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5 Questions You Can Ask Yourself About Stories

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A little more from Glimmer Train this month—from the bulletin they just
e-mailed to their writers. Go read the full bulletin here.

From Ingrid
Hill: The Devil’s Trampoline
:


My
sweet grandmother used to murmur consolingly, when I crabbed about the
misery of sitting with hot rollers burning my scalp, "Honey, you have
to suffer to be beautiful." Not till I was grown did I realize
the deeper meaning: not till you have been cast into tribulation's
depths, suffered in your core, can beauty shine out of your eyes or
your art.

From Charles
Baxter: Five Questions
(Baxter pictured above):

There
are about five questions you can ask yourself about stories, and
they're not foolproof, but they're useful. One is, what do these
characters want? Second is, what are they afraid of? Third is, what's
at stake in this story? Fourth is, what are the consequences of these
scenes or these actions? And the last one is, how does the language of
this story reflect the world of the story itself?

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Ignoring Your Characters’ Desires

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Ignoring Your Characters’ Desires

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is ignoring your characters’ desires.

Listening to Ghosts: 7 Metaphysical Experiments for Writing Support

Listening to Ghosts: 7 Metaphysical Experiments for Writing Support

Author Coco Picard shares 7 different out-of-body writing experiments to help you through the writing process.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Dance Time

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Dance Time

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have your characters dance.

Convention-al Wisdom: Why I Love Attending Cons as a Writer

Convention-al Wisdom: Why I Love Attending Cons as a Writer

Russell James shares how convention act as more than networking events for writers, but as an opportunity to be face-to-face with your readers, to make new friends, and more.

Alicia Thompson: On Writing Romance in Isolating Times

Alicia Thompson: On Writing Romance in Isolating Times

Writer Alicia Thompson discusses what she learned about herself in writing her new romance novel, Love in the Time of Serial Killers.

Examples of Hooks for Books

60 Examples of Hooks for Books

This post collects 60 examples of hooks for books. Also called elevator pitches, these book hooks show real-life examples in a variety of writing genres for fiction and nonfiction books.

How To Turn Artifacts and Research Into a Family Memoir

How To Turn Artifacts and Research Into a Family Memoir

A century’s old family heirloom acted as a clue to the past for author Cornelia Maude Spelman. Here, she shares how to turn artifacts and research into a family memoir.

Miriam Parker: On Writing the Book You Want To Read

Miriam Parker: On Writing the Book You Want To Read

Author and publisher Miriam Parker discusses her surprise at writing her new novel, Room and Board.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 622

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a story poem.