fiction writing plot and character

Plot vs. Character in Storytelling

Have you ever struggled with a story idea only to give up because it seems like every plot has already been done? Maybe you focus on character development to make up for a weak or formulaic plot. Or maybe you focus on plot, only to end up with characters that feel flat, stereotypical, or unsympathetic. But…Read More

wired for story

Writing Resources: Wired for Story

Are you a storyteller? Do you want to be? Then I suggest you pick up a copy of Wired for Story, ASAP. This is easily the best book on writing fiction that I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. The book takes a fresh approach and tackles fiction writing from a scientific perspective. Thus the…Read More

how to identify the protagonist

How to Identify the Protagonist in a Story

In most stories, the protagonist is obvious: Harry Potter, Lisbeth Salander, and Katniss Everdeen are unquestionably the protagonists of their respective stories. But sometimes the protagonist isn’t so obvious. In some cases, a false protagonist is planted to intentionally mislead the audience, but the story later reveals another character to be the true protagonist. In…Read More

what if writing exercises for fiction writers

What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers

Good fiction includes many different elements: believable characters, realistic dialogue, and compelling plots. Every decent story has a beginning, middle, and end. Intriguing tales are built around conflict and are rich with themes and symbols. And those are just the basics. It can be pretty overwhelming. Fiction writing is hard work. It requires a complex…Read More

story concept

What is a Story Concept?

Today’s post includes excerpts from What’s the Story? Building Blocks for Fiction Writing, chapter eleven: “Concept, Premise, and Loglines.” Enjoy! Most audiences are first introduced to stories as concepts, premises, or loglines. These are hooks used for pitching and marketing; they draw people’s attention, get them interested in a story, and compel them to buy it….Read More

narrative techniques

Narrative Techniques for Storytellers

Today’s post includes excerpts from What’s the Story? Building Blocks for Fiction Writing, chapter ten: “Literary Devices and Narrative Techniques.” Enjoy! Writers use literary devices to convey or illustrate thoughts, ideas, and images or to strengthen their prose. Narrative techniques are a subset of literary devices that are specifically used in narrative writing. Both literary devices…Read More

Wonderbook by Jeff VanderMeer

Writing Resources: Wonderbook

Jeff VanderMeer’s Wonderbook is not your average tome on the craft of writing. It’s more like a portal, and once you enter, writing becomes a strange and awesome adventure. Subtitled The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction, the book addresses fiction in general but occasionally emphasizes speculative fiction; any writer will benefit from it, but there are extra morsels for science-fiction and…Read More

writing chapters and scenes

Storytelling: Writing Chapters and Scenes

Today’s post includes excerpts from What’s the Story? Building Blocks for Fiction Writing, chapter nine: “Chapters, Scenes, and Sequences.” Enjoy! Chapters, scenes, and sequences are structural units of storytelling. These are the basic blocks of a story that contain all other elements, from characters, plot, and setting to action, dialogue, and description.

description in fiction

Writing Description in Fiction

Today’s post includes excerpts from What’s the Story? Building Blocks for Fiction Writing, chapter eight: “Description and Exposition.” Enjoy! Without description, readers wouldn’t be able to visualize what’s happening in a story. We need to see the setting and the characters. Because there are no visuals in prose, writers must use words to describe a…Read More

action and dialogue

Action and Dialogue in Storytelling

Today’s post is an excerpt from What’s the Story? Building Blocks for Fiction Writing, chapter seven: “Action and Dialogue.” Enjoy! Action and dialogue are the wheels that carry a story forward. The easiest way to imagine action and dialogue in written narrative is to think of a movie. When characters onscreen do things, that’s action….Read More

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