Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 7: The Three Building Blocks of the Sequel

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 7: The Three Building Blocks of the Sequel   The sequel*—the second half of the Scene—sometimes gets shortchanged. But it is every bit as important as the scene, since it allows characters to process the events of the scene and figure out their next move. The sequel is the reaction half of the action/reaction pairing. … More Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 7: The Three Building Blocks of the Sequel

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 6: Variations on the Scene

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 6: Variations on the Scene   If writers have one complaint about the whole notion of story structure, it’s that it makes them feel boxed in. But the great thing about structure is that it provides a solid framework for your story, while still presenting endless possibilities. This is just as true of … More Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 6: Variations on the Scene

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 4: Options for Conflict in a Scene

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 4: Options for Conflict in a SceneSHARE Once you’ve established your character’s scene* goal, the fun begins in earnest! Conflict is what story is all about. Without it, the character would achieve his goal in minutes, all the loose ends would instantly be tied off with a pretty red bow, and the story … More Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 4: Options for Conflict in a Scene

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 2: The Three Building Blocks of the Scene

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 2: The Three Building Blocks of the SceneilLike story itself, each Scene* follows a specific structure. At its heart, the arc of the Scene is the same as that of the larger story structure exhibited over the course of the book: 1. Beginning=Hook 2. Middle=Development 3. End=Climax When we look at the … More Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 2: The Three Building Blocks of the Scene

How to Evoke Reader Emotions With “Surprisingness”

How to Evoke Reader Emotions With “Surprisingness”   Have you ever read a book for a second, third, even tenth time—just to experience the emotion the story evokes? Clearly the elements of the story aren’t a surprise. You know exactly what to expect. If so, you were benefiting from an author who knew how to … More How to Evoke Reader Emotions With “Surprisingness”

How to Evoke Reader Emotions With “Surprisingness”

How to Evoke Reader Emotions With “Surprisingness”   Have you ever read a book for a second, third, even tenth time—just to experience the emotion the story evokes? Clearly the elements of the story aren’t a surprise. You know exactly what to expect. If so, you were benefiting from an author who knew how to … More How to Evoke Reader Emotions With “Surprisingness”

5 Questions for Choosing a Protagonist Who Represents Your Story’s Theme

5 Questions for Choosing a Protagonist Who Represents Your Story’s Theme   Choosing a protagonist is often more of an event than a process. Writers sometimes feel more like the protagonist chooses them than the other way around. While most of us heed our first instinct to simply chase after this character to see where … More 5 Questions for Choosing a Protagonist Who Represents Your Story’s Theme

How to Tell if Your Story Has Too Much Plot, Not Enough Character

How to Tell if Your Story Has Too Much Plot, Not Enough Character Can a story have too much plot? It might surprise you (especially if you’re a regular reader of the site), but the answer is absolutely, yes. Implicit in the question of too much plot is the idea that a story should have moreof … More How to Tell if Your Story Has Too Much Plot, Not Enough Character

How to Use a “Truth Chart” to Figure Out Your Character’s Arc

How to Use a “Truth Chart” to Figure Out Your Character’s Arc  by K.M. WEILAND Figure Out Your Character’s Arc “How do I figure out my character’s arc?” This is a question I receive commonly—and with good reason. Not only is your character’s arc central to all your other story choices—plot and theme foremost among … More How to Use a “Truth Chart” to Figure Out Your Character’s Arc

Creating Your Character’s Inner Conflict: Want vs. Need

Creating Your Character’s Inner Conflict: Want vs. Need   Man vs. Self—it’s the most archetypal of all stories. This is because all stories are ultimately rooted in the primal and personal struggle of a character’s inner conflict. As individuals, our conflicts with others or the world itself are almost inevitably either reflections or projections of … More Creating Your Character’s Inner Conflict: Want vs. Need