Tag Archive - Theme with a Heart

Mastering the 4 Key Elements to Support Your Novel

Since we’ve been exploring masterful writing over these last few months (and will continue to do so), I want to bring you back to the basics of novel structure. Why? Because all the masterful writing in the world won’t go very far if you don’t nail structure.

As you probably know (if you’ve been following my blog awhile), I write a lot about structure. And that’s because it’s crucial if you want to write a solid story. It’s as simple as that.

Every writing coach with a lick of sense is going to tell you essentially the same things I do. Maybe they use different terminology or describe concept or premise differently. Those are moot points.

What matters is that you understand how important structure is. And where to start.

That’s why I like using the building construction metaphor. You have to have a sturdy foundation for your building that meets established and proven building codes. A novel works on the same principles. Continue Reading…

Revisiting the Four Primary Pillars of Novel Construction

Over the last five-plus months we’ve been exploring the four primary, essential components of novel building, which I label in this course “corner pillars.” I spent a bit of time on these because they truly are the foundation of your novel—and if those four pillars aren’t structurally sound, your novel will collapse. Really and truly.

If you are joining in late to this course, all you have to do is go back to the first post the first week of January and work your way through these four pillars. My advice to anyone wanting to craft a really great novel that stands up to scrutiny and the test of time is to take the time to ensure that these four key elements in your novel are thoroughly developed and don’t have any weak spots. Continue Reading…

A Journey through Theme Development

Today we’re going to wrap up our look at theme, one of the four corner pillars of novel construction. All year I’ve been emphasizing how important it is that writers work on all four “corner pillars” supporting their story at the same time, in a kind of holistic process. Brainstorming these four pillars at the same time, strengthening each as you see how they fit together, will help you end up with a strong, tight novel.

There is no need to work on these in a certain order. Start with your idea, then keep moving through the elements that pertain to building your protagonist and his goal, your concept with a kicker, your conflict and high stakes. Use the inspection checklists at the bottom to ask those hard questions of your structure and work out the answers until you have those pillars fashioned and hardened like concrete! Continue Reading…

Page 1 of 3123»