I have recommended Sunset Grill before as one of my recommended webcomics. At the time I said, basically, great characters and stories that help you ignore the uncanny valley problems in the artwork.
Today I’m not going to recommend the comic. No, that’s not true, I am – it’s still great character and story and you really ought to give it some time. But today’s recommendation is for what Kat Feete calls filler and I call great advice for writers.
Four (so far – if there are more I’ll edit to add the links) essays on how she writes. Who she got advice from, what advice that was, and specifically how it’s come into play. And I found myself cheering because HEY – someone FINALLY told me how writing a story by letting the characters tell it works. With blood, sweat, and tears still out in the open, no less.
About how – and this is probably my favorite insight – you don’t have to emphasize conflict. Focus instead on choices the characters make, choices that force changes (not just what they decided to have for dinner – usually). The consequences, especially when the choices are bad ones, will include conflict without much effort on your part at all.
Yeah, I’m enthused about it. Thank you, Kat Feete, and to the one or two readers of this blog go read the essays, then go back and read the story to which she refers. You might not like it but it is by goo a story.