Helping Writers to Rise and Thrive

On Writing

Novel-Writing 911

Good for you for writing a manuscript that more or less makes sense! Now what do you do with it? The Studio’s Stephanie Lehmann can help. She is a critically acclaimed author, awesome teacher, manuscript diagnostician and agent-insider. Stephanie can meet with you (virtually) one-on-one to help you navigate your roadblocks. Confused about scenes? Stuck

Read More »

Plot Not Working? Think Conflict.

BY VICTORIA SHERROW

How do we make sure readers will worry about our characters and root for them to resolve problems and reach their goals? First, the problem or goal should be meaningful–something needs to be at stake. But even with a strong plot problem and appealing main character, a story can fall flat.

Conflict might be the missing ingredient. A conflict can involve person-vs-person, person-vs.-society, and/or person-vs.-nature. 

Read More »

Does Your Scene Come Alive?

By VICTORIA SHERROW

As children’s writers, we hope to pull our readers into a story and keep their interest from start to finish. One important tool for achieving that goal is called “show; don’t tell.” By showing what characters experience moment-to-moment, we help readers feel like they are THERE with the characters, sharing the experience. “Show; don’t tell” helps us write lively scenes rather than just giving readers a bland list of facts or background information about characters, settings, and events.

Here’s an example based on one of the writing exercises I use in my workshops. The first is a series of fact statements that lack “show; don’t tell”:

Inside the Traynor home, 11-year-old Jason was working on his school science project. The project was due the next day. Jason had not planned ahead and didn’t have the materials he needed to finish. He was worried.

Read More »