writing tips

TRATWD 104 – J. Daniel Sawyer

every-day-novelistThis week I interview author and podcaster J. Daniel Sawyer about his new book, Becoming an Every Day Novelist. We discuss what writers can expect to learn in this book, what Dan has learned in the course of writing it, and how he’s changed his approach to business over the last year.

The Every Day Novelist (podcast)

Support Dan on Patreon

Chris Lester on Facebook

Fans of Metamor City FB Group

Support the show on Patreon

Leave a review on iTunes

Posted by chriswlester in The Raven and the Writing Desk

Building Character: Who’s Driving This Thing?

This is the second in a periodic series about characterization in writing. Please check out my first post in the series, which looks at a character’s role in the Story Mind as expressed in the Dramatica Theory of storytelling.

A story begins when something changes the status quo.

Luke Skywalker doesn’t start becoming a hero until two droids crash on his planet. John McClane doesn’t become a terrorist-fighting cowboy cop until Hans Gruber takes hostages in an office building. Hamlet doesn’t start on his murder investigation/rampage of revenge until he gets a mysterious visit from a restless ghost. Even a feel-good romantic comedy like Sleepless in Seattle needs a trigger to set things in motion — in this case, Sam Baldwin’s son Jonah calling a late-night radio talk show.

People don’t spontaneously change their lives for no reason; an external trigger of some kind has to change the balance and push the protagonist into becoming a protagonist. Joseph Campbell called this “The Call to Adventure,” and it’s always something outside the protagonist’s control.

What really sets characters apart from one another is what they do next.

Continue reading →

Posted by chriswlester in Writing

Landscape Journals: What’s in YOUR Noggin?

For the last few months I’ve been participating with my partner Melanie in the Montana Artrepreneur Program (MAP), a business course for artists who want to make money doing what they love. I’m attending the workshops both as Mel’s business partner in her photography career and in the hope of learning things that I can apply to my own business as a writer. There are a number of business tools that must be completed in order to finish the course, and one of these that I think is particularly valuable for writers is the Landscape Journal.

Continue reading →

Posted by chriswlester in Writing

Interview with Lauren “Scribe” Harris

authorPhoto_laurenScribe_harris_604x403I first met Lauren “Scribe” Harris at Balticon in (I think) 2011 or 2012. Since that time I have gotten to know her through her voice acting and her hilarious round-table discussion podcasts with Abigail Hilton. Earlier this year she became an Assistant Editor with Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, one of the most popular online magazines for speculative fiction. I sat down to talk with Lauren about her new job and her perspectives on the world of SF/F publishing. Continue reading →

Posted by chriswlester in Publishing