Choosing the Right POV

One of the biggest decisions you have to make before you begin writing a story is through whose eyes are you going to tell the story–otherwise known as a Point of View. If you’re new to the idea of POV, click here for a good primer.

For those writers who invent their characters first, and then build their stories around those characters, choosing the POV is an easier task. But what if the story came first, or you have multiple POV characters? How do you know which is the most effective POV to tell this part of the story? Read more

Doctor Who’s Storytelling Fail

Wait! Before you groan that I’m ranting about TV rather than talking about writing… this post is ultimately about storytelling, so stick with me!

TV takes a distant second to books, for me—but I’m a complete Whovian. Or at least, I was. Well, no, I am—it’s complicated. I’m the sort of person who would wear these with a straight face.

… but, I have to say, I’m completely unmoved by the impending death of the eleventh Doctor, played by Matt Smith.

Why? Well, it took me a while to sort it out. I’m not a fan of post-Tennant Who. At first I thought it was because I didn’t care for Smith (though I eventually warmed to him). The problem is a bit more serious than that, because while the actors who play the Doctor will come and go, the show runners generally stick around a bit longer. Read more

The Dreaded Sag

sagpants
This is a post about writing, I promise.

Since I write fantasy, I know a lot about killing tension. Fantasy and other spec-fic writers have a ton of information and backstory to convey, and more often than not this results in the story coming to a screeching halt. Epic fantasy, in particular, tends toward long, drawn-out ‘saggy bits’ that can try even the most patient reader’s tolerance.

So, as I wrestle over my own cartload of infodumpery, I’ve been trying to figure out the solution. Read more

The Great Escape

Image Courtesy  www.slaveryimages.org, compiled by Jerome Handler and Michael Tuite, and sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the University of Virginia Library.
Image Courtesy www.slaveryimages.org, compiled by Jerome Handler and Michael Tuite, and sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the University of Virginia Library.

A subject that came up between writing friends… how do you deal with the “escape scene”? Imprisonment of some sort is a much loved staple of the classic adventure story. So what makes a “good” escape, and what makes a “bad” one? How much detail, as a writer, should you go into when putting an escape into the story?

Lets assume that the story in question is not Escape From Alcatraz, or the subject of this blog entry. The escape is not the story, but one of the obstacles in the story.

If the escape is important to the story, as a reader I feel like I need to have a little detail. On the other hand, if the character is a world-class thief escaping the same prison for the sixth time, I’d be okay with you glossing it over a bit. But that leads to the second dilemma… how do you make escape possible without making the captors seem stupid for overlooking things? Read more