Of Memoir, Climax, and “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”…

Writing teacher and mentor, Clive Matson, always said that if a writer found her or himself wanting and/or needing to explain her or his story that the reader might gain the author’s intended message, the author needed to revise their story further.

Completing a manuscript requires more than simply writing the story, editing and revising it for clarity regarding grammar and typos, or even for development of plot.

Within each story or novel lives the narrative of that story, and how it came into being.

The author’s understanding and exploration of this process informs


Of Revelation, Illusions and the Parallel Processes of Writing and Discovery…

Revelation plays an important role in constructing and/or assembling the middle section of a novel.

Revelation also encompasses the uncovering of truth of what has always stood present, but remained hidden by strong held illusions and beliefs.

Stories and novels stand upon revelations, ones that sustain the cause-and-effect events that comprise, most particularly, the plot of a novel and that lead towards crisis and onto climax.


Of Intimacy, Revelation and Redemption…

In my recent interview with Tabitha Vinson of Praise and Worship ICU (PWICU), we discussed human intimacy, an aspect that, for Tabitha, played heavily in my recent novel, The House.

That night, it struck me that as with The House, and all good works of fiction, intimacy plays an important role in not simply the emotional narrative of a story.

Intimacy heavily contributes to the establishment of the opening of a work of fiction.

Through presenting the protagonist in a series of intimate relationships, readers get to know the personality of the central character, flaws and all.

From this we gain entrance into their yearnings.

And yearnings always relate to desires and wants, ultimately inner conflicts that get ignited once the protagonist enters the quest to achieve her or his goal.


Of Reversals, Plausible Endings and the Artistry of Thwarting Expectations…

“A successful resolution thwart the our expectation; it doesn’t (fully) satisfy them.”—-Peter Selgin, 179 Ways to Save a Novel: Matters of Vital Concern to Fiction Writers

Reversals sit at the heart of a successful resolution. And since novels consist of a continual list of crises fostered by a string of obstacles, both physical and human writers must embed our stories with a minefield of reversals.

But what is the true nature of a reversal?


Of Symbols, Change and Arc of Growth and Transformation…

The display the revelations that take place during the denouement and resolution, end, of a novel must take place in scene, not summary.

End of story revelations work much like the action taking place during the crisis and climax points where the immediacy of the characters’ actions impress upon readers the significance and meaning of the ordeal the central character/characters are undergoing, surviving and ultimately growing stronger by enduring.

Just as the crisis and climax point of a novel provide places of major transition and transformation, so to the revelations presented during denouement and at resolution offer one last stage of growth and change.


Of Turning Points, Disclosures and Amplifying Conflict…

Revelations in a novel not only reveal character, but also ideally raise the stakes, up the ante, so-to-speak, which ultimately intensifies conflict.

The opening revelation and/or those of the first chapters of a novel establish the chaos that has befallen your protagonist, i.e. display the problem she or he is facing.

Disclosures during the middle of your story widen the deepen the borders of the problem, thereby expose more of your protagonist’s–personality, weakness and strengths, hopes and fears.


Of Revelations, Developments and Hidden Aspects of Personality…

Novels consist of a string of revelations. 

These revelations, consistently timed and well paced comprise and provide an important part of plot. 

As such they play and inherent and necessary role in character development.

Revelations lead to irrevocable moments wherein the protagonist, when faced with an immediate challenge demanding on the spot response, makes a decision and acts in a way that forces her or him forward.


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Readers' Favorite recognized The House in 2 of its 2011 categories Honorable in the Genre of Christian Fiction AND Finalist in the Genre of Dramatic Fiction

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