Archive for November, 2012

A Great Post on Writing by Mette Harrison

Posted in On Writing  by John Brown on November 29th, 2012

Author Mette Harrison writes a column on writing for Orson Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show. I think you can read them without a subscription. This month’s column had some great insights. Here’s one fab example.

I also recommend that if you want to write a book that readers will not be able to put down, focus on one really good story (more on this next month). I am not saying that you can’t have sub plots or minor characters. You can. But I urge you to make sure that your page count does not obscure which characters are the main ones or what their main goal is. If you have lots of different characters who are in different parts of your world, that is fine. But make sure that they are all working at different ends of the same thread, that they all end up being part of the same story. If you cannot figure out which character is the one you want your readers to care the most about, to root for most desperately, you may have too many characters.

Good advice. There’s more.


Advice from one of the biggest writers of our time

Posted in On Writing  by John Brown on November 27th, 2012

How would you like to sit down and get writing tips from someone who created or co-created nearly 40 television series? Someone who wrote more than 450 episodes for those and other series and then went on to produce around 1,500 more.  Oh, yeah, and then after his thirty or so years in television, he published 18 novels. Whoa–eighteen. Like I’m shaking, right?

It’s not like the guy knows much about telling stories. I mean, millions of viewers entertained–big deal. Still, do you think you might be interested in seeing if he hasn’t maybe one piece of advice that’s useful?

If so, the guy’s name is Stephen J. Cannell.  He wrote about 9,000 words on developing stories and called it his Writing Seminar. I thought it was pretty good. Well, for a piker.