How Useful is the Bechdel Test in Writing?

For those who may not be familiar with it, the Bechdel Test is a gauge of whether a work of fiction features independent female characters. The requirements are that there must be two women who have at least one conversation together in which they don't talk about a man. The idea is that women should … Continue reading How Useful is the Bechdel Test in Writing?

Guest Post: The Dos and Don’ts of Dialogue Tags

Not so long ago, I came across narration in which the dialogue tags were all but gone, reminding me of the format for plays. It went a bit like this: Bob: Do you really think that's necessary? Jane: It's high time we did something. Bob: So... Jane: We act now. And it reminded me how … Continue reading Guest Post: The Dos and Don’ts of Dialogue Tags

Four Ways to Handle Backstory

Every story has exposition--details of the character and world that you, as the author, need to pass on to the reader. You've spent hours fleshing out the world of your story and learning about your characters, and now you have to find some way of getting this information (or at least the essential part) from … Continue reading Four Ways to Handle Backstory

Yelling, Wailing, and Other Issues with Tone #amwriting #atozchallenge

During this A to Z challenge, we've touched on all sorts of topics, from reading to blogging to how to deal with humor in your story. But we haven't talked that much about dialogue and the various tones involved: yelling, whispering, crying, wailing, etc. We often rely on dialogue tags to convey this information, using "she … Continue reading Yelling, Wailing, and Other Issues with Tone #amwriting #atozchallenge

Writing That Scene: Can You Forgive Her?

In the format of a non-traditional critique, Writing That Scene examines the fundamentals of what it takes to make a scene powerful and memorable for readers. The opinion expressed is my own, and other readers’ opinions may differ. The goal is to provide an opportunity for authors to learn from each other and to see … Continue reading Writing That Scene: Can You Forgive Her?

Writing That Scene: Twenty Years After

In the format of a non-traditional critique, Writing that Scene examines the fundamentals of what it takes to capably convey a scene to one’s readers. The opinion expressed is my own, and other readers’ opinions may and will differ. If you are interested in sharing a scene of your own for a future post, click … Continue reading Writing That Scene: Twenty Years After