Tag Archives: Novel

Darth Vader's Backstory

How to Write the Perfect Backstory for Any Character

He was weak…

…because he had no history.

It took me seventeen rewrites (and one editor) before this dawned on me.

The reason my readers could not get immersed in my story – was because my main character had a weak backstory.

I could tell you everything about him…

  • The shape of his face
  • His most powerful values
  • How much money he had in his pocket

But without a backstory, this character was dragging down the entire story. Let me show you how to fix this problem:

Continue reading How to Write the Perfect Backstory for Any Character

Harry Potter and the Irresistible Chapters

How to Make Every Chapter an Irresistible “Page Turner.”

Short post, (because I’m kicking NaNoWriMo’s ass).

Let’s say, you just wrote a chapter.

You worked hard on it. You followed the outline. You’re pretty sure it’s the greatest thing anyone has ever written.

Until, a week later, you re-read it …

…it’s a boring, drivel-ly, snot-filled MESS.

When did this Chapter get so boring?

There is a fix. This technique will instantly make all your chapters irresistible page turners, and readers will glue themselves to your book:

Continue reading How to Make Every Chapter an Irresistible “Page Turner.”

Girl excited to start NaNoWriMo 2016

9 strong reasons why writers should PLUNGE into NaNoWriMo

Image courtesy of Jon Candy via Flickr Creative Commons

NaNoWriMo is the Olympics of the Writing World…

…except you are the sole representative of your country. And you have to do every single sport. Everyday.

It’s also kinda like spending a month in solitary confinement, but with more caffeine. The goal of NaNo is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s 1667 words per day.

In short: it’s grueling.

But the rewards outweigh the mind-crushing, soul-smothering moderate difficulties.

Do you want to call yourself a writer? Here are 9 reasons why you should say “fork it” and plunge into NaNoWriMo:

Continue reading 9 strong reasons why writers should PLUNGE into NaNoWriMo

How Many Characters Should Your Story Have?

Quick: what is the most excitable organ in the body?

That’s right – it’s the imagination.

Sometimes, when you’re getting all hot and bothered creative, you get too eager (don’t worry, it happens to all of us).

You get this urge to create, and create, and create. Before you know it, you have a glut of characters:

  • 4 protagonists, with 4 distinct groups of companions
  • 6 love interests
  • 12 dwarves
  • And a guy named Frank because you couldn’t think of a better name, so you just used this as a place holder until a better name comes along…

Is that too many names? How many characters SHOULD your short story/novel/Harry Potter fan fiction have?

Continue reading How Many Characters Should Your Story Have?

Democracy Monument at Night. Bangkok, Thailand.

Starting Your Next BIG Project – 3 Simple Steps

Do you want to write a book? You want to start a blog? You’ve been thinking about this project for a while, but it seems so huge, you don’t know where to start (or maybe, you’re just too afraid)?

Good.

The size of this task may be threatening, but you are the Architect, you are inspired by the greatness of others, and you see this project as a challenge, an opportunity to become great yourself.

So, Architect, how do you build your monument? What is the first step you take?

Continue reading Starting Your Next BIG Project – 3 Simple Steps

How are YOU preparing for NaNoWriMo?

November is coming! (Already? Dammit!).

I’m working with some other social media websites, and I wrote something on Storify about how to prepare for NaNoWriMo:

https://storify.com/pshoffman/na-no-wri-mo-and-why-you-should

Told you it was a short post!

How are YOU preparing for NaNoWriMo? What are you going to write? Are you READY?

Comment below, and don’t forget to like and follow the blog!

Photo by Rudolf Vlček

10,000 Words a DAY?! (or How to Use Science to Write More, Better)

The most Novembery of all months is bearing down on us, and soon everyone around the world will be getting to work on novels they’ve been putting off for far too long. Authors will be completing first drafts of novels in November, because who wants to go outside in **the weather**?

Wait. Novel first drafts in a month? How is that possible? That’s like, 5000 words a day, without deleting anything.

If you had asked me 6 months ago, I would have said “That’s impossible.” But I’ve been working up there (I think I’m at around 2000 words on a good day), and if you asked me a few hours ago, I’d say “That’s improbable. Only full-time writers can even get close to that.”

Continue reading 10,000 Words a DAY?! (or How to Use Science to Write More, Better)