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

Are You Struggling to Be Creative? This Might Be Why

Are You Struggling to Be Creative? This Might Be Why I talk to my wonderful mother on the phone every night. We talk about everything from health to books to psychology to faith to whatever might be making us grumpy at the moment. This week while discussing health and diet, she shared something she’d read … More Are You Struggling to Be Creative? This Might Be Why

Critique: 10 Ways to Write Excellent Dialogue

  Critique: 10 Ways to Write Excellent Dialogue For many people, dialogue is the heartbeat of fiction. As arguably the only true form of “showing” in written fiction, it offers an inexhaustible source of energy for dramatizing characters, catalyzing conflict, and enhancing every available opportunity for entertainment. That’s why it’s so important to take full … More Critique: 10 Ways to Write Excellent Dialogue

6 Requirements for Writing Better Character Goals

6 Requirements for Writing Better Character Goals Quick. Tell me what your characters want. Maybe you have an immediate answer. Maybe your protagonist wants to save the world, survive, or live happily ever after. While those are all legit goals that have powered hundreds of good stories, what I’m talking about is what your characters want. … More 6 Requirements for Writing Better Character Goals

Master the Plot Points That Matter/ Five Essential Novel Plot Points

Master the Plot Points That Matter/ Five Essential Novel Plot Points The Novel Framework You write your novel building scene by scene and organizing those scenes in sequences and chapters. You create story arcs and character arcs to build throughout the story. But, if your novel lacks even one of the five major plot points, … More Master the Plot Points That Matter/ Five Essential Novel Plot Points