3 Paths to Holistic Writing

The past two weeks, I have been reading articles on holistic approaches to psychology, martial arts, lifestyle, and medicine. So of course I decided to explore what people said about holistic writing on blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the web in general. I found near silence. So I decided to tackle the idea myself. Holistic comes […]

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Raise Reader Tension: The Unknown

Introduce the Unknown and you will have the reader on edge — an immediate increase in reader tension. You can do this at any point. I think Middles are particularly well-suited for doing this since Beginings are for set-up, Endings are for wrap-ups, but Middles are for complications. And what is more intriguing and unsettlingĀ  […]

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Raise Reader Tension: Main Characters

How can you increase reader tension? I mentioned that it isn’t the character that has to feel the tension but the reader. One way to achieve this is through tweaks to your main characters. Remember that surprise is key to reader tension. One reason readers become complacent is that over time, they learn to predict […]

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Raise Reader Tension: Surprise

Does your story drag when you reread it, despite a well-conceived plot? You may be having trouble with dramatic tension. A feeling of tension in the reader is vital to building suspense because it keeps the reader from feeling complacent. Reader complacency is the enemy to tension. A reader can still feel complacent — and […]

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Boost Your Creativity: Create Starters

I’d like to go back to the quotation by Lyn Hejinian that started this arc of blogs. I, for one, feel the double pull of conciseness and expansiveness. But they do not need to be at odds with one another. In fact, your personal balance of these two helps determine your style. When I started […]

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Boost Your Creativity: Use Starters

Starters are writing prompts. A starter can be a set of rules, a pool of words, a scenario, a quotation, a picture, or any combination of these. When placed in your fiction world, starters can help you explore characters, setting, and craft. Character. Starters help you learn about your view-point character by placing him/her in […]

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Boost Your Creativity: Scheme

Sometimes creativity needs a little prompting. It is useful to have several plans of action in place for when inspiration refuses to strike. Maybe it just isn’t angry enough. Brainstorming and experimenting offer a fallback plan. They also offer a way to enhance those inspired ideas. They are ways to be more creative but I […]

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Boost Your Creativity: Experiment

Creativity is about more than ideas — it is also about the consequences those ideas have for your story. I chose the word “experiment” in the title of this blog because experiments focus on finding or exploring cause-and-effect relationships. I realize that a consequence is a kind of idea but thinking about an idea’s consequences […]

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Boost Your Creativity: Brainstorm

By studying your real and fantasy worlds, you gained a better groundingĀ in facts, rules, opinions, and possibilities. Some of what you learn will probably trigger spontaneous ideas. But what can you do when the words just won’t come? You scheme — come up with a plan of action. The first step is usually brainstorming. The […]

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