Advanced and Foundational Craft at The Algonkian Author Salon

Strong Narrative Through Synergy : Examples of Powerful Fiction NarrativeThe art of great fiction writing (and why shouldn't we be great?) demands the writer must produce powerful, energetic narrative, and not just occasionally, but throughout the novel. Each narrative block is the result of a synergistic effect, i.e., multiple elements working together to create a totality of vivid and absorb… Read all

Algonkian Author Salon has developed the Six Act Two-Goal novel structure for writers of book-length fiction and nonfiction. We expect further refinements to the outline, but the point here is to understand and utilize a tightly plotted act structure, similar to that used by screenplay writers, to effectively brainstorm and outline a very competitive and suspenseful plot for the genre no… Read all

THE FORCES NECESSARY TO PRODUCE EFFECTIVE SCENESby Barbara Kyle Electricity. Magnetism. Every writer has a visceral understanding of those words applied to drama. We call a dynamic scene "electric"; a compelling character "magnetic." But that's the response of a consumer of art. As writers we need to be producers of artistic effects. We do it by bringing human relationships to life with our craft… Read all

"Plot Briefs," Glossary and Chart For the Six Act Two-Goalby Michael NeffThe Six Act Two-Goal Novel Plot, Setting and Conflict Outline (PSCO): Plot, Setting and Conflict Outline (PSCO) Chart:by Kari Pilgrim with Assist by Joan Koster Plot, Setting an… Read all

THE REAL WRITER by Christine Stewart  ( time we talked about two main types of sentences: loose (or running) and periodic. Today I’d like to share some fun types of sentences you can try that have Greek rhetorical devices with tongue twisting names and challenging elements. When trying these out (when writing a sentence, period), things to… Read all

What chances do you as a writer have of getting your novel manuscript, regardless of genre, commercially published if the story and narrative therein fail to meet reader demands for sufficient suspense, character concern, and conflict? Answer: none. But what major factor makes for a quiet or dull manuscript brimming with insipid characters and a story that cascades from chapter to chapte… Read all

DO NOT LET "TO BE" DOMINATE YOUR NARRATIVEby Michael NeffOveruse of "was" and "were": an all too common feature of many young manuscripts. Yes, Janet Evanovich might use it a lot, or another author we know, sure, but why do you want to copy them? You're not Evanovich, so the odds you can get away with instances of poor writing are much slimmer. Besides, why not write prose narrative that possesses… Read all

THE PDQ SOLUTION TO CREATING METAPHOR AND DESCRIPTION IN FICTION NARRATIVEby Michael NeffYou are a writer. It is your job to faithfully explore and note the world of your fiction. You have here the perfect means for initiating this process: the PROSE DESCRIPTION QUESTIONNAIRE. When it comes to writing descriptive narrative, or simply generating conceptual thought regarding a specific object/person… Read all

Exposition: What the Reader Must Know Before Plot Beginsby Michael NeffExposition is that information which must be delivered to the reader to enable she or he to fully understand the story going forward. The skilled and experienced author delivers exposition at the right time and place, fusing it within the narrative flow so as to avoid the appearance of artifice. Generally speaking, the reader l… Read all

Sympathy Factors In The Hookby Michael NeffIf you‘ve won a Pulitzer you might consider disregarding the advice in this section, but it‘s not advisable. Look at the percentage of novels on the shelf right now that concentrate on creating a character the reader will become concerned with without hesitation. Quite a few, yes? A novel hook with an interesting, unique, and sympathetic character wil… Read all