How to Write Layered Conflict Into Stories

barbed wire

My brilliant copy-editor friend Heather Munro recently asked me about story structure. I told her it’s quite simple. Stories are based upon conflict, but conflict isn’t what you probably think it is. To have conflict you have to have a character with a goal. Then, you have to have something to obstruct the character’s attempts … Read more

How to Give Characters Exciting Depth

smiling woman

The TV show Breaking Bad is a great example of a story where the idea of something called a super-objective comes into play. A super-objective is something you as the author know about your character, which the character may not even know about him/herself. It’s the character’s greatest wish in life. The aim of his … Read more

What Actually Inspires a Colorful Kirkus Review Like This One?

woman flashing victory sign in the desert

I’m pleased as punch to publish this Kirkus Review of my Young Adult novel, Bits of String too Small to Save. The reviewer called it “impressively creative,” “wildly imaginative,” “occasionally haunting,” and declared it “anchored by strong, evolving female characters.” This book has a ton of characters, each weirder than the next, which makes it … Read more

Enjoy Biography Writing Victory, Scene by Scene

reel to reel recorder

If you’re writing a memoir, and you don’t “have time to write,” there’s always the audio-tape method. This biography writing trick is far more effective than most people think. Best of all, this method gives you permission to do two things: one, talk your book instead of write it and two, tell it out of … Read more