Sue May Warren

Big Screen/Your Scene

Craft Tips and Techniques from Today’s Blockbusters

A story question, more than a theme of any story, song, or movie, is a specific question that lingers behind every scene, every line of dialogue, every action the character makes. It’s the question that is answered in the last line. It’s the thing that makes a reader/viewer mull upon the story they’ve experienced long after the last notes have faded.

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Jenny B. Jones

Author By Night

Easy Does It!

The question I get asked most (aside from, “Hey, are you Keira Knightley?”) is how I balance the demands of writing novels by night and teaching by day. I would like to say my role as a high school teacher is not a job but a labor of love. However, I would be lying and God would probably curse me with boils. Working two occupations is hard. I try to be polite and humble about it. Conversations usually go like this:

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Brandilyn Collins

Making A Scene

Writing The Dream Sequence

Using a dream in a novel. Some say never do it. Some say never start a book with a dream. Some say dreams slow the story. Guess I like to break the rules.

I agree, sometimes the better choice is simply to say in prose form (and in a few lines) that the character had a dream the night before about x, y, z. But when you want to write the actual dream sequence, here are some techniques to consider:

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Melanie Dibson

For Writers

Getting Ideas for a Novel

Ideas for a novel are hidden everywhere. They’re in the stories we hear (or overhear), our favorite movies, the local newspaper, the depths of our hearts, and even our dreams.

The idea for my latest novel, The Black Cloister, was sparked by hearing two similar stories from two very different time periods. During a trip to Germany, my family and I...

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Mary DeMuth

Write Real

Truth Telling In Fiction

Gordon Lish said: “The secret of good writing is telling the truth.” If you’re a fiction writer, you may balk at that a bit. Isn’t fiction untruth? Storytelling, by its essence, is making up settings, people, conflicts. And yet Jesus, the great storyteller, said “I tell you the truth” seventy-eight times in Scripture. In John 8:44 we read that Satan is the great liar, speaking his native language at all times. Lying is also the native language of our world.

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Short Stories

Bitter Chivalry

The battle was over; the king lay dying.

Daymonde hovered in the shadows of the pavilion's inner chamber as the physician examined King Glenmarr of Nyland, then shook his head. They dared not even remove the arrows from the king's body, for fear of hastening his death.

In Your Dreams

I close my eyes and relax under the sun’s rays warming my sunscreen-slathered skin. Waves roll up the beach with a whoosh. Children’s happy cries tickle my ears whilst the scent of coconut soothes my weary soul.

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