October 5th, 2015

10 Tips For a Strong Protagonist

Shannon Donnelly

I’ve been reading some manuscripts lately that have trouble sorting out the protagonist, so this seems worthy of a blog. The protagonist—your central character—needs to be worthy of a story. The protagonist also needs enough going on to carry the story.

One of the big problems I see in a lot of romances […]

July 6th, 2015

Tell Better; Show More

Shannon Donnelly

I teach a Show and Tell workshop online and everyone comes into that workshop wanting to know how to show more—they’ve usually been hit with the advice to ‘show don’t tell’. However, there’s a place for the narrative in any fiction.

What most writers really need to look at is how to tell […]

April 6th, 2015

Ten Easy Pacing Tips-for Life

Shannon Donnelly

Shannon Donnelly

I’m always thinking about the pacing of the story. Am I moving too slow or too fast? Too much detail in the story slows the pacing—but too little and the reader can’t ‘see’ the scene. Action is great for speed, but too much can confuse. Dialogue can pick up the […]

January 5th, 2015

7 Tips for Balancing Backstory

Shannon Donnelly

photo credit: winnifredxoxo via photopin cc

Backstory—the background needed to enrich a story—is one of those things that can drive any writer nuts. How much is too much? When do you reveal more? When do you hold back? Too much backstory can sink a story—because you’re not moving the story forward. You’re […]

October 6th, 2014

6 Ways To Know You’ve Written the Perfect Ending

by Shannon Donnelly

I’ve been thinking a lot about story endings, probably because I’m getting close to one in the book I’m working on. But also we watched 2 Guns the other day and it has a fabulous mirror from the beginning to ending—that mirror technique where the last scene echoes the opening scene, […]