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Tag Archives: Writing Exercise

On Storytelling Terminology: Hidden Story

Tweet Yesterday’s post on the narrative difference between conflict and adversity ended with some specific advice: Avoid adversity by putting malicious cause behind your protagonist’s setbacks. The best way to do that is to make your antagonist responsible, but sometimes it can be a challenge to follow through on that. The trick is to manage […]

On Story Structure: The Story Question Worksheet

Tweet It was a couple weeks ago when I talked about the importance of designing good story questions. Since then I’ve talked about the diverse properties of bones, and some rules for using story questions to build a structurally sound novel. Leaving out the cute story about my kid, most of the discussion has been […]

On Writing Technique: Chasing Catastrophe

Tweet I started the week talking about writing 17,000 words in three days…and all the catastrophes that made it necessary in the first place. Then yesterday I talked about a new writing technique I’ve been studying in class that pushes a novel toward lots of conflict and catastrophe. Today I want to make the connection. […]

On Revision: Follow Through

Tweet This week we’re talking about what comes after NaNoWriMo. We’re talking about looking ahead. We’re talking about finishing a book and revising a book and being a writer. That’s three different processes, but all of them share the same three core, critical steps: Write. Take stock. Follow through. November made you write. Yesterday I […]

On Persistence: Planning Ahead

Tweet Yesterday we talked about the slow process of writing a book in a hurry. About achieving something great six months from now by doing something pathetic and tedious today. National Novel Writing Month is a crash course in precisely that process. It’s something on the order of 20+ days of pathetic and tedious, crammed […]

On Inspiration: Making the Most of Week One

Tweet Yesterday I talked about some of the pitfalls of chasing inspiration, and the importance of finishing projects. That might seem like a premature topic, less than a week into a month-long marathon, but Week One is the foundation or your noveling month. That’s why I was thanking Courtney yesterday for her comments on Wednesday. […]

On Scene Lists: What Your Story Needs

Tweet We’ve been talking about long synopses and scene lists this week. Yesterday I went into some detail on what scene lists are for. Today I want to tell you how to write one. It shouldn’t be hard, but it’s definitely going to take some time and thought. So let’s get started! Meat on the […]

On Scene Lists: Complications

Tweet As my sister so kindly pointed out, I’ve fallen a bit behind on the blog posts lately. And that’s after cutting my weekly commitment by half. I still mostly blame schoolwork, but that’s really just my temporary excuse. Give me a week, and I’ll be able to blame NaNoWriMo for a full month. After […]

On Narrative Scenes: Writing a Scene

Tweet This week we’re talking about narrative scenes — the storytelling elements that clarify your characters and progress your plot. How Scenes Work As I said yesterday, every scene in your story must move your story forward. That can consistent of character-building, occasionally, and really only in the first act, but in most genres you […]

New Weekly Schedule

Tweet Well, as I said last Thursday, in light of my ridiculously busy fall schedule, I’ve been toying with the idea of dropping my weekly Technical Writing series here at Unstressed Syllables. At the same time, I said I thought I’d probably have last week’s series for you this week. I don’t. I received a […]