organized for work but I did want to make a book recommendation for character exploring and development.

I find that the best advice usually comes from unexpected places. I was doing an acting workshop when it was suggested that we read Audition by Michael Shurtleff to use as a lens for studying our roles. The section on relationships is especially powerful for me, as it helps me better understand how to handle my own characters.

To give you a taste for it, the book suggests that actors (in an audition setting) should move beyond the obvious motivation in a scene. While it may be tempting to make a shy character lower their head, avoid eye contact, play with their hands, and generally avoid human contact, it is a cliche at this point. It doesn’t add to the character and leaves the actor (or writer in this case) much room to go anywhere. The book suggests to dream big, to allow the character to desire opposites at the same time.

There is an example in the book of a meeting between a man and his new stepmother, who is his own age. The director asks for their motivation, and each actor says that they are “discovering” that they are attracted to each other. The director suggests that they push harder, that the characters be madly in love with each other from that very first moment, the reason being that it gives the actor a lot more to work with. And then you have a powerful opposite that is simultaneously true: for the stepson, the desire not to hurt his father outweighs (in the first scene anyway) his desire for his new stepmother; and the stepmother’s reminding herself that she JUST married the man’s father counters her own desire for him.

The powerful opposites make for a far richer performance (and written scene) than an obvious reaction.

It reminds me of a common problem writers have with beginnings. I’ve heard several times that whatever you’ve got written down, you should cut the first three paragraphs and then begin the story there. The first part is useless information. It isn’t a strong beginning. I think this is part of that concept, that two characters are already in love when they meet rather than “discovering” one another.

So that’s one interesting thing I got from the book but there are plenty of other lessons. Definitely check it out, I’m rereading it right now and loving it.

Epenthesis-Episode 012: Working Outline

Where I talk about working outlines, why I hated Stephenie Meyer’s New Moon, and how watching movies like Stranger Than Fiction can help you structure your scenes. It was really fun to do and I had no idea it was going to be the longest one yet! I apparently have a lot to say when it comes to outlines. It’ll definitely come in handy when November 1st rolls around for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

I believe I mentioned that this episode would be on another topic but I decided that this is what I wanted to talk about today. I’ll get into some of my pre-planned stuff on Friday. :) have a great day till then!

Epenthesis-Episode 011: Filling the Void

Update on this dreary, rainy Monday! Just got back from the National Publicity Summit in NYC, had a great time, but now  I’m sick so you may get to hear my sexy sick voice in the next episode. This one’s a follow up to my blog A Relationship is Like a Character where I talk about the void and character motivation. Until next time!

And thus rounds out the last of the Dialogue series of podcasts:

Part 1: Episode 008: Dialogue

Part 2: Episode 009: Dialogue Tags

Today’s episode:

Epenthesis-Episode 010: Action Around Dialogue

Today’s episode was fun to record since I got so excited talking about it. Dialogue is a great tool, but the action around dialogue really brings a scene together. It’s important to know that your dialogue and your actions create two very different effects, and together are like harmonies that can make a scene really shine.

I’ll be in NYC this week but I’m hoping to have my episodes post while I’m gone.

Next Wednesday’s Episode: Episode 011: Filling the Void

Have a wonderful Monday :)

Hello everyone and welcome to Episode 009! I’m very excited because now you’re getting the freshest, no-more-archived podcasts. I’m going to be doing them on a schedule now so you can expect one every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. As I get into my schedule, I’m hoping to start video blogs on Fridays.

For now, here’s your episode!

Epenthesis-Episode 009: Dialogue Tags

Next up is Monday’s Episode 010 on Action Around Dialogue, one I was very happy to record. Have a great weekend!

Previous Episode: Dialogue (Part 1)

Action Around Dialogue (Part 3)

Happy Tuesday everyone! I’m slowing down a bit posting the podcasts since I recorded nine of them before I put them up on the blog. Now that I’m getting closer to “real time” so to speak, I’m figuring out how often I want to update. Might be fun to go three to five times a week. Anyone have an opinion, leave me a message. I’m hoping that these are useful!

Today’s podcast follows:

Epenthesis-Episode 008: Dialogue

This is Part 1 of the Dialogue Series (dun dun DUN!) and I get pretty passionate about it. I also have a nice little tangent in there about the History of Reading class I took in grad school, and how grammar came to be. I might do a video at some point about it since I would have a lot of fun with visuals!

Next episode: Dialogue Tags (Part 2)

Edit: Action Around Dialogue (Part 3)

Epenthesis-Episode 007: Brainstorming

I was apprehensive about sharing details about my upcoming project but I wrote about 2,500 words last night so I’m on a good high about it. It also helped me figure out some sticky plot points by talking it out!

Episode 004: Discarding Old Tools I talk a little in the beginning about Episode 4 so here’s a quick link.

Episode 006: Plot vs. Theme I mention this one too so here’s a quick link for it.

 

Progress Stats:

Current Wordcount: 28,323

Goal: 70,000

Draft: First

Deadline: October 31, 2011

Epenthesis-Episode 006: Plot vs. Theme

Wherein I talk about plot, theme, and how they’re different. I also talk about time travel, Sailor Moon, and my secret new writing project that I hope to keep secret…but I reveal more about in upcoming podcast.

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