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Showing posts from March, 2015

Healing of The Core Wound

The following excerpt is from a great article on the CORE WOUND by Lara Sterling. This is written for screenplay writers but it applies to novel writers as well.

"Core wound is a term I learned while I was at Writers Boot Camp. I can’t remember how it was defined there exactly, but if I define it for you right now, the main character’s core wound is the pain the main character is suffering from, which is specifically causing her to act out. The main character flaw -- or misbehavior, as Writers Boot Camp calls it -- is the action/s the main character takes to exhibit this wound. You need your main character to have a proactive flaw, because otherwise you don't have any action. You can’t base a movie around the fact that your mother told you she didn’t love you at five years old, but you can base it around the action that, as soon as you reached adulthood, because of that formative experience, you have decided to act out by never committing in any relationship. 

The same g…

Critique Criteria for Writer Groups

Below are some categories and criteria for engaging in critique of novel-length fiction. This will help guide your writer's group and make the critique more focused and less arbitrary.


Premise and Plot

Does the premise or story concept sound high concept? Original? If so, why? Defend your conclusion. What makes it unique when compared to published novels or nonfiction in the genre? You must effectively argue this case for or against. If against, present examples why it might not be sufficiently original to capture the interest of an agent or publisher.Are you able to discern the primary source of dramatic tension and complication that creates the major plot line(s)? Can you or the writer create a conflict statement for the novel that demonstrates, for example:
The Hand of Fatima

A young Moor torn between Islam and Christianity, scorned and tormented by both, struggles to bridge the two faiths by seeking common ground in the very nature of God.

Summer's Sisters

After sharing…

RESTORING THE TROLL TROPE - Concepts and Solutions Regarding the Use of Tropes in New Fantasy Fiction

Using the Rowling "Harry Potter" approach, you create a sympathetic underdog and render highly imaginative events with masterful narrative while also introducing more characters who are unique and endearing to the reader. Meanwhile, as mysteries writhe beneath the surface and the reader is absolutely gripped, you introduce the trope (e.g., a roving killer troll) in a circumstance that can't help but create immediate concern.

      - Michael Neff

Which tropes must you employ in fantasy fiction vs. those you must reconsider, and perhaps discard or alter? What techniques might an unknown writer use to avoid overdone-to-a-char tropes and create a competitive fantasy fiction novel that trumps the slush pile? ... A writer who shall not be named was recently asked in a forum to identify what she believed to be overused fantasy tropes (YA or adult). As follows:
Golden-haired princesses, elves that are beautiful and magical and powerful and the most powerful race, grumpy dwarves th…