Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 3: Options for Goals in a Scene

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 3: Options for Goals in a Scene The story as a whole and every scene* within it begins with a goal. Your character wants something—something he will have difficulty accomplishing. What he wants frames the plot on both the macro and micro levels. What he wants defines him as a person, … More Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 3: Options for Goals 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

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 1: Mastering the Two Different Types of Scene

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 1: Mastering the Two Different Types of Scene Okay, so it’s not really a trick. It’s a legitimate question with a legitimate, if somewhat surprising, answer. And that answer is: the scene. Yep, you heard right. The scene—that most integral, most obvious, most universal part of any story—is also the most overlooked and … More Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 1: Mastering the Two Different Types of 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”

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

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

Avoiding Writing? Make Procrastination Work for You

Avoiding Writing? Make Procrastination Work for You Is writing a priority on your list? If you’re a serial procrastinator, you look at that list with writing at the very top and think, “What can I do instead?” Well, it’s probably not that flagrant. It’s more like the siren call of the internet subtly pulls your … More Avoiding Writing? Make Procrastination Work for You

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