All stories must have character growth.
Growth can be subtle: the character realizes something they didn’t know before. Or profound: the character goes from ugly, wimpy nobody to strong, world-saving beauty.
Most novels go for somewhere in the middle. But whatever the case, the character in the last chapter must in some way be superior to the person we met on page one.
Basically, they must have fixed or improved upon their flaws. Continue reading →
One of my current WIPs is Marsip, the sequel to the novel Aza that I self-published in 2014 (I’m also working on a dystopian novel called Two Kinds of Darkness).
Marsip is set several years after Aza and hopefully tells the story of how Marsip discovers who he is and what he truly wants. In true fantasy style, these questions happen during a battle for power, waged by the Teransellens–a tribe from the mountains. And let’s not forget Elaine, the stubborn lord’s daughter who unintentionally causes a handful of problems, most of which affect Marsip. Continue reading →
I’m confident that nearly every writing book out there has this piece of advice in various forms:
“In order to write well, you have to write a lot of garbage.”
But what is this garbage we’re all talking about? On which ‘level’ of writing does this junk appear?
Well, just as there are numerous different words for unwanted items (junk, garbage, rubbish, trash, 废物, etc.), there are many ways to think about our literary waste. Continue reading →
Anyone who has ever tried to write a story has been there: We know how to begin, and we know how to end, but… what about the middle?
I am currently struggling with this problem in my re-write of Marsip, the sequel to Aza. I’ve taken the lamest way to deal with the ‘middle problem’, which is to ignore it and work on a different novel*. I would suggest not following my bad example and saving the option of ignoring your story as a last resort.
Because there are many other ways forward. Continue reading →