Friends, family, lovers – do they make good characters?

Christina Ranallo Uncategorized 1 Comment

I had a coffee mug made for my writer’s group years ago that said, “I’m a writer and I will fictionalize you.” It was a hit, perhaps because it was true. The best characters are real in some fashion. People who have left deep and undeniable impressions on our lives craft their own versions of heroes and villains in our …

Have you tried writing from the “middle”?

Christina Ranallo Uncategorized, Writing Tips Leave a Comment

Many stories are told naturally in chronological order. This happens, and then this happens next, and so on. But what do you do when future events are not as clear as the one in front of you? Some writers keep writing the beginning over and over trying to perfect it. They think maybe, just maybe if those first chapters are …

Too much story not enough plot?

Christina Ranallo Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Nothing beats a good story. Around a dinner table, at a party, a café or any place friends and family gather. Once a storyteller grabs hold of willing listeners there’s no letting go until he or she delivers the payoff. We smile, maybe clap a little and we are happy. Good story, we say. But… What happens when after awhile …

Too tired to write a novel? Dream one.

Christina Ranallo Uncategorized 2 Comments

I read to my daughters often. Many of the books remain on my shelf and have found a place as inspiration for writing. I’ve often thought, whimsically, about finding a way to do what Shel Silverstein says he can do in this poem: I’ll take the dream I had last night, And put it in my freezer, So someday long …

How long is it going to take to write this novel?

Christina Ranallo Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Have you ever planted flowers from seeds with little kids? They are so excited to dig holes in the ground all by themselves. They carefully drop in precious tiny seeds that will miraculously transform into the pictures on the packets. It all goes terrifically until you have to summon an explanation the next day when you see the same kids …

Can a novel be a lot of smaller stories?

Christina Ranallo Opinion, Uncategorized, Writing Tips 1 Comment

Writing a novel is daunting. That said, writing a short story is not easier simply because there are fewer words. The goal is to tell the whole story no matter how many words it takes. But what if the whole story comes to a writer by way of smaller, more intimate events that are all related to the broader, bigger, …