If you’ve opened a novel and seen a quote on the opening pages then you’ve seen a literary epigraph. But what are they really? Why do authors use them? And how do you know if you need one for your own work in progress?
In stories, we get to see the cause-and-effect connections between otherwise random events. We get to experience the deeper meaning in life. We get to see through the chaos of real life and see the underlying pattern.
The literary term for this pattern is story arc, and humans love story arcs.
In this article, we’re going to talk about the definition of story arcs, look at the six most commonly found story arcs in literature, talk about how to use them in your writing, and, finally, study which story arcs are the most successful.
Recall a time you made an effort to get someone to like you. Did you try to get them to relate to you, or want to spend more time with you? It’s kind of the same way with the main character in your book. Readers finish books when they care about what happens to the protagonist. To accomplish this, you need to craft a sympathetic character.
When you write a book, you’re asking readers to invite your character into their homes, their hangouts, their lives. It’s important to create a protagonist your reader wants to spend time with and that they care about enough to stick around to find out what happens to them.
Without that vital concern, suspense cannot be sustained. And without suspense, the reader will lose interest in your story. I talked about this in depth in my post on suspense.
Today, let’s talk about how to make your readers like—if not love—your characters so that you can sustain suspense in your book.
How do you tell a story? Not how do you construct a story, or how do you structure and plot a story? How do you tell a story?
When I think about storytelling at its most basic, I think about our earliest ancestors, sitting around a campfire, sharing stories about their lives, the adventures they’ve been part of, and the history of their people.
This is what narrative devices are about, how you tell the story, and if you’re a writer, the method and perspective of your storytelling is something you must consider.
In this article, we’re going to talk about narrative devices, what they are, the different types found in the best books, plays, films, and serials, and how to use them to tell a powerful story.
Margaret Atwood MasterClass Review: Will The Handmaid’s Tale Author Help You Master Speculative Fiction?
Margaret Atwood is perhaps best-known for her novel The Handmaid’s Tale. In her MasterClass, she’ll teach you how she wrote it. Will the class help you become a better writer? We took it to find out.
Have you ever wondered how some writers publish a book or more a year? Do they have a secret that could teach you how to become a successful writer? Are there tools you could use to make you equally productive?
If you want to become a successful writer, you need to first learn how to become a productive writer. But what does it really take to be productive?
In this article we will look at five tools you can use to become a more productive and successful writer—all of which you’ll want to place neatly in your writer’s toolkit.
How do good stories end? In tragedy or triumph? With a wedding or a funeral?
That is the question of the denouement, a literary term that means more than just “the end.”
This article is all about denouement. In it, we will talk about the origin and definition of the literary term, give examples, and talk about where it fits in your writing.
There are several ways to reveal who your character is in a story: through how they dress, their posture, and through what they value. But the best way to determine who your character is is through their action.
Not sure what your character might do? Put them through the Starbucks Character Test.
Ideas always feel fully formed in our minds. But when we sit down to put them into words, the struggle begins. Ideas don’t just morph into narrative form. They resist our efforts, and soon the process of storytelling becomes torture.
Thankfully there are strategies you can use to overcome the stubborn nature of an idea and successfully rise to the challenge of writing a great story.
And one of the best strategies you can use is the Three-Act Structure.
So, you’ve figured out how to write a story that works. You know you need a character, in a setting, with a problem. You know you need a series of try/fail cycles, followed by a climactic scene and the resolution. The structure is simple, but it’s not always easy.
In particular, it can be challenging to sustain and escalate the story’s momentum through those try/fail cycles. And it would be nice to have something that could give your story a delicious ribbon of flavor, instilling brilliance and meaning.
Here’s the good news—there is such a technique. It’s called situational irony, and in this article, we’re going to take a look at what it’s made of and how to construct it in your own work.