Author Archives: Lynn Johnston

How to Create Powerful Internal Conflicts for Your Characters

I’m blogging at Savvy Authors today about how to construct internal conflicts so that they generate plot ideas and help you make the theme of your story stronger.

If you can complete the Internal Conflict Sentence, you’ll find out if your character’s internal conflict works (and it’ll be obvious how to fix it if it doesn’t work).  If you struggle to writing stories where the character’s inner struggles drive the external plot, this is where you start.

Read all about it at:

http://savvyauthors.com/blog/index.php/the-internal-conflict-formula-that-generates-plot-points-and-strengthens-theme-by-lynn-johnston/

Hope to see you there!

The 8 Steps of the Character Growth Arc

For easy reference, here are the eight steps of the character growth arc (from my workshop, Dynamic Characterization: A No-Inspiration Required System for Creating Unforgettable Characters).

character arc tip graphic-300 wide 100 dpi

Editing for Romance Writers: How to Map Out the Relationship Arc

I’m guest-blogging today at Fiction Blueprints about editing for romance writers, demonstrating a technique for mapping out the relationship arc:

http://tinyurl.com/mtp5ul2

This is a quick-and-dirty way to figure out if there’s enough variation in your character’s relationship as it develops and to identify sections of story where it feels like the arc isn’t progressing.

Hint:  you don’t have to wait for edits to do this, either. You can use it on your plot outline to test the romance arc before you write the story.

See you there!

Do You Have a System for Getting Unstuck?

Last week, we talked about how systems make it more likely that you’ll achieve your goal.  Today I’d like to talk about creating systems for overcoming the obstacles that we all hit at one point or another.

In other words, systems for getting unstuck.

Because we all work a little bit differently, one size doesn’t fit all here.  What helps me might not help you.  The first step in creating your “unblocking” system is to take a few minutes to think about how you’ve written in the past. Continue reading

What’s the best way to get inspired?

get inspired get started-med-150

Know someone who could use a little inspiration?  Pass it on!

Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work (and What Does)

The idea that next year could be different–that we could be different–it’s almost irresistible, isn’t it? Next year could be the year we lose that weight, get organized, and write the novel that’ll make us famous.

So many of us set ambitious goals for ourselves in December, only to drop them before the end of January. The goals we dub “New Year’s resolutions” aren’t enough.

Sure, you start with the goal. Write a novel. Or a non-fiction book. Or a collection of short stories. Or a memoir.

That’s the “what.”

But you also need to create a system to help you achieve that goal. Continue reading

Editing for Story, Part 3: Scenes

Welcome to the third video in the Editing for Story series!

Today we’re talking about questions to help you evaluate the content of your scenes and look for overall patterns as you create your revision list.

The Editing for Story videos are a companion to the Editing for Story ebook–don’t forget to download your free PDF after you watch the video.

Editing for Story, Episode 2: Non-Traditional Plot Structure

Welcome to episode two of Editing for Story!

Today we’re talking about how to analyze the structure of a story or novel that doesn’t fit into one of the traditional plot structures, or where the structure is so complex that traditional structure is difficult to identify.

This method is a little bit outside the bounds of the advice you’ve probably already heard about editing a rough draft, but it gives you a clear picture of how conflict and stakes are generating organic “plot points” in your story.

Next episode:  how to make sure your story’s scenes stand up to scrutiny!

Editing for Story, Episode 1: Plot Structure

In honor of those who’ve finished NaNoWriMo and will be editing their new baby later this month or next year, we’ll be talking about the editing process for fiction.

Today’s video: tips for editing, why plot structure is important, and how to analyze the plot structure of your story.

Also, don’t forget to download your free copy of Editing for Story: http://tinyurl.com/kws5c5w