POV: Writing the Bystander Viewpoint

Using the term “Main Character (MC)” is sticky when your story is told through the viewpoint of a bystander. Who’s the "MC" when you have a viewpoint character who is telling the story but isn’t the main actor? Well, that’s...

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What is Detail, What is Plot: Deciphering Writer’s Block

Planning a story should produce a strong outline. That outline, made up of interesting and interconnected scenes, ties your ideas together into a cohesive and engaging plot. Faced with a pile of potential scenes to organize into a story,...

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What Started Everything “Once Upon A Time”? Working with Inciting Incidents

Refining your inciting incident is really a portion of revision, though meticulous planners can always put this in with their preparations. I’ll be showing my love of science here, though in a very simple and albeit vocabulary-centered way. If a...

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Pacing Your Book So Time Will Fly

Does time really fly when you’re having fun? Well, it sure does when you’re reading a book with perfect pacing. When we feel like time is flying by (or dragging along), the seconds aren’t any longer or shorter than...

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Word-Hacking Emotion

Forget brain surgery, its poetry and psychology that hack our minds. Yes, we generally discuss narrative here, but the principles of poetry are what turn description and detail into mind control engines. Remember your lessons on imagery? Unless your English...

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What does your story assume?

In writing, there is always an intellectual frame in place. What that frame is, and how the writer selects it, is usually both taken for granted and similar to frames that are clearly accepted by the target audience. One...

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Worldbuilding for Realistic Fiction

I am proud to admit I write in many genres. I've been known to write light-hearted fantasy, speculative/science fiction, lite horror, a little supernatural, period realistic fiction, and contemporary fiction. People seem surprised when I say I use worldbuilding...

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Skipping Time in Your Story

Some stories take a lifetime to tell. Well, they would if we didn’t use narrative pacing to make sure we hit the best parts while not leaving out important details. Consider trying to tell the story of a person. Biographies...

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Podcast Alert! Writing Excuses

This is a busy time of year! As you know, I’m an advocate of writers having day jobs if the situation fits for them, and I follow that path myself. At this point, it’s not a choice so much as a...

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Plot Twists: Expanding Your World

Story structures require control of perception and the element of surprise. Plotting is all about retaining and releasing information to create dramatic and purposeful connections between the elements of the story. Plot twists (here simply defined as revelatory moments that...

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