discussion

  1. TereMichaels

    Discussion Day 12 - This Is The Moment...

    The climax of any story is a decision being made (if we boil it down to simplistic terms). Frodo can keep the ring and its powers, or he can throw it into the fire and rid the world of its curse. Imagine if Return of the King ended with him going, "You know what? This journey has been CRAP and...
  2. TereMichaels

    Discussion Day 9 - Unreliable Narrators

    Are all narrators unreliable simply because they are human beings? Should we trust our characters to be telling the truth as they narrate the story? And...thoughts?
  3. TereMichaels

    Discussion Day 8 - Endings So Bad...

    Emotionally. Unsatisfying. Endings. Not so much "this was boring" or "not what I wanted" but stories that ended in a way where the characters felt betrayed or changed out of the blue or acting in a way they never would. Tell me about your experiences. Ask YOURSELF why they clunked so hard or...
  4. TereMichaels

    Discussion Day 7 - Good Conflict

    Conflict is one of those words that is weighted by our own experiences and feelings. Some people LOVE to argue and debate and get into the think of disagreement. They will take an opposite viewpoint just to start conflict and ENJOY IT. This is alien to me, full disclosure. I don't like...
  5. TereMichaels

    Discussion Day 5 - Plot Plot Baby

    Let's dish on favorite tropes and plots! I am a sucker for long-time friends to lovers and redemption arcs (fallen, flawed heroes who must carry on). I love a good tarnished white knight, saving himself while saving others. During a workshop of mine recently, someone referred to enemies to...
  6. TereMichaels

    Discussion Day 4 - Feeling Your Feelings

    As a consumer, what are you looking for when you delve into fiction? Are you looking to cry or laugh or jump? What draws you to a story? Are there keywords or genres or covers that you instantly go - yes! that is a thing for me. I always use the example of romance novels with a cowboy holding...
  7. TereMichaels

    Discussion Day 3 - Quick or Slow

    As a consumer, think about your favorite stories, series, movies, plays, etc. Do you prefer a longer introduction of the character or do you like it when the action begins on page 1? Now think of your favorite characters, specifically. What are your favorite scenes of theirs? Are they...
  8. TereMichaels

    Discussion Day 2 - Everyone, Into the Arc!

    The six basic emotional arcs are the basis for pretty much every story ever. It's amazing to think about the building blocks shared by humanity across time and miles and language that are still being used to construct stories. As you read through the six arcs, which do you find yourself most...
  9. TereMichaels

    Discussion Day 1 - Why Today?

    As a developmental editor, one of my most frequently used questions to my client is: Why Today? Why have we entered into this character's life AT THIS MOMENT? What do we need to see/know/understand about them for this journey to make sense? As a writer, what do YOU need to know about a...
  10. TereMichaels

    Discussion Day 12 - Writer's Life

    The discussion today is about YOU! What's the next step for you, for your current writing project? What do you feel might be missing from your toolbox right now, something you feel you need for the next step? I'll go first. I'm currently writing book 2 of a new series. Beginnings for me are...
  11. TereMichaels

    Discussion Day 11 - Good Vs. Evil

    Clarice Starling versus Hannibal Lecter. Sherlock versus Moriarity. The "new wife" versus Mrs. Danvers (of Rebecca fame). What are some classic hero versus villain pairings? What makes them so compelling? What is about the conflict between the characters that elevate it?
  12. TereMichaels

    Discussion Day 10 - Real Recs

    As I mentioned in the lecture, some of my favorite books of all time feature historical figures as major characters. "The Alienist," "The Eight" and "Centennial." There are others but those are the three that are most prominent. Do you have any books or series you've read with real people as...
  13. TereMichaels

    Discussion Day 10 - Real People Recs

    As I mentioned in the lecture, some of my favorite books of all time feature historical figures as major characters. "The Alienist," "The Eight" and "Centennial." There are others but those are the three that are most prominent. Do you have any books or series you've read with real people as...
  14. TereMichaels

    Discussion Day 9 - Closed Societies

    I'm thinking about JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series right now for this example. There is a very specific vampire world hidden from humans. They have their own laws, their own courts, their own religion, etc. They live in the world but glamour and their powers allow them to erase...
  15. TereMichaels

    Discussion Day 8 - Recommendations

    This is a twofer! I think an important part of classes is to share information. We have no way of being all places and reading all the books and taking all the workshops - sharing what we know is a vital shortcut to filling our own personal toolboxes. So! 1. What are some of your tools when...
  16. TereMichaels

    Discussion Day 7 - Boo! Go Away!

    I always see the value in looking at what doesn't ping our creative self and storyteller as much as what does. Can you think of secondary leads in series or books that you've read that strike the wrong note? That leach from the plot and main characters instead of adding? My brain is trying to...
  17. TereMichaels

    Discussion Day 5 - I Want to Live There

    The personality and emotional connection to a setting is one that might even subconsciously draw us in as a reader. Maybe it's terrible or maybe it's wonderful. But there is something about the characterization of the place that pulls us in. I am thinking about the Libba Bray series, The...
  18. TereMichaels

    Discussion Day 4 - Non-Human Characters

    We can't forget the animals and androids who have made/make our stories richer and deeper! So here's my question: What are some animal (or non-human) characters that you feel have impactful characterizations? On the plot, for revealing character? My first thought is Dean Koontz's book...
  19. TereMichaels

    Discussion Day 3 - World building With People

    I love a good sense of time and place in a story, where I can sink into the worldbuilding. Maybe it's historical, maybe it's futuristic or maybe it's just a place I haven't been before and am fascinated by. That sense of time and place is reinforced by the people (or non-people!) forming the...
  20. TereMichaels

    Lecture Day 2 - Scene Stealers

    Oftentimes, our favorite characters tend to be secondary leads. Part of that is the freedom a writer can feel in creating them, without the burden of the narrative. Part of it is that there is more room for us to fill in some blanks, endearing them to us because, in a way, they are OUR...