Tag Archives | plotting

Standing on water

Quick Link: Your Characters Must Earn Their Way Out of Trouble

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web. Today’s post is from James Scott Bell, from Kill Zone, because I don’t like to think too much when I exercise either. I look for exciting movies that can pull me in, and away from the treadmill. However, no matter how exciting […]

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Author Tools: Craft Your First Story With This Creative Writing Reference Chart

Author Tools – things to help you get your writing done Lifehacker‘s Eric Ravenscraft shares a great chart he found to help writers plan their story. ~ * ~   Read the full post (and get the free worksheet!) on Lifehacker ~ * ~ If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions […]

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Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

How to Prepare for NaNoWriMo: To Outline or Not To Outline

This post by Brian A. Klems originally appeared on Writer’s Digest on 10/27/15. November is almost here, which means two things: 1) You’re going to be seeing a lot of mustaches and 2) it’s time to start preparing for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Over the coming weeks, with the help of my friend and author […]

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Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo

This post by Steve Shepard originally appeared on Storyist. “What are you writing this year?” It’s the question on everyone’s lips at the regional NaNoWriMo kickoff parties. The answer, even among seasoned NaNoWriMo veterans, is often “I don’t know.” So if you don’t know either, relax—you’re in good company. Heck, even Chris Baty, the NaNoWriMo […]

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Alfred Hitchcock's Bomb: Suspense, Surprise, and Emotion in Narrative

This post by Peter Ginna originally appeared on his Dr. Syntax blog on 9/21/10. Although I am a nonfiction publisher at the moment, I still love to read fiction in a variety of genres, from literary novels to thrillers. And I think for most editors it’s impossible to read a book without your editorial reflex […]

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Raising Questions in Our Stories

This post by Elizabeth Spann Craig originally appeared on her site on 8/24/15. One thing that can trip up even experienced writers is giving everything away in the story too quickly. It’s always a temptation for me. I tend to want to reveal things too quickly in my story. I want to explain everything as […]

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Fueling the Muse—How to Mentally Prepare for “The Novel”

This post by Kristen Lamb originally appeared on her blog on 8/27/15. NaNoWriMo is kind of like Christmas for writers—suffering, drama, no sleep, heavy drinking and really bad eating habits. Also, we start talking about NaNoWriMo months before it actually happens. If you are a new writer and don’t know what NaNoWriMo is? It stands […]

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Understanding the Flashback—Bending Time as a Literary Device

This post by Kristen Lamb originally appeared on her blog on 6/15/15. Last time we talked about flashbacks and why they ruin fiction. But, because this is a blog and I don’t want it to be 20,000 words long, I can’t address everything in one post. Today, we’re going to further unpack “the flashback.” I […]

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How to Write Character Reaction Patterns

This post by David Wiseheart originally appeared on Character Secrets on 3/20/15. Writing teachers, story coaches, and screenwriting gurus often say: “Story comes from character.” Or: “Story is character.” And that’s true. Unfortunately, these writing teachers rarely go into detail about what that actually means. Or how it works. Well, I’m about to show you […]

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The Mystery Writer's Toolbox

This post by by Shannon Roberts & Renni Browne originally appeared on The Editorial Department on 4/21/15. A look at what’s inside and its relevance to all genres Questions. Motives. Clues. Red herrings. Villains. Suspense. All of these are elements in any good mystery. And all of them should be elements in your novel—whether it […]

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How Mad Max: Fury Road Turns Your Writing Advice Into Roadkill

This post by Chuck Wendig originally appeared on his terribleminds site on 5/26/15. Warning: strong language. Said it before, will say it again: Mad Max: Fury Road is the dust-choked rocket-fueled orifice-clenching crank-mad feminist wasteland batfuck doomsday opera you didn’t know you needed. It’s like eating fireworks. It’s like being inside a rust tornado. It’s […]

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What Is A Story?

This post by David Baboulene originally appeared on his The Science of Story on 11/3/14. When I first started my research degree in story theory, the thing that surprised me most was that there is no single definition for the term ‘story’. At least, not one that all the authorities agree, and certainly not one […]

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What Are Pinch Points? And How Can They Make Your Book Easier to Write?

This post by K.M. Weiland originally appeared on her Helping Writers Become Authors site on 3/29/15. You may have heard of these little darlings called “Pinch Points.” Of all the important structural moments in your story, they’re the most likely to be neglected. They get lost amidst all the excited chatter about their bigger, flashier […]

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The Difference Between “Flawed” Characters and “Too Dumb to Live”

This post by Kristen Lamb originally appeared on her blog on 3/9/15. Which is more important? Plot or character? Though an interesting discussion—sort of like, Could Ronda Rousey take a Klingon with only her bare hands?—it isn’t really a useful discussion for anything other than fun. To write great fiction, we need both. Plot and […]

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“Story. Dammit, story!”

This post by James Scott Bell originally appeared on Kill Zone on 2/22/15. In his introduction to Stephen King’s first collection of short stories, Night Shift, John D. MacDonald explains what it takes to become a successful writer. Diligence, a love of words, and empathy for people are three big factors. But he sums up […]

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