Blog Archives

Shall We Begin? Aristotle & Beginnings

The beginning, commonly called the setup, is the initial action of the situation, presented to us as a problem to be solved. The beginning defines your characters and the wants of your major character (or characters). Aristotle says a character

Posted in Conflict, Plot, Process, Story Structure, Theme, Writing craft

#13WeekNovel Writing Challenge: Week Eleven – Surrender

Week Eleven. We’re getting close now. Can you taste it? This week, your hero surrenders. Why? Because she has no choice. It’s only through surrendering that your hero redefines her relationship to her goal. Notice how all of your characters

Posted in Character, Process, Story Structure, Writing craft

Revision and the Art of Structure

Reasonably enough, you’re a writer who wants to do “your own thing.” You want to write the story you want to write, and you want it to be as long as it needs to be. You want to ride the

Posted in Editing, Story Structure, Writing craft

NaNoWriMo: Thanksgiving Update – How Do I Write My Ending?

I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. — Henry David Thoreau I’ll be honest, 2016 has been a mixed bag. On the one hand, we’ve lost so many cultural icons, from David Bowie to

Posted in Character, Commitment, Creativity, Story Structure, Writing craft, Writing Life

NaNoWriMo: Day Seventeen Update – Story Isn’t Linear

NaNoWriMo 2016: Life is nothing if not unpredictable. Ugh… Ok. Life threw me a curve ball. So much for outlines. So much for schedules and daily word counts. For the last ten years, I’ve been the proud companion to a

Posted in Commitment, Discipline, Story Structure, Writing craft, Writing Life

NaNoWriMo: Day Ten Update – Ugh, What Am I Doing?

My NaNoWriMo Advice for Success! So…. How’s That NoWriNaMo Thing Going? …Rassinfrassinmuffinlovin… mumblegrumblebumblefumble… Do you have people in your life who think that writing a novel is just like writing a grocery list, only, you know… more words? Yeah? So

Posted in Conflict, Discipline, Story Structure, Writing craft

The Middle: Now What Do I Do?

One of the most challenging things about writing a story is making the middle, the second act, as vital and focused as the beginning was. Whatever was problematic in the opening of your story has to become more and more

Posted in Story Structure, Writing craft

The Dramatic Eight Sequence Structure

Literature has a healthy and long tradition, stretching back to the days of Ancient Sumeria and the Epic of Gilgamesh. So when it comes to story structure, if you ask ten different authors how to structure a novel, you’ll get

Posted in Process, Story Structure, Writing craft

The Challenges of Writing a Series

My youngest daughter recently celebrated her twelfth birthday. Aside from being an enormous Potterhead, she also enjoys young adult dystopian fiction (Insurgent, The Hunger Games, etc.). Tonight, after dinner, she decided to embark on a mission to civilize me. Though

Posted in Character, Fiction, Point of View, Story Structure, The Romance of Eowain, Writing craft

Love is Complicated

If you decide to write about love, you’re at the slight disadvantage of being in a line that’s five-thousand years long. Thousands of writers have written about love, and now you want to do it too? The competition is enough

Posted in Character, Fiction, Story Structure, The Romance of Eowain, Writing craft

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The Author
Michael Dellert is an award-winning writer, editor, publishing consultant, and writing coach with a publishing career spanning 18 years. He is currently working as an independent freelancer. He lives in the Greater New York City area.
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