Tag Archives: context

Worldbuilding for Realistic Fiction

I am proud to admit I write in many genres. I’ve been known to write light-hearted fantasy, speculative/science fiction, lite horror, a little supernatural, period realistic fiction, and contemporary fiction. People seem surprised when I say I use worldbuilding techniques on ALL of these genres. The last two are the ones that get raised eyebrows. Yes, I worldbuild for realistic fiction. No, it is not “doing research” exclusively. Every fictional world operates on core structures, and these are psychological constructs

Direct Readers’ Focus: The Golden Ratio

Minute details are a double-edged sword to the flow of a story. Outright descriptors – adjectives and adverbs, even forceful verbs – have the power to choke out ideas and action. Artful concepts, however, can accomplish incredible feats of sensory detail without heavy-handed descriptors. Smallness, minute detail in either perfection or chaos, holds worlds of fascination. The same way humans have built towers, telescopes, satellites and space stations, we’ve invested that time looking the other direction too. Magnifying glasses, magnifiers,

3D Dialogue with Action Tags and Beats

Creating rich dialogue requires a variety of tools. Action tags and beats turn dialogue from a flat exchange into a multi-sensory experience. They incorporate the wide range of human communication by allowing for nonverbal cues, sensory detail, and indirect characterization during a verbal exchange. Action Tags Often defining a tool is easier when you point out its context. An action tag belongs to the tool group of dialogue tags. Dialogue tags are used to supply necessary information about the line

5 Essential Questions to Create a Great Main Character

Fiction begins in different places for different creators. Sometimes the main character stands out and demands a starring role in something, but the writer figures out what happens around them. Other times, the concept and themes come out clearly, but the human element and characters come next. Each has its challenges. This post focuses on this second scenario, and the particular challenge of developing a striking main character (MC) to meet the needs of an already rich story context. For

3 Writing Exercises From Life

Real life experience and observation are fuel for creativity. People-watching is an entertaining method for collecting material for writing, but raw material has to be processed. Just seeing and commenting on strange behaviors, spotting bizarre individuals, or asking questions about why we do the things we do doesn’t quite bridge the gap between experience and fiction. How do we get from raw material from life to functional elements of fiction? Applying Observations After sharing some directed people-watching techniques in the

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