Lessons to Practice #16: Perfecting Act Two of Your Story

¡Buenas tardes! We’re right in the midst of a new week, and for some of us that means getting back into the rhythm of work, self-care, and all the usual adult responsibilities. My hope is that, no matter how busy your schedule gets, you can still find time to get your creative writing and blogging…

Lessons to Practice #14: Nailing True-to-Life Dialogue

Hello! Did you know that I recently became a member of the Denton Writers’ Critique Group? I was fortunate enough to stumble across the group’s website in late January, and I attended my first meeting that very same night. My writing craft has never been stronger or more fully supported than now, and I graciously…

Lessons to Practice #12: Emotionally Charging Your Scenes

Hello and good evening, faithful audience. For this next installment of my “Lessons to Practice” series, I’m taking a closer look at the way in which we bring scenes alive in order to sustain a viable, engaging, and memorable story.  In my humble opinion, the most critical key to making a scene grab my readers…

Lessons to Practice #11: Plotting a Hero’s Journey (Part 2 of 2)

I have a super awesome announcement tonight: this past Monday, at around 11:41 AM, I completed my first draft of book 1 in my trilogy, The Virility Project! This is by far my largest and most thematically complex work of fiction to date, and one whose idea I first conceived waaay back in early 2009. After a couple…

Lessons to Practice #10: Plotting a Hero’s Journey (Part 1 of 2)

Hello! I hope this blog post finds you well. I’d like to thank Akaluv, The Eye-Dancers, Meher, and thesarahdoughty for stopping by and liking one or several of my Lessons to Practice posts over the past few weeks. You all help me keep my motivation alive 🙂 Last week, I briefly explored the archetypal three-act…

Lessons to Practice #8: The Compelling Protagonist

Before I begin, I’d like to apologize for not doing my usual Thursday night writing posts. I have been without internet at my town home for the past two weeks, which has made writing a bit more challenging. Luckily we should have our services up and running by tomorrow afternoon, so you can expect my…

Lessons to Practice #7: The Essence of Setting

Tonight I have setting on my mind. Not just its importance or its definition, but its essence. What makes a setting? Is it a specific physical location? A staging ground for the characters to interact and develop? Or the ways in which a particular place triggers our five senses and evokes our emotional response? For me,…

Lessons to Practice #6: Opening Lines

You’ve thought of your story idea, devised your main character and your supporting cast, created a basic outline, and maybe even written down your story’s central themes. Yet all of that work, as rewarding and powerful as it is, still feels like you’re holding your breath. When does the exhale finally happen? When you dive…

Lessons to Practice #5: Mapping Out Subplots

Subplots. Themes. The amalgam of every side story and secondary character can become a beautiful and multilayered work of art that carries readers through a story with ease – or it can devolve into a nasty mess of confusing or ill-developed themes and forgettable characters. Yikes! Last week I wrote about the topic of theme, which I’m expounding…