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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3D Dialogue with Action Tags and Beats

Creating rich dialogue requires a variety of tools. Action tags and beats turn dialogue from a flat exchange into a multi-sensory experience. They incorporate the wide range of human communication by allowing for nonverbal cues, sensory detail, and indirect...

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Setting and “Show Don’t Tell”

Setting, the most description-heavy part of a story, benefits from the classic advice, “Show Don’t Tell”. We’ll be addressing this advice from a few different angles in other posts, but in this one it feels right to start with...

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Writing Multiple Characters: Who’s Most Important?

Characters are the lifeblood of narrative. Some stories demand a large character count, but managing these many viewpoints can get not only messy for the writer but confusing for the reader. Incorporating multiple points of view in the same narrative,...

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2 Tricks for Powerful Description

Communication demands description. Incorporating it into narrative, however, can be tricky, especially when writing for entertainment. Linear storytelling demands that action occur and characters interact. Much of the art of writing requires description not only convey information, but also...

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Plotting a Great Ghost Story

Halloween may be over, but ghost stories have a lot more to do with the winter holidays than just the harvest-time festival of sweets. According to Victorian tradition, November and December are just as good for a haunt as Halloween....

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Dialogue and Subtext: What Isn’t Said

Dialogue, as any other narrative tool, operates best when it advances more than one goal. Single-purpose narrative devices often come off flat, lacking color, or uninteresting. Screenwriters call this “on-the-nose” dialogue, and if any writers know the power of...

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Writing Tools: Narrative Summary

Narrative summary is one mode of story-telling and narrative writing. Performers will recognize this tool as the voice of a narrator, different in that it doesn’t belong to any particular character in the story, it allows them to tell...

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