storytelling plot vs 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. Some stories…Read More

how to identify the protagonist

How to Identify the Protagonist in a Story

This post contains affiliate links that earn commissions from qualifying purchases. 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…Read More

character writing prompts

Character-Driven Fiction Writing Prompts

Most authors agree that fiction is primarily driven by characters. Experienced authors will talk about characters who take over the story, who have their own separate and independent consciousnesses. Outlines and plans for plot go out the window as characters insist on moving the story in a direction of their own design. Because characters are…Read More

creative writing prompts

Futuristic Inspiration for Speculative Fiction

How would people in the Middle Ages respond to a television? What would someone from the 1700s think of a helicopter? What would a person from the early twentieth century think of a computer, or more specifically, the internet? They would think these things were magical — either illusions or genuine supernatural occurrences. They might…Read More

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

wired for story

Writing Resources: Wired for Story

This post contains affiliate links that earn commissions from qualifying purchases. Are you a storyteller? Do you want to be one? Then I suggest you pick up a copy of Wired for Story, ASAP. This is easily one of the best books on writing fiction that I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. The book…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

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. Chapters are units within…Read More

what if writing exercises for fiction writers

What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers

This post contains affiliate links that earn commissions for this website from qualifying purchases.  Good fiction includes many different elements: believable characters, realistic dialogue, and a compelling plot. 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…Read More

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

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