Nov 282015

In school, we learned about three kinds of conflict in a novel; man vs. self, man vs. man and man vs. nature. I remember trying to stump my English teacher by listing books that didn’t fall into these three descriptions. She always managed to explain why said book fit into one of these three, but I didn’t always agree with her.

I find identifying the central conflict helps to keep my novel on track. My characters have a tendency to run away with the central conflict and turn it into man vs. self or man vs. man if I let them wander too far afield.

There’s another not listed but I’ve seen listed other places, person vs. fate. This is where a character is compelled to follow his or her destiny or fate. While many person vs. fate books also fall under person vs. man or another category, it is a popular conflict and I think it’s worth noting.

The list below asks, “What types of novel do you enjoy reading?” While I’ve read and enjoyed novels of each type, I’d have to say that person vs. self, person vs. the paranormal and person vs. society are my favorites.

central conflict

Nov 252015

I used to listen to a lot of podcasts and Grammar Girl was one of my favorites. In 2009, she covered Lay vs. Lie and I developed a problem where I didn’t think I had one before. Every time I used the past tense or past participle of lay or lie, it never sounded correct.

I started second guessing myself, so I went to the Grammar Girl website and snagged this little graphic to help.

Lay vs. Lie

Grammar Girl is a wonderful podcast. She provides short, useful tips to help improve your writing. If the battery in my iPod wasn’t malfunctioning from age and overuse, I’d still be listening.

Her most recent tip was about formatting internal dialog, which was helpful and informative.

Nov 182015

I’ve collected a few writing tips from The Writer’s Circle on Facebook and thought I’d share. Just a random collection of tips and lists that may or may not be helpful.

I’m enjoying the posts from The Writer’s Circle. They post tips, funnies, informative videos and other helpful things that make your procrastination more productive.

They also have a website at 

Sorry for the huge pictures. Some of them are impossible to read smaller.

8 Laws of Foreshadowing

Banish Writer's Block

Character Motivation

What Really Makes a Good Story?

Comma Rules

100 Jobs for Fantasy Characters



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