By Admin on 1/23/2016 9:35 AM

A story is only as good as its characters.

  • What makes an engaging and interesting character?
    • Someone who wants something bad enough to do whatever they need to do to get it (it actually doesn’t matter what this thing is as long as it is believable to the reader)
    • Someone who controls their destiny (note that most people feel they control their own destiny)
    • Someone who possesses something we want
      • What do we want ?
        • To be smart (in some way)
        • To be good/moral (this does not mean to be religious)
By Admin on 9/20/2015 8:22 AM
I wanted to jot down some notes on my current writing style. I believe that writing style is important. When I read older works by great authors, it is hard to get through them because the writing style, that was common at the time they were written, gets in the way of my enjoyment.

I decided to give my style a name. I call it “Stark Style”.

[Note: I reserve the right to adjust this at any time ]

No back story (or as little as possible)

This is the most important element of Stark Style. Backstory, in this context, is anything about any element of the story that conveys information to provide a better understanding of the element… outside of the main narrative. Backstory interrupts the main narrative because it steps outside of it. This is always a bad thing because it pulls the reader out of the story. Any important information that I want to reveal is best done through dialogue or as a flashback (I plan to cover flashbacks in another post. In my thinking they take over the main narrative...
By Admin on 6/14/2015 5:18 PM
I believe that in the past the network of agents and publishers created a high barrier of entry for a writer. The process went like this:

Writer – Writes the work Agent (most writers never made it past this step) – Agrees to represent writer and tries to get a publisher for the work Publisher – Provides developmental editing/copy editing/layout/marketing Reader – This is the point of any writing, to have the work read In some ways this was good because it filtered out a lot of bad material. However, there is now room for everyone when you have electronic books and you don't have the prohibitive cost of printing.

Now the system goes like this:

Writer Reader However, now the quality is severely lacking. There is a lot of horrible self-published work out there. I read a lot of independent books on my Amazon Kindle and I usually have to go through three or more books before I find one that is good enough for me to finish. However, like a diamond in the rough, it is worth...
By Admin on 5/17/2015 5:47 PM
I just had a chance to see the latest Mad Max movie. It is basically a long series of action sequences. The reason it works, in my opinion, is that they have a strong story, rather than action sequences that are mindless plot.

Each event had a reason, goal, and clear motivation. You never lose the flow of the overall story. They also do an excellent job of pushing all backstory deep into the story, and even then, they give you the barest amount of information and allow you to fill in the blanks with your imagination. For example at one point they are going to “the green area”. They don’t bother to explain how they know where this is at all until 30 minutes later and then there is a short 30 second exchange when one character basically says they were born there. And that is it, period... and it actually works.

I have been trying to trim my backstory in my stories and now I am going to cut it even tighter. Basically unless it is needed in the...