Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 5: The Characteristic Moment

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 5: The Characteristic Moment   First impressions do count. And your protagonist’s Characteristic Moment is his first chance to impress your readers. Now that we’ve got the basic theory of character arc out of the way and figured out how to set up your protagonist’s inner conflict, via the Lie … More Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 5: The Characteristic Moment

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 4: Your Character’s Ghost

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 4: Your Character’s Ghost   What is your character’s ghost, and how does it affect his character arc? Once you’ve figured out the Lie Your Character Believes, as well as Thing He Wants and the Thing He Needs, the next question you need to ask yourself is: Why does the … More Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 4: Your Character’s Ghost

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 1: Can You Structure Characters?

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 1: Can You Structure Characters?   What if there were a sure-fire secret to creating stunning character arcs? Would you be interested in discovering it? If you care about connecting with readers, grabbing hold of their emotions, and creating stories that will resonate with them on a level deeper than … More Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 1: Can You Structure Characters?

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 11: The Resolution

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 11: The Resolution   The resolution is always a bittersweet moment. You’ve reached the end of the story. You’ve climbed the mountain, and now you can plant your flag of completion at its peak. But as the finale of all your work, this is also the finale of all the fun you’ve … More The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 11: The Resolution

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 10: The Climax

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 10: The Climax   And, now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for! The climax is the pièce de résistance of our gourmet meal of a novel. When we wheel out the climax and lift the serving dish’s gleaming silver lid, this is the bit that gets all the “oohs” and “aahs.” … More The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 10: The Climax

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 9: The Third Act

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 9: The Third Act   The third act is the moment we’ve all been waiting for—readers, writers, and characters alike. This final section of the story is the point. It’s what we’ve been building up to all this time. If the first and second acts were engaging and aesthetic labyrinths, the … More The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 9: The Third Act

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

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

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 42: When Your Story Stakes Aren’t High Enough

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 42: When Your Story Stakes Aren’t High Enough There are two different ways you can blow your story stakes–and both of them have the ability to ruin your book. Before we dig into the pitfalls, let’s take a moment to consider just what story stakes are. What Are Story Stakes? Your character’s stake … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 42: When Your Story Stakes Aren’t High Enough