Tag Archive - The Heart of Your Story

Writing the Heart of Your Story

My long-awaited writing craft book Writing the Heart of Your Story is now available as an ebook and you can get it here! This book is a compilation of the year-long course I ran on this blog in 2012—but so much more! I’m all about writing not good but great novels, and the purpose of Writing the Heart of Your Story is to help you write a terrific, memorable novel. (For the print paperback, click here)

By way of introduction, here are some thoughts discussed in the book—important things for novelists to think about when deciding to commit the time and effort toward crafting a novel. May this book be just the guide you need—showing you how to get to the heart of your story so you can touch readers’ hearts.

What would you say was the difference between a good book and a great one? Between a forgettable novel and a classic that lingers long in your memory, maybe even for years? Between a book with a title and plot you’ve forgotten mere days after you read it and one with lines that haunt you for years, and characters that seem so real you find yourself thinking about them over a lifetime and wondering what they would say or do in a given situation? Some good books provide an entertaining read, much like a good meal will satisfy. But then there are those other books. Continue Reading…

The Place Great Ideas Come From

I’m going to explore the topics of idea and passion in the upcoming weeks. I am often asked, “Where do you get those ideas for your novels?” Have you ever stopped to consider just how ideas come to us?

I’ve heard writers lament on occasion that they just can’t come up with any good ideas for their next book. They “rack” their brains trying to find a new story, or a new twist on an old story (more likely, since it’s pretty true there are “no new plots.”)

How do ideas bubble up to the  surface of our consciousness and why those ideas? Is there a way to “bubble up” some great ideas that will make a compelling story?
Continue Reading…

Looking Back over the Journey to the Heart

“The idea is to write so that people hear it, and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.” —Maya Angelou

Over the course of this year, we’ve taken a long journey from the entrance to the mine to the heart of your story, where the mother lode of gold is hidden. The objective? To create an unforgettable, great novel that speaks to the heart of the reader—hopefully transcending the restrictions of time and place. By aiming for the heart with universal themes, rich characters, and carefully constructed scenes, you might just produce a novel that will live in the hearts of readers for generations—a novel we might call timeless. Continue Reading…