Creating a Character Bio Sheet

Character bio sheets are not only a simple way to create characters, they are a great way to keep track of the characters you develop. When you write a longer work, such as a novel or screenplay, it is easy to forget minor character details. If you aren’t careful, the blue eyes you described on page five can turn to brown eyes by the end of page eighty. Using a character bio sheet, you can record all of the essential details for your characters and keep them in a single place so that you can check those details whenever necessary. … Continue reading Creating a Character Bio Sheet

Cedar Rapids did not give me a Hangover

I finally got to see Cedar Rapids over the weekend. This movie is getting a slow release, which is a shame because it is easily as funny as any movie I’ve seen this year and I wanted to race out to see it based on the previews, but had to wait almost two months. Just a minute or two into the movie my wife commented that it felt like an Alexander Payne movie such as Election, Citizen Ruth or Sideways. Sure enough, while he didn’t direct it, he was one of the producers. The actual director was Miguel Arteta, who … Continue reading Cedar Rapids did not give me a Hangover

The Fiction Description Prescription

Here are some questions you should ask yourself when you are describing things for a story. You don’t need to describe every element of a story to a minute level of detail, but you should consider what will make your descriptions better, and what can send you off course. What would the characters notice? Describing a place in detail can be very good, but only if the descriptions would matter to the reader or to the character. The view outside the window of a car doesn’t matter if the main character spends the trip reading a book, unless you are … Continue reading The Fiction Description Prescription

What to Do Once the Crisis is Settled

Is this the End? Every story has to end. The most important thing that has to happen before a story ends is that the central conflict of the story has to be settled. The protagonist wins. The protagonist loses. The protagonist realizes that she has both won and lost. Whatever the case, the crisis is settled. What then? Say a Little or Say a Lot? In movies, you frequently see them end the story at the moment, the very moment, when the central conflict has been settled. Sports movies are famous for this. The Karate Kid ends just after Daniel … Continue reading What to Do Once the Crisis is Settled

Are Your Characters Well Spoken, or is it Just You?

How Articulate Are Your Characters? Most writers are articulate. Because they work with the written word on a daily or near daily basis, and because they have a love of language, most writers express themselves well. Just because a writer is articulate, however, doesn’t mean that a character should be articulate. Adjusting your language to suit a character, especially in dialog, is vital to creating a realistic depiction of that character and vital for differentiating that character from others in the story. Words Reflect Background When most people think about writing realistic dialog, they think about things such as regional … Continue reading Are Your Characters Well Spoken, or is it Just You?

Write a poem that uses exactly the same number of characters on every line

Editing a poem is in many ways like editing any other work of writing. The central goal is to eliminate any errors you have made, to improve on words and passages that aren’t quite as good as they could be, and to work to make the poem hold together as a single unit. You would follow much the same process with an essay or a short story. It is the differences though, that matter. Here are some things to look for when you are editing a poem. If your intention was to use a particular meter, how well did you … Continue reading Write a poem that uses exactly the same number of characters on every line

Write a poem as if it were an entry in someone’s journal or diary or even their Twitter account

My brain is not as logical or cooperative as I would like it to be. My writing process is an excellent example of that. When I sit down to write a poem, my brain isn’t necessarily ready to help. On occasion, it has just the right things to say, but just as often it has nothing. I sit and stare. I hope for inspiration. I force myself to start putting words down. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. On the opposite side of that coin, my brain is perfectly happy to start thinking about poetry when I am in … Continue reading Write a poem as if it were an entry in someone’s journal or diary or even their Twitter account

Writing as a God

Article By David Jace I started writing novels before I was in high school. The problem with that sentence is, I started, but never finished them. Until now. In April of 2008 I finally finished writing a novel. Now that I’m counting the years, I realize that I spent over half my life, nearly two-thirds, failing to complete novel projects. I spent plenty of time writing. I would reread and rewrite those first few chapters countless times, and then do the same with the next idea that came to mind. They may have gotten better, but they never got finished. … Continue reading Writing as a God