Direct Readers’ Focus: The Golden Ratio

Minute details are a double-edged sword to the flow of a story. Outright descriptors – adjectives and adverbs, even forceful verbs – have the power to choke out ideas and action. Artful concepts, however, can accomplish incredible feats of...

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Writing Wide Description: The Art of Zooming In

The golden ratio (see our introductory post: Writing with the Golden Ratio) is a geometric ratio that creates a positive reaction from people, especially in art and music. While this mathematic guide can be created artificially in a computer program,...

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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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Story Generators: From Traits to Action

Generators are great. Stuck for a character? All you have to do is turn a card or click a button and boom! There’s one complete with useful traits, their fate, flaws, weaknesses, and maybe even a little backstory. You...

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The Award for Best Supporting Character Goes To…

Main characters carry the greatest weight in a story, but it’s uncommon for a great story to come out of just a main character in a vacuum. While the term may vary, secondary characters are close to the main...

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Micro Conflicts: Moving Scenes Forward

Conflict is an essential element of narrative. Just about anyone will recognize larger conflicts, even the seven basic conflicts, as plot, but some of the best conflict occurs in small scale. Keeping interest can equate to maintaining some kind...

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2 Methods for Writing Powerful Themes

There’s much more to a story than what happens. Theme, for example, can simply be described as what a story means. This post isn’t to describe theme, so for that you can visit an excellent post over at Writers...

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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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Facts and Narrative in NonFiction

History, when not a literal stack of source material (official documents, registers, receipts, census records, etc.) is a narrative produced with a specific audience in mind. The emotion of the writer has far less to do with the spin...

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