Adding an animal to your story can reveal a lot about the humans who inhabit your world. Whether a beloved pet or a rogue turkey, adding an animal encounter to a scene is surprisingly humanizing.
Writing dialogue boils down to one big rule: Make it sound realistic.
You not only communicate every day (unless you’re on a really heavy writing binge), but you hear other people communicating. Dialogue is all around us. Constantly. Sometimes too constantly. The TV blares it. Your favorite novel is full of it. Your family squawks it over dinner.
Inherently, you know how to write dialogue. Sometimes you just have to get out of your own way in order to get it on paper.
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.
What do your characters believe in so strongly, they’re willing to die for it? What are you willing to die for?
For most of us, this isn’t a question we’re faced with every day. But Hamody Jasim was in his teens when he realized that fighting for what he believed probably meant dying for it—and he chose to enter the fight anyway. In this episode of Character Test, I talk with Hamody about some of the highest-stakes choices of his life and how he came to make them.
Do you want to write a book? Is 2020 the year you finally accomplish your dream?
A new year is a time for fresh starts and audacious goals. And if your goal this year is to write your book, you’re not alone. One year is the perfect length of time to write and publish a book, as long as you know the right steps.
What do you get when you string a bunch of scenes together?
Since stories are composed of individual scenes, it makes sense to study them and figure out which scenes your story will need. And if you’re going to write a Hero’s Journey (in any genre), there are some scenes, or situational archetypes, that your reader will instinctively expect your story to include.
Let’s explore five essential scenes to write in your next Hero’s Journey story!
If the semicolon was just a little less top-heavy, then it would be a comma, and rightfully used and appreciated. Sadly, many writers have a confused relationship with the semicolon, not really sure how or when to use semicolons in their lovely sentences.
Don’t worry, little semicolon. Your virtues will not be lost on this audience as long as I have a say in it.
The best way to become a better writer is to write and then to publish your writing, whether you publish it on a blog, in a book, or with a close friend. It’s only by practicing writing, and getting feedback on it, that you can improve.
That being said, it never hurts to learn from those who have gone before you, and over the years, we’ve compiled a lot of excellent advice from the best writers on how to become a better writer.
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?
Characters are the heart of any story. There are plenty of methods out there to help your character development. But when it’s time to give your characters shape and definition, don’t waste time on extensive questionnaires that get you weighed down in details.
The point of writing, for most people, is to share that writing with the world. The problem is getting your writing into the hands of readers can be such an intimidating and confusing process that a lot of writers simply give up. This month’s interviewee talks about one option for sharing your writing: working with hybrid publishers.
Most great stories, whether they are a Pixar film or a novel by your favorite author, follow a certain dramatic structure.
When you’re getting started with writing, understanding how the structure works is difficult. Even if you go back and analyze your favorite books and films, it can still be hard to structure your own stories. That’s where Freytag’s Pyramid can help.
Consider this: as writers, we employ words. We harness their power and send them out to do a job. So, just like any productive employer, we must choose our operatives effectively and manage them well. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the ways words can fail and how to avoid that.
Symbols enrich your story’s meaning by connecting what’s literally happening with overarching themes. Does your story include symbols? And what symbols should you include? In this article, we’ll look at symbolic archetypes that will help you create powerful symbols in your story.
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.
Handwritten notes are like sending a hug through the mail. They have personality and character, attributes a computer screen will never have. Let me show you why, when, and how to write a thank-you note.
Are you wondering what Dan Brown’s MasterClass is like and if signing up would be a good move for you? Do you want to learn how to craft a thriller that works or add suspense to your writing? I recently had the opportunity to take a MasterClass from the man who wrote one of the world’s best-selling novels, The Da Vinci Code, and I’m here to share my thoughts about the experience and give you a peek into what I learned.
There are heroes everywhere. A great Hero’s Journey can take place in any genre. That’s what’s so special about it: it’s universal.
Yet there are characters that your reader will unconsciously expect your story to have, no matter the genre. If you want your next heroic story to be a success, you’d be wise to plan the entire journey around these key characters. Otherwise, you might have a story that fails to “work,” leaving the reader dissatisfied and confused.
Luckily, the Hero’s Journey describes not only the events your hero will experience, but also the charaters — or to be exact, the character archetypes — they’ll meet along the way.
If you’re reading this, you have goals. Maybe you have fitness goals or goals for your family. Maybe you even have writing goals.
But how do you write goals that actually work, that actually help you accomplish the things that you set out to do?
In this post, I’ll share my comprehensive goal writing process, the same process that has helped me finish twelve books, publish over 2,000 blog posts, and reach over twenty million people with my writing over the last eight years.
Three different people have asked me in the last month about how to balance their writing, work, family, and life. Step 1: ask someone who actually knows. I’m too busy coordinating home repairs while my spouse travels for work. New water heater this week. Broken window replaced last week.
But I realized dealing with a broken water heater is actually a perfect example of how to manage multiple areas of your life while you keep writing. Hint: it has nothing to do with balance.