Thursday, November 9, 2023

A Craft Tale

a tower of books stacked into the shape of a tree, wide base up to a stack on top

Once upon a time, back when there were numerous, in-person cons every year, there were panels on character arcs, story structure, and pacing. The information was bountiful and the speakers mostly accountable. But then, a dark cloud descended across the land and all of those cons were no longer at hand. 

What was a novice author to do, without all the fixes and tricks? No more handshakes and tips? 

Well, I really thought I was in trouble. It even felt like I was in a bubble. But then, what did I find on the shelf? There was an elf. 

No, not any normal elf, because it was the elf and everything else populating the shelf. Characters. They appeared on pages. On covers. On spines and maps. They showed up when unexpected, never again to be neglected. 

Books. There were towers of books from the well-written, to ones you’d overlook. And on top of it all, sat a notebook. So with paper and pen, I began again. And for help I never had to look farther, than to the pages resting over yonder. 


Our topic this week is what are we learning and from whom? And for me it’s true that I haven’t sought any writerly education for years, expect that I realized every time I pick up a book I’m learning. As you read you absorb story structure and pinch points. You experience character’s motives and pressures. So my arrow is going to point you right back to that stack of books on your nightstand or on your kindle or on your desk. Keep reading and it will improve your writing craft.