Beyond coffee: giving characters interesting & varied action 1

Sometimes writers think only of the function of a scene – for instance, if the plot demands that the protagonist argues with his wife then the writer writes the argument and, to break up the dialogue, has the characters doing something mundane such as drinking cups of coffee. This video discusses the value of getting your characters doing something interesting while they’re advancing the plot.


read video transcript

Precious words: an exercise in concision for writers 2

Words are precious! Here are some thoughts on editing and trying to be grateful for every word you can cut.

A narrative in need of shortening: The story of Jimmy and his brother in 500 words

Suggested solution: The story of Jimmy and his brother in 33 words

Here’s a link to a useful online resource to help authors practice writing concise sentences.
read video transcript

Writing as communication: a game for writers 1

The first rule of writing is to communicate clearly. Here’s an example of a piece of writing that fails as an act of communication, and a game I use to remind writers what a complex technology written communication is.

read video transcript