Chapter Three: The Controlling Idea

If the story question is the known, external path a plot takes (you find it on the back-flap of most books or the movie’s summary on IMDB), than the Controlling Idea of the story is the unspoken but ever present truth of the journey. When a writer sits down to tell his or her tale, they are essentially making a… Read more →

Creating Demons

I’ve never been what some call ‘hyper spiritual.’ While I believe in the supernatural, I don’t spend any significant amount of time dwelling on angels, devils, and the like. However, in the last few months, I’ve been seeing demons everywhere.   One of them has an orange tan and a poor comb over. Others have no face or structure, but… Read more →

Chapter Two: The Story Question

The vast majority of western storytelling (and the only type of story I feel any right to comment on) revolves around a central plot, or said another way, the Story Question. Introduced during the inciting incident (more on this plot device later), the Story Question boils down to a fairly simple formula, When x happens to the protagonist, then he/she… Read more →

Is this thing on?

  It’s sometimes easy to forget that Christians (along with most of the other religions) believe some strange stuff. We have faith that when we bow our heads, close our eyes, and send up silent or audible pleas, the maker of the universe actually listens to us. Think about that for a moment. It’s not like we have any definitive,… Read more →

Chapter One: Focus on writing a great story

“Two roads diverged in the woods, and I, I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.” Some guy related to Jack Frost My writing journey has been everything but a straight path. There have been more stops and layovers than a $79 Spirit Airway flight. Never would I claim to have taken the straightest,… Read more →

Story Craft 101- The Prologue

Have you ever wondered how authors accomplish the near Herculean labor of putting together a great story? If my conversations with non-writers provide any insight, they assume we sit down with a cup of coffee and an inkling of an idea, draft a few dozen pages of tight dialogue and gripping action, finish our day’s work by the time our… Read more →

Doubting Thomas

Growing up is strange. I assumed the advent of adulthood would have been a memorable, recorded event- a developmental baton handed from my adolescent self to a mature, responsible man. Not so much. Instead, the strongest realizations that I’m no longer a child come during the monthly arrival of utility bills or my excitement for a sale on kitchen utensils… Read more →