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The Writer's Compass » The 7 Stage Process

When to Ask for Feedback

For some people, never is a good time to ask for feedback. Some writers don’t feel the need for input from others or at the most only one or two selected and trusted writers. Some writers feel that by sharing their work with others prematurely, they dispel the energy of writing. Other writers are anxious to get feedback, sharing their stories with critique groups, family, friends, anybody they can get to listen. The best time to ask for feedback is when you understand what you need to know to improve your work. Let’s face it, we all want to hear how someone loved our story. We want an adoring group listening as we read the lines we’ve sweated over. I used to drive my younger daughters crazy reading drafts of stories to them. … Read entire article »

Filed under: About Writing, Critiques and Feedback, The 7 Stage Process

More on Story Mapping and the 7 Stages

You Know That Hole in Your Story? You Don’t? Here’s How to Find It Using a story map is a great tool for figuring out where the holes are in your story and then developing ideas for filling in those gaps. Morgen Bailey has added a guest blog post I wrote on story mapping and the 7 stages at is … Read entire article »

Filed under: The 7 Stage Process, The Story Map

The Writer’s Compass Video Presentation

September 15, 2011, my 45-minute lecture at the Pepperdine Payson Library was videotaped and can be accessed for free here. … Read entire article »

Filed under: About Writing, Becoming A Writer, FREEBIES & PURCHASE, The 7 Stage Process, The Story Map

New Audio Interview on Writing and the 7 Stages

Wise Bear Media Audio Interview Quinn Barrett, author of Invisible Snow, interviews me on writing and the 7 Stages for an audio podcast which can be found at: January 26, 2012 … Read entire article »

Filed under: About Writing, Becoming A Writer, The 7 Stage Process

Dialogue, Pacing, and Tension

Dialogue, Pacing, and Tension

How much dialogue should be used compared to how much narrative or exposition? In stories, the more dialogue and the less narrative or exposition, the faster the pacing. This is one of the reasons that action shots in a screenplay should be shorter and in a play there should be very little to nothing between lines of dialogue, in these forms the story should be a fast read with just enough imagery for the reader to visualize … Read entire article »

Filed under: About Writing, The 7 Stage Process, Writing Exercises

Finding True North

Finding True North

Drawing by Jamie Hansen. When I started writing, I wanted to figure out for myself what I was missing and what I was doing wrong. I figured a good writer shouldn’t always need to rely on feedback from others to get the story right. Not that feedback isn’t extremely helpful, sometimes you really need outside objectivity. The problem was in relying too much on outside feedback. How do you know when you have it right? You don’t always. And … Read entire article »

Filed under: About Writing, The 7 Stage Process

The 7 Stage Process

The 7 Stage Process

Developing the 7 Stages   The 7-Stage process systematically develops a story one level at a time, every stage building on the last. Each stage focuses on an area of development that works through key obstacles to create a strong story. Charting the essential elements of storytelling with your ideas across a story map lays the foundation for your story. Progressing systematically through each stage helps you develop your story with the least number of revisions. The 7 … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, The 7 Stage Process