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Charlotte Rains Dixon  

The Final Top Takeaways From the Writer’s Loft

I've been writing a series of posts on what I learned at the Writer's Loft last weekend.  You can find the links for Part One and Part Two at the end of this post, or just click on the highlighted words.

Today's post is about the lecture that one of our favorite mentors, David Pierce, gave, which he called "Tools for Stories."  I have to give David a huge thank-you, as he stepped in at the very last minute to give this lecture after one of our mentors was not able to attend due to a family illness.

David offered the following six tools:  Bookcover

  • Trouble
  • Cause and Effect
  • Reversal and Revelation
  • Expectations
  • Dramatic Irony (when the audience knows more than the character)
  • More Trouble

The important concept here is that these are tools that you can use as you write stories or novels.  Stuck?  Give your character more trouble.  Don't know what to have happen next?  Figure out what a logical chain of cause and effect might be.  The plot just won't budge?  Throw in a reversal or a revelation.  You get the idea. 

I love these tools and can see how truly helpful they are to have in your bag of tricks.  These are real, specific, craft responses to writer's block in fiction–and they probably work pretty well for creative non-fiction as well.

By the way, David is the author of "Don't Let Me Go," a wonderful memoir about climbing mountains and running marathons with his daughter.

As my father would say, thus endeth this series on Top Takeaways from the Writer's Loft.  Here are the links for the first and second parts:

You can read Part One, about social media and Kory Wells, here.

And Part Two, about Richard Goodman, here.

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