Character-driven vs. Plot-driven stories

This essay was originally posted to the writing community Get Your Words Out on April 23, 2020. When I volunteered to write this topic, it was as much to learn as to teach. For years, my opinion has been character=plot/plot=character; basically, you can’t have one without the other. Researching this, though, has widened my perspective,…

Trello for Writers

This essay was previously posted to the writing community Get Your Words Out on March 23, 2020. To paraphrase Sports Night, I like lists because I like crossing things off them. Any organizational system that lets me check a box, cross out a line, or otherwise visualize what I’ve completed is A-OK by me. I’ve…

Developing an ensemble cast

This essay was originally posted to the writing community Get Your Words Out on July 8, 2019. Unless you’re writing a literal Man vs. Self plot, your story is going to have at least two characters. Conflict! Romance! Betrayal! The internet is littered with infographics about the twenty characters you must have, articles about how…

How to Write an Ending That Feels Complete

This essay was originally posted to the Dreamwidth community Get Your Words out on May 27, 2019. Small edits have been made. Endings. Oof. It’s been quite a week for them, hasn’t it? To be honest, I halfway want to just point you all to “Endings Are Not Stoppings” by Chuck Wendig and call it…