Posts for writing

Posted In Guest Post, Story Structure, Writing

Plotting Great Book Series (featuring Gillian Bronte Adams)

Mollie E. Reeder | January 24, 2018

It’s hard enough just to write a good story. But with book series at the pinnacle of popularity, both for readers and writers, the challenge is greater — telling a good story across multiple books.

How can discovery writers “plot” future books when they embark on book one? What if book one is already written and published when you start plotting book two? Is it possible to “backwards-brainstorm” a series arc?

Gillian Adams, speculative fiction writer and author of The Songkeeper Chronicles, discusses these topics and more, sharing her insight and process on plotting a great series!

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Posted In Plotting, Story Structure, Writer's Block, Writing

Plotting for Pantsers: 2 Questions to Unlock Your Story

Mollie E. Reeder | June 21, 2017

As a novice writer I had many false starts. My stories always seeded as characters. Great characters! Characters with tragic backstories, with interesting tics and colorful personalities.

So a man walks into a bar and…

Then what?

My mistake was this: I may have had a great character, but I didn’t have a story. (Yet.)

Even for the most ardent pantser, here are 2 plotting questions to fuel story, unstick you when you’re stuck, and turn false starts into finishes.

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Posted In Plotting, Theme, Writing

Story Theme: The Heart (Theme #2)

Mollie E. Reeder | April 26, 2017

Theme is great, but what if you don’t know what the theme of your story is? What if you already wrote the story, and it’s too late to use theme to shape the premise?

Never fear. Here are 3 exercises to discover theme in your writing – even after it’s written.

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Posted In Plotting, Theme, Writing

Story Theme: The Glue (Theme #1)

Mollie E. Reeder | April 19, 2017

What if there was a critical story element – an adhesive – that could patch story holes, connect tangential elements, and make sure the story “sticks” with the audience?

That “Magic Story Adhesive” exists, and it’s called theme!

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Posted In Guest Post

Explore Leira Blog Tour: W is for Waveryders

Mollie E. Reeder | April 10, 2017

Today Writeratops features the incredible Gillian Bronte Adams, author of the Songkeeper Chronicles, in a special guest post… plus giveaway! Gillian writes tales of redemption, heroism, talking cats and snarky griffins, and today she’s writing about adventure on the high seas…

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Posted In Writing

Bad Guys Gone Good

Mollie E. Reeder | December 31, 2016

“Bad Guy” shouldn’t be synonymous with “bad character” – unfortunately, it sometimes is! Your villain is how we measure the mettle of your hero – which means your villain better make an impression. Here are four ways to make sure your villains are people, not plot devices.

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Posted In Creative Philosophy, Writer's Block, Writing

Finish Your Story!

Mollie E. Reeder | December 30, 2016

Recently, I heard this question:

“I want to write, desperately, but I have never written anything because I can never find the perfect idea. I’m afraid I will never finish anything because I will lose interest partway through. How can I pick the right project?”

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Posted In Writing, Writing Toolbox

Conflict, Stakes, Clock

Mollie E. Reeder | October 26, 2016

Tension sprung a leak? Characters ground to a painful halt? Plot crumpling under pressure?

If it feels like your story’s battery sputtered and died, never fear! You have a terrific toolbox right at your fingertips: three critical components no author should ever leave home without.

Find out how to get your story’s motor revving again after the break!

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Posted In Creative Philosophy, Writer's Block, Writing

The Monster in the Maze

Mollie E. Reeder | October 21, 2016

It’s like being chased by a monster in a maze: when writing turns into a labyrinth of ideas where something terrible and unseen is always just around the corner.

We call it writer’s block.

But let’s be honest for a moment. Writer’s block is an emotional hypochondria.

Writer’s block is you.

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Posted In Filmmaking, Writing

Writing is Really Hard.

Mollie E. Reeder | October 4, 2016

Welcome to Writeratops! I’m Mollie E. Reeder.

This is the inaugural post, the metaphorical smashing of the bottle on the bow. I am so excited you found yourself here – we’re going to have a great time.

If you made your way here because you were out in the murky depths of the Internet, looking for advice or inspiration, trying desperately to figure out how to get the things that are in your head out of your head – then we’re probably a lot alike. Maya Angelou said there is “no agony greater than bearing an untold story”, and don’t you know it – when a good idea wriggles itself down into your belly like some kind of parasite from an alien movie, bites you hard and refuses to leave.

But then you sit down at your keyboard (or pick up your pen, if you’re one of those people that likes hand cramps) and … nothing.  Or, even worse – something awful.

When you’re standing in line at the checkout, or taking a shower, or trying to go to sleep, and words are dancing around in your half-conscious brain, you’re F. Scott Fitzgerald reincarnate. But when you actually try to write? You feel like a monkey banging on a toy keyboard.

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