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How to Keep Score in Your Story With Scene Goals

How to Keep Score in Your Story With Scene Goals

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.

How to Use Scrivener to Write Scenes That Work

How to Use Scrivener to Write Scenes That Work

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.

Scenes from Swan Song

Here are a couple of chapters of Swan Song. I would appreciate feedback on the structure of the scenes.  Chapter 1 No matter how many times she’d been the keynote lecturer to ballrooms of scholars or classrooms of undergrads, Helen always had that flock of...
How to Write a Scene: 3 Questions You Should Ask Before You Write

How to Write a Scene: 3 Questions You Should Ask Before You Write

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.

Week 2: 2462Total word count so far: 4467What I worked on: I worked on chapter 2 this week. How your writing went this week: I’m finding it very difficult as due to my shift work and young kids I’m only getting a day each week to work on my writing....

Week 11- Chapter 11. WC:5869

*This is a stand-alone story from my collection of short stories, Heartbreak Over Coffee, meaning it has a beginning and an end.**Please verify if the stotyline makes sense.***This is the last chapter from my novel. Hope you enjoy.Iced Coffee A question was...
9 Key Strategies for How to Research a Novel

9 Key Strategies for How to Research a Novel

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.

Week 10-Chapter 10. WC:5913

*This is a short story, so it is a stand-alone chapter, with a beginning and an end.**It is quite steamy***Hope you enjoyCortado Her reflection on the car window revealed what she did, her memories playing with the quality of an independent film. The blurred...
3 Powerful Ways to Hook Your Reader With Emotion

3 Powerful Ways to Hook Your Reader With Emotion

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.

30-minute daily writing sprints have allowed me to break the barrier on daily writing goals. Feel free to join me at the Chicago Writers Circle (no need to be a Chi-Town resident) and give it a try. Chicago Writers Circle...
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