Why Character Triangles Work (Or: Why Good Things Come in Threes)

The love triangle may be one of the most abused elements of contemporary fiction (particularly in the YA genre), but that’s for a good reason. The reason is this: good things come in threes. Beginning, middle, end; the Three Musketeers; birth, life, death; Ego, Superego, Id; past, present, future. It’s natural to structure elements in 3s, but there’s also a compelling mathematical logic for having three primary characters* in your novel.

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Fight of the Cargo Hauler published in The Scarlet Leaf Review!

When pirates board her spaceship, an overweight, middle-aged cargo hauler must use her wits, inventiveness and knowledge of B-grade action movies to survive.

Fight of the Cargo Hauler is a 4400-word sci-fi short story, and has been published in The Scarlet Leaf Review’s May 2017 issue. Check it out here (for free!) or keep reading for an excerpt. I’d love to hear any feedback you’ve got, so feel free to comment below!

Fight of the Cargo Hauler:

Christina Everett’s day went downhill when the yellow light flashed on her spaceship’s dashboard. Groaning, she eased her bulky backside out of the pilot’s chair. She shuffled out of the cockpit, not bothering to grab the holochart with directions to the faulty boiler.
Yellow wasn’t too bad. It didn’t mean Christina’s cargo hauler was in mortal danger – not like when it flashed red. Yellow just meant minor repairs. More damn repairs. She’d spent most of her six-month trip tightening screws, replacing fuses and wishing TransCorp hadn’t given her a spaceship that had been old at the start of last century.  Continue reading “Fight of the Cargo Hauler published in The Scarlet Leaf Review!”

How to Kill a Character (in fiction, not real life, you bloodthirsty villains!)

Killing a character isn’t as simple as it seems. From readers not caring about a dead character to awkward deaths that contribute nothing to the plot, it’s easy (as with everything in writing) to screw up. What’s more, there’s no one right way to kill a character. There are, however, some story elements that are more or less universally effective when it comes to literary homicide:

1. Make readers care

Making readers care is a writer’s toughest, but most important, job. If readers are emotionally invested in characters, their deaths (the characters’ not the readers!) will matter. The death of an interesting, three-dimensional and compelling character will hurt far more than an undeveloped character’s demise.

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8 Ways a Notebook Can Supercharge your Writing

I started using a writing notebook in 2014. Since then notebooks have become an essential part of my writing process. Whether it’s an idea for a whole story, a scene, or just a cool-sounding sentence, my notebook is my second brain. I’ve currently filled 3 and a half notebooks (about 900+ pages – you can see my collection in the above header image), and I can’t imagine life without them.

Obviously, I’m already sold on notebooks. By the end of today’s post, I hope you’ll be just as hooked on them as I am. So, here are 8 ways a notebook can supercharge your writing.

1. Writing ideas helps you develop ideas

When I was thinking about this post, I only came up with 4 ways a notebook helps you write. However, the act of writing this post’s outline in my notebook let me come up with another 3 ways. This is a common occurrence. Whenever I have a 1-sentence idea for a scene, character or story, it usually turns into a whole-page affair once I start writing in my notebook.

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