Imagine attending a football game with no rules. I don’t know about you, but there’s a limit to how excited I could get about watching a bunch of men run around with no particular aim in mind. Really, except for the tight pants, it would be pointless.
What makes the game worth watching is knowing your team has a goal, and knowing there’s an opposing team aiming to stop them from achieving it. That’s what pulls you to the edge of your seat, screaming and pumping your fist in the air.
It’s the same when you read fiction. If the writer hasn’t told you how to keep score, you have no way of knowing whether the characters are drawing nearer or farther from accomplishing their goals, and little reason to care.
Have you ever faced this kind of issue? You have a scene goal in mind, you know the characters involved, where they are and what they want, but HOW does the scene play out? What exactly happens to bring the characters from Point A to Point B in the story?
That’s when the power of improv might come in handy.
The scene is the fundamental unit of story. It’s what drives the story forward, instilling purpose, drama, and emotion. It’s critical to understand the elements that make it effective and know how to employ them. In this article, that’s what we’ll examine—plus, how to use Scrivener to make sure all those elements are present.
Great fiction is built around tension. The bad news is, we experience tension in our own lives every day. The good news is, it’s great fuel for our stories. The question is, how do you create that experience for your readers by building tension in your scenes?
Sometimes I get stuck wondering how to write a scene during a first draft. Or maybe I can’t figure out how to revise a story to make it better. Sometimes I wonder if I am ever going to make any progress in my fiction and life. (Please tell me I’m not alone!)
I’ve been revising this summer, and it’s taking longer than I’d like. I keep returning to the basics of good storytelling to evaluate my scenes, and yesterday, it occurred to me that there are three questions I can ask to clarify almost any scene. Coincidentally, they are the same three questions I usually ask myself to tackle almost any life problem.
Psychology and writing go hand-in-hand. Both are about understanding how people think and act, and why. But you don’t need a psychology degree to write a good story—just a curiosity about the people around you.
Have you ever started a story, gotten halfway through, and realized you don’t know key facts about your story’s world? Have you ever wondered how to find out the size of spoons in Medieval England for your fantasy adventure story? Is that even relevant to your plot, or could you skip that fact? Here’s how to do research for your story.
In college, I majored in communication, and the first thing I learned is that communication is a two-way street—it needs a sender and a receiver. As writers, we are senders, and our readers are receivers. But what are we communicating?
Stories, at their core, are a medium for communicating many things, but chief among them is emotion. That means one of the best ways to hook your reader is through emotion.
In this post, you will learn how to hook your reader with emotion, how people experience emotion through reading and three tips to cultivate that emotion through your writing. Then, we’ll end with a creative writing exercise you can use to apply these lessons right away.