Planning a Novel: Types and Tools

Planning a story can be a minefield of distraction. Large works, like novels and series, often benefit from setting structures for the story. Even small works, short stories and poems, show improvement when preparation is done for the content,...

Continue reading →

Strengthen Your Story Concept: Interest, Story Generators, and Playing What-If

Translating an interesting idea into a good story starts with finding the story in the idea. It’s very easy to be excited by something and want to write about it. Inspiration is excellent! It also fills up files like...

Continue reading →

3 Tools for Plotting As You Write: Plotting for Pantsers

There's a difference between planning each step in a journey, and just knowing where you're going next. There are all types of writers, and no one can tell any other writer how to work their craft. All they can do...

Continue reading →

Writing with Humanity’s 5 Primal Fears

Theories and studies in human studies provide excellent writing tools. Earlier this year, we shared material on love types as well as sociological pressures. Now, we turn attention to the basic elements of human fear as tools to generate...

Continue reading →

Harness the Power of the Subplot

Subplots seem to be a bit of a dirty word in a world that now views itself in terms of under-represented categories. While the prefix “sub” technically sets these story lines below the main plot of the story, subplots...

Continue reading →

Main Character Level: Expert!

Who would want to listen to a know-it-all? Even a good-tempered know-it-all gets frustrating after enduring an hour of catch-up information just to understand the joke they just made. However, experts in any field are often colorful, fascinating characters....

Continue reading →

Story Mechanics: World-Building with Purpose

There are few things fantasy/sci-fi fans love more than a new, rich world ready to swallow them up for a great story! I know I love it. Creating a world, or world-building as the writers call it, can be...

Continue reading →

Breaking the Script

People go through much of their lives on autopilot, and the programming for everyday life is in social scripts. These ever-present outlines for action are present in story too, though they make up the unwritten world between the lines...

Continue reading →

Kill Characters with Purpose

Google “how to kill a character”. Seriously, do it. There are dozens of links, posts, and witty little graphics showing the ways to cause death, soften the blow for readers, and create compelling death scenes. What is severely lacking...

Continue reading →

More than Writing Death Scenes

Why do characters die? This isn't asking why main characters die, but why do those disposable, side-lined, often parental characters die in stories? The element of death in fiction seeps into stories constantly, leaping unbidden into a back-story or...

Continue reading →