Michael Neff of Algonkian Writer Conferences - On Craft

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Michael Neff of Algonkian Writer Conferences - On Craft

#1 Post by WritersBlock » 09 Dec 2012, 00:46

Algonkian Writer Conferences director and author Michael Neff contributes articles to Author Salon on the art of fiction.
Table of Contents here and other articles listed below: http://www.authorsalon.com/craft/


Author Salon Reviews Craft Points and Epiphany


A Smart Dose of Antagonistic Force Solves the Quiet Novel
http://www.authorsalon.com/page/general ... iterature/

The Six Act Two-Goal Novel

The Six Act Two-Goal PSCO and Chart

Restoring the Troll Trope - Issues in Writing Modern Fantasy

The Four Stage Method For Writing Fiction Narrative

The Role of Energetic Sets in Your Story

Sympathy Factors in Your Hook

The Artful Manner of Delivering Exposition

The PDQ Solution for Developing Metaphor and Cinema in Your Narrative

Whether Film or Script, Coverage Counts

Prose Drills for Upmarket Voice and More

Do Not Let "To Be" Dominate Your Narrative


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Re: Michael Neff of Algonkian Writer Conferences - On Craft

#2 Post by MichaelNeffWriter » 30 Jun 2014, 03:02

I've added this forum to the mix for various advanced craft articles:


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Re: Michael Neff of Algonkian Writer Conferences - On Craft

#3 Post by Elizabeth » 07 Jun 2016, 22:08

I've benefited from all of these, Michael. Thank you so much!!!

Hugs and Post Cards,



Re: Michael Neff of Algonkian Writer Conferences - On Craft

#4 Post by harry567 » 01 Jun 2017, 06:35

I've benefited from all of these, Michael. Thank you so much!!!

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Re: Michael Neff of Algonkian Writer Conferences - On Craft

#5 Post by sanbromm » 21 Oct 2017, 18:19

Amazing list, thank you for posting this. Have a nice weekend.

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Re: Michael Neff of Algonkian Writer Conferences - On Craft

#6 Post by AnjaBoersmaR5 » 19 Feb 2020, 16:31


1. Story statement:
Herman Hill wants to lose his virginity.

2. Antagonist:
Dmitri Vorontsov, former KGB agent, now a pimp posing as a philanthropist in Istanbul. He traffics women from Russia and Ukraine and sells them for sex as well as human guinea pigs for Big Pharma. He is the bastard son of an aristocratic father and a gypsy mother, able to maneuver in two opposite worlds. He is in trouble when a vegan activist blew up the lab of old Dr. Pavlov Jr., with the doctor in it. Dmitri’s boss, The Investor, needs the new disease and medicine ASAP.
Dmitri craves the post-communist life. He moves in elitist circles, eats the finest caviar and drives the biggest Jaguar. He has no sexual fetishes but loves everything English and has written letters to Princess Diana to warn her but to no avail.

3. Create three titles:
Herman Hill tries to get lucky
Istanbul For Virgins With Harem Fantasies
Herman Hill and the temptations of the Topkapi Palace

4. Travel adventure a la Romancing The Stone …
Who compares to me? And why? This is so difficult! Most adventures are about heroic ex-Navy SEALS, not about self-conscious mother’s boys. I guess I could say: Lee Goldberg’s “Monk” Meets Robin Cook and gets caught in a web of blackmail, lust and power in this lighthearted medical mystery with a clumsy amateur sleuth and a domineering mother as his sidekick.

5. The antagonist must be named …
Herman Hill investigates the murder of the woman who deflowered him. Her alleged killer attempts first to blackmail Herman into working for him, former KGB agent, then uses seduction by fulfilling Herman’s harem fantasies with a troupe of young Russian beauties.

6. Inner and secondary conflict
Herman needs to become a man instead of the mother’s boy he’s been all his life. He hates himself for being shy and suffering from overactive sweat glands when interacting with women. At times he feels guilty about hating his mother. She raised him singlehandedly as best as she could but she is so dominant that she practically drives him into the arms of Dmitri Vorontsov, the charismatic and manipulative antagonist.
Secondary conflict: his interactions with the Turkish police are most embarrassing. Their interrogation humiliates him and his tendency to blush, mumble and sweat do not make him look innocent.

7. Setting
The story takes place in Sultanahmet, the historic district of Istanbul. The streets are filled with cobbled stones and shoe shining men with contraptions that look like giant Aladin’s lamps. Smells of shish kebab waft through the air almost like shimmying belly dancers. Turkish street dogs lie in the streets and everybody steps carefully around them. The melodic call to prayers can be heard through speakers from every mosque. Carts with grilled corn on the cob are a common sight.

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