Scene Mastery Boot Camp ~ Geyserville, California

There’s still time to sign up for our Scene Mastery Boot Camp set in the heart of California’s gorgeous wine country! And, yes, there will be wine …

Why a boot camp?

Because getting away from the daily grind and distractions affords you the opportunity to focus 100% on your writing. No cleaning, laundry, meals to cook. Just indulge in your creativity.

At our boot camps, you’ll spend three full days with other writers, writing, brainstorming, reading your material, getting constructive feedback and personal attention, and having fun!

How often do you get out of your cage and just hang out with other creatives in a small group setting like this? Continue Reading…

6 Destructive Thoughts That Stop You from Writing—and How to Slay Them  

Today’s guest post is by Dan Brotzel.

We all lament the lack of time we have for creative work. But then when we actually get some time, we sometimes fail to make good use of it. Here are six blockers to getting your writing done and how to deal with them.

“But it’s all been said before!”

Problem: You think: There are so many stories in the world already, what could I possibly add that hasn’t already been said a hundred times before, a hundred times better?

Solution: Remember that unoriginality at the level of structure isn’t a bad thing—in fact, it’s almost inevitable. We all love stories that are variations on well-known templates and structures. We like to see good triumph over evil, the odd couple finally get together, the killer unmasked.

Yes, it may have been said before. But not by you, to your audience, with your style and perspective. Continue Reading…

The Character Arc in Six Specific Stages

Here’s a post I wrote for Writers Helping Writers some months back that I’d like to share with you.

As a writer, you’re probably familiar with the term “character arc,” but what does a character arc entail? How do you structure this arc? And what informs the way your character changes, from the start of your story to the end?

While all characters in a novel can have arcs, it’s the protagonist whose change should be the most significant. Depending on genre and plot, your hero’s change might be subtle or life-altering. A suspense thriller or cozy mystery may show little character growth by the end, when the bad guy is caught or the mystery solved, whereas a thoughtful women’s fiction novel or relational drama may showcase monumental change.

But, in all stories, arcs are about change or transformation. And the stories with strong arcs show a character starting in what Hollywood movie consultant Michael Hauge calls identity or persona.

What makes for a great persona is a character who has suffered in his past and has developed a coping mechanism over time. This is his face he presents to the world that keeps buried his pain, fear, or hurt. Continue Reading…

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