writing help

Since I began blogging back in October of 2010, I've written several posts on the craft of writing. In January 2012, I decided that I would take all of my writing knowledge and give it back to you, from the very basic grammar we were supposed to learn in high school, to the complex intricacies of storytelling. So, my Back to Basics series was born. On this page, I will include all of the posts in the Back to Basics series as well as any extra posts that might help you along in your writing journey. When I've finished with the series, I plan on taking everything and compiling it into book form, adding more detail and explanations than I use in the posts here on the blog. As always, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

Grade School Basics

Sentence Structure: how to craft an effective sentence
Capitalization and Spelling: the rules of capitalization and spelling
     Part One: periods, question marks, exclamation marks, and commas
     Part Two: colons and semi-colons
     Part Three: en dashes and em dashes
     Part Four: other dashes and hyphens
     Part Five: apostrophes
     Part Six: quotation marks
Research: common websites useful for writing research

Creative Writing Basics

Point of View: the differences between each point of view perspective
Scenes: a look at the three parts of a scene
Plotting: different ways to plot and a list of relevant links
Story Structure:
     Three Act: a look at the three act structure, with diagrams 
     The Hero's Journey
          Introduction: a brief overview of the Hero's Journey  
          Stage One: Ordinary World
          Stage Two: Call to Adventure
          Stage Three: Refusal of the Call
          Stage Four: Meeting with the Mentor
          Stage Five: Crossing the First Threshold
          Stage Six: Tests, Allies, Enemies
          Stage Seven: Approach to the Inmost Cave
          Stage Eight: the Ordeal
          Stage Nine: the Reward
          Stage Ten: the Road Back
          Stage Eleven: Resurrection
          Stage Twelve: Return with the Elixir
     Propp's Fairy Tale
          Introduction: a brief overview of Propp's 31 fairy tale functions
          Part One: Initial Situation, Absentation, Interdiction, Violation of
          Part Two: Reconnaissance, Delivery, Trickery, Complicity
          Part Three: Villainy or Lack, Mediation, Beginning Counter-Action,
          Part Four: First Function of the Donor, Hero’s Reaction, Receipt of a
               Magical Agent, Guidance
          Part Five: Struggle, Branding, Victory, Liquidation
          Part Six: Return, Pursuit, Rescue, Unrecognized Arrival
          Part Seven: Unfounded Claims, Difficult Task, Solution, Recognition 
          Part Eight: Exposure, Transfiguration, Punishment, Wedding
          Applied to Aladdin, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
               Stardustand The Princess Bride 
     Blake Snyder's Beat Sheet
Literary Description
Show vs. Tell
Voice and Style

Storytelling Basics

How to Write a Compelling Opening Scene
     Supporting characters
     Archetypes (Hero's Journey)
     Character Worksheet
Setting and Description

Revision Basics

Revision Methods
Critique Groups and Beta Readers
Analyzing Your Story
How to Revise...
     Setting and Description
Final Polish
     Chapter Openings
     Chapter Endings      
     Word Usage   


WriteOnCon 2011: links to several interesting articles, chats, Q&As, and videos
WriteOnCon 2012: all the articles, chats, panels, and videos 
Michael Hauge's RWA 2012 workshop: “Using Inner Conflict to Create Powerful Love Stories” 

Posts will be added as they go live.

Happy writing!