The Daily Port of Call: July 30, 2014

Photo by Alexander Lvov/

Photo by Alexander Lvov/

In today’s Daily Port of Call, you’ll find four different types of conflict in dialogue, the tyranny of motive, and why zombies are consuming our culture.

“To reach full effectiveness, conflict must be varied. Some of your scenes will require full-on red-zone confrontations, but others—depending on the featured characters and what is at stake for them—will be better served by the faintest undercurrent of tension.” Discover the four different types of conflict in dialogue.

“We long for something else, something better, something deeper and purer and truer, even if we have no clear idea what that might be, or how to go about naming it, let alone finding it. And as writers we transmit that yearning to our characters.” Explore the tyranny of motive.

Why are zombies consuming our culture? “’[H]orror’ often reflects much of what we’re facing as a society.”

How do you find time to write? “Life is always going to be in the way.” Here are tips from a writing superstar.

Check out these lessons learned from writing a first novel.

Left in a drawer: Five authors talk about projects that failed to come to fruition.