Swain Again-MRUs

Pen, Ink, and Crimes

During Mary Buckham’s recent online Pacing class, she suggested we improve our scene pacing by following a model found in Chapter 4 of  Dwight V. Swain’s book, Techniques of the Selling Writer. That model involves breaking scenes into goal/conflict/disaster, followed by the point-of-view (POV) character’s reaction/dilemma/decision in reaction to the disaster. This model resonated with me.

So recently, when I was considering how to sharpen my paragraphs, I pulled out my trusty copy of Swain’s book and reread Chapter 3, “Plain Facts About Feelings.” In it, Swain suggests that the key to writing better paragraphs is to break moment-by-moment action into motivation/reaction units (MRUs).

I’m sure many of you have mastered writing MRUs, but today I thought I’d review Swain’s advice for those of you who, like me, still sometimes struggle.

According to Swain, the first step is to understand that, like scenes, MRUs must be written from the…

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Writing Toolbox: 20 Questions to Ask Yourself and Your Writing

Dar Writes

Writing toolbox writing questions darwrites 2017

If you’re like me, you need inspiration and persistence to keep at this writing journey. I’ve been processing a lot lately and wanted to help writers who, like me, are in the thick of work and want to add meaning and more to their work. Here I’ve assembled the twenty questions I’ve asked myself this month about my writing. I hope it helps you and your writing.

Writing Toolbox Questions DarWrites 2017 (PDF)

Write on,

Darlene

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Tricks for Creating A Strong Character Voice in Dialogue

This Craft Called Writing

Making dialogue sound genuine is an art in itself. Creating a distinctive voice for every character in a story is no easy task.

Below are a couple of things which may help you write dialogue for each of your characters which steps off the page in a unique and individual way.

A Rainbow of Shoes and Legs for Breuninger by John Breed (1)Vowel changes

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Believable Trauma in Octavia Butler’s Fledgling

Dar Writes

Welcome, readers and writers! I’m excited to talk with you about Octavia Butler’s Fledgling. For me, this book rates five stars! I loved the book because of the characters. What follows is an annotation exploring Fledgling from a writer’s perspective…and why I appreciated it.

fledgling

Some writers are capable of making a reader feel so deeply about a character, the readers cry. I was connected to Shori in Octavia Butler’s Fledgling because she is pitiful and I am empathetic—even though she is a vampire, her entire life was taken away from her. Butler created a dynamic character because of Shori’s memory loss due to a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). In this annotation, I explore how Butler shows Shori’s memory loss, including Shori’s short-term memory of the accident, her inability to recall events, and the reactions of the people around her which reinforce the feeling of tragic event.

In…

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How to Sneak In Any Amount of Information & Maintain the Fictive Dream

I tried getting his 44 question ebook for a while now. I keep checking my spam folder and other places in my gmail but no dice. Anyways, very good info here. Thanks and keep them coming.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Mike Licht Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Mike Licht

As an editor I have some pretty standard red flags I look for, but a REALLY common blunder is the dreaded information dump. Some genres are more prone to this than others. Science fiction and fantasy can be particularly vulnerable. How DO you keep the pace of the story and still relay about the prophecy, the starship, the dragons and the dragons prophesied to have starships?

It’s tough.

Once again we have Alex Limberg guest posting with us. And if you’re already tired of him? Suck it up, Buttercup, because I LIKE HIM. He’s helping me through the holiday season so I can dig out of the pile of work that buried me when I got the flu.

So Alex is here to share ways to help fold in information so that you (the author) don’t inadvertently shatter the fictive dream…

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