Courses

Inner Dialogue

Inner Dialogue

Inner Dialogue One of the biggest things that makes books stand out from movies is inner dialogue. I love movies, but books give you a closer relationship with the main character by putting you in their head. Instead of watching the protagonist on the screen, you get to experience their story through their eyes, feel…

Grammar Rules: How to Break Them

Grammar Rules: How to Break Them

“Some men just want to watch the world burn.” -Alfred Pennyworth, The Dark Knight (2008) As usual, Sir Michael Caine is right! In the case of that quote, he happens to be referring to the comic book villain the Joker, who desires to watch Gotham City burn itself to the ground just for the fun of…

Sentence Structure: Clauses and Phrases

Sentence Structure: Clauses and Phrases

Language is complicated. Our brains usually deal with the complexities on autopilot, but sometimes it’s necessary to refresh ourselves on the rules. I’m not saying every author needs to be an academic grammar guru, but when it comes to making our sentences clear and concise, identifying problems in our prose, or trying to deliberately bend…

Sentence Structure: Verbs

Sentence Structure: Verbs

Flashback to the second grade. You’re learning about the parts of a sentence. How does the teacher define ‘verbs’? Why, they’re action words, of course! And that’s actually a pretty good description. The verb makes the subject of the sentence do something. When “the cat jumps”, ‘jump’ is your verb. So without verbs, nothing can…

Paragraph Structure: Pacing & Rhythm

Paragraph Structure: Pacing & Rhythm

In school, you probably learned how to construct the classic, academic paragraph. The O.G. paragraph, if you will. You’ve got your topic sentence, your supporting sentences, and then your concluding sentence. A nice snug package of information. Also, a total bore. In fiction, paragraphs never have to be this structured. Indeed, paragraphing is an author’s…

Scene Structure: Proactive and Reactive

Scene Structure: Proactive and Reactive

Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash Unless you’re working on microfiction, flash fiction, or very short stories, your plots will almost always require you to write multiple scenes. When I say ‘scene’, I’m talking about a specific segment of a larger story that contains its own miniature story arc. Scenes can flow one into the other or be…