Literary vs. Genre: Do I Have to Choose?

So, just how wide is the gap between Literary and Genre Fiction? I found two relevant recent articles that helped me think about this topic: Firstly, “Literary Fiction vs. Genre Fiction” by Steve Petite, in The Huffington Post. This article concludes, “In essence, the best Genre Fiction contains great writing, with the goal of telling a captivating story to escape from […]

Taking Notes on Life

Writers are in the business of noticing. Just as the skilled eye of a painter takes in a sunset and sees subtle undertones of color and the play of positive and negative space, writers look at a stranger’s face or a tree branch or the slant of afternoon light and see a story. Everything we ever write is an attempt […]

A Dragon Named ‘Publishing’

The journey of writing a novel, or other lengthy work, is a bit of a hero’s journey unto itself. For months or even years you keep your head down, diligently doing your work, the daily effort of writing. Maybe you get feedback from a few trusted others, you make changes, you cycle through edits and polish paragraphs. Then the day […]

Quiet the Chatter of Your Mind

Here at Agile Writers, we have a mantra “Constantly Move Forward.” There are so many ways to get stuck. A novel is a long project. A snafu at any juncture can derail the whole venture. We explored one common obstacle to the writing process this week in our weekly “Craft of Writing” installment. Periodically, we choose a book about the […]

Storyboard: Night at the Museum 3

The following is a digest of a movie in the format of the Agile Writer Method. The Story Abstract gives a high-level overview of the story. The Hero Abstract gives an overview of the Hero (protagonist). The Storyboard is an 8-stage breakdown of the story along with elements of the Hero’s Journey (by Joseph Campbell and Christopher Vogler). You can learn more […]

The Hero’s Journey

When I started on my journey to discover the secrets to great stories, my first stop was Joseph Campbell’s book “The Hero With a Thousand Faces.” In it, Campbell dissects the elements of the great mythical stories from antiquity to today and from around the globe. He observes that the same patterns emerge. A hero starts out in their ordinary […]

What is a Novel?

What is a novel? I have a lot of people coming to Agile Writers not knowing what makes a book a novel (and not a short story or an essay or some other form). At Agile Writers we believe these things define a novel: The Agile Novel is Fiction The Agile Novel is Genre Fiction The Agile Novel is Hero-based […]

Accountability and Motivation

I was recently talk­ing to one of my Agile Writers about why the work­shop is so suc­cess­ful. In the last 3 years we’ve invited over 100 peo­ple to our group. In that same time we’ve com­pleted over 20 first draft nov­els. That’s about a 20% suc­cess rate. For most any writ­ers group, that is a pretty high percentage. To what […]