There is a Solution to a Novelists’ Common Problem

A Visit with Zena Dell Lowe

A great conversation with Zena Dell Lowe on how to ensure your character is actively driving the action in your story.

Key Writing Tips for You to Consider

  • The solution to every story problem starts with awakening your passive character. Active characters should be the ones making decisions, picking paths, and driving the action of the story.
  • Active characters should have something to lose. Every choice they make should increase the stakes in the story and leave your character with a greater risk of loss.
  • Your main character should be observant and notice things in her surroundings and with the characters around her.
  • Your main character should recruit allies and put together a team to accomplish their goals.
  • Active characters influence the events of the world, even if they are not in charge. If your character is not in charge in the scene, find a way to give them the microphone so they are in charge.
  • Your main character should have a super power.
  • When your main character faces challenges, have him or her seek inspiration and support from other characters in your story. However, remember that your main character should ultimately be the one to figure out the next steps or solutions, taking the lead in the narrative.
  • Ensure that each scene in your story has an emotional shift before cutting away to another part of the plot. This emotional progression is essential for making scene transitions effective and engaging for your readers.

Zena will be teaching a class at the Florida Christian Writers Conference, covering topics like story structure, character development, and visual images adapted for fiction writers. She offers valuable insights into storytelling, drawing from her experience as a screenwriter, producer, and actor. Zena’s teaching approach helps writers understand and apply key storytelling principles.

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Eddie Jones and Diana Flegal offer personalized coaching for writers.
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