Tag Archives: world building

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

Demons of Writing: The First Draft

First pages aren’t as big of an issue, these days. More people are putting their feelings into words than ever before with social media. Content and quality aren’t so important in that venue, but the virtue is in more people using words to articulate their thoughts. Distraction and other physical inhibitions exist in spades, but actually sitting down to write a creative project still means facing a few unique demons. Many of these afflict new writers or students, but they do

Plot Twists: Expanding Your World

Story structures require control of perception and the element of surprise. Plotting is all about retaining and releasing information to create dramatic and purposeful connections between the elements of the story. Plot twists (here simply defined as revelatory moments that drastically change the scope of the story) and their huge power to reshape a reader’s expectations, require calculated risk. “Playing it safe” can mean a flat scene and a completely outlandish shift could lose readers’ willingness to go along. A feel

Planning a Novel: Types and Tools

Planning a story can be a minefield of distraction. Large works, like novels and series, often benefit from setting structures for the story. Even small works, short stories and poems, show improvement when preparation is done for the content, tone, and message. To avoid endless preparation, remember structured planning is a tool, not a solution, for writing a draft. Creative people have a strange relationship with tools. A carver takes pride in his variety of sharpened knives. A musician cultivates

Prewriting, Tools, and Techniques

Planning and prewriting differ greatly. While both activities have the potential to address structure, prewriting is specifically done before a draft (whereas planning/structuring can be done during the action of the draft). Prewriting, as taught in schools, is composed of charts, maps, lists, and/or craft projects with glue sticks and glitter. At that point, all teachers want is a student to learn to construct thoughts in written form. Bonus points awarded if these thoughts formed either a fundamental narrative or

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