What makes a character come alive? Writers have been asking this question for ages as they attempt to convince readers that little markings on a page are actually living, breathing people. This is no easy feat. You’ve likely struggled with it yourself. In this article, Daeus explains the one thing you need.
Story Embers Community Manager & Poetry Editor
Many moons ago, a series of suspiciously providential events led Daeus to cast his lot among the worldwide community of Christian storytellers. Since then, no reports indicate that he has come back out. Perhaps he is lost among those fine gallivanters forever. Rest in peace, Daeus Lamb.
Daeus dreams impossibly large (which doesn’t bother him a bit) and tends to bite off more than he can chew. Watch this in action as he tries to capture the depths of the fantasy genre on his YouTube channel, or as he seeks to express the meaning of life in just a short novelette. (Psst. It’s a popular little book called God of Manna and you can get it for free here.)
In this article, I’m going to give you two lists of outside-the-box strategies to cracking the big-picture puzzle of an engaging story. The more you experiment, the more sides of your story you’ll reveal until you can visualize how every piece fits together and find the jewel at the center. As you consider the possibilities, don’t be too quick to discard any, because sometimes the ideas you’re reluctant to try will help you the most.
Over a period of one year, famous artist Claud Monet dedicated himself to painting a set of haystacks during various seasons, weather conditions, and times of day. Sounds monotonous, right? On the contrary, the results were stunning, because Monet discovered a technique that can revolutionize any scene—whether it’s typed in a word processor or splashed onto a canvas.
At the beginning of May 2021, I maxed out my schedule. That may sound stressful, but it was actually a happy occasion. I began a new job I felt good about. The sad part? I lost writing time. Thankfully, I prepared for the shift in my routine months beforehand. If I could only work on projects during the evenings and Saturdays, I knew I’d slip into a pattern of releasing books three or more years apart—especially considering the complexity and monstrous size of my epic fantasy novels. I didn’t want to make readers (or myself!) wait that long.
The enemy of writing is time. It limits productivity and advancement. For many writers, a conflict exists between the hours they spend (or wish they could spend) on their latest story ideas and the other responsibilities in their lives. But what if all of life could be devoted to writing? Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, it isn’t.
If you’ve ever gone hunting for advice on finding your writing voice, your brain is undoubtedly tuckered out. Many tips are vague at best and confusing or contradictory at worst. Some claim that voice develops over time. But that leaves you wondering when it will appear to you in a poof of smoke. Others treat it like a supernatural gift that some writers have and others don’t. So helpful, right?
What makes a story memorable? One of the most popular responses from readers is characters. Characters give readers an emotional reason to care about the story. But this leads to an essential question: Are your characters unforgettable?
Books were history’s first long-range torture devices, subjecting readers to vivid renditions of holocaust, suicide, doubt, and betrayal. As the worlds and characters shatter, so do our hearts. But can we write about such situations without creating emotional scars? Should we even try?
Beta readers are a writer’s best friends, but they don’t come with user manuals. You need a strategy for communicating and cooperating with them so the experience is positive for both parties—and your book emerges stronger than ever! I’m going to walk you through the process of acquiring a team of beta readers and provide tips on how to handle the challenges you’ll face as you interact with them.