Maximize Your Story’s Inciting Event

5 Ways to Maximize Your Story’s Inciting Event

The Inciting Event is the moment your character’s world is forever changed. It knocks over the first domino in the line of dominoes that forms your plot. It sets off an irrevocable chain reaction that will eventually lead your character to the maelstrom of your Climax. So how do you go about creating an Inciting […]

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Use Foreshadowing to Keep Readers Reading

The trick to writing good fiction is giving readers a reason to keep turning pages. Your goal is to tantalize them with the promise that good things are yet to come, and one of the best ways to accomplish this is to use foreshadowing. As the word itself suggests, foreshadowing casts a shadow of things to […]

8 Ways Writing Longhand Frees Your Muse

8 Ways Writing Longhand Amps Your Muse

Whenever I crack open a hefty volume of Dickens, I’m inevitably overwhelmed by the realization this entire 800-page novel was composed by writing longhand. The writer’s bump on my middle finger throbs just thinking about it. Without doubt, our 21st-century technologic additions are a decided blessing. But we’ve also lost some things along the road to […]

3 Ways to Manage a Huge Cast of Characters

Ever read a book in which a huge cast of characters was dumped in your lap in a short amount of time? Confusing, isn’t it? Sometimes it’s even confusing to the point you put the book down and look for something more straightforward. As a writer, you want your book to be the straightforward one readers […]

Generality Is the Death of the Novel

Fiction is about specifics. In real life, you may get away with being ridiculously vague: “Gimme that thingamajig over there.” But the only reason this works is because the specifics are already staring both you and your listeners in the face. In fiction, however, you must hit the specifics and hit them hard. Years ago, […]

How Long Should a Scene Be? Depends on the Pacing

Did you know that writing shorter sentences during action scenes contributes to a sense of tension and speed? Turns out this  simple little trick that can also help you figure out how long a scene should be. Controlling paragraph, sentence, and even word length is a common and easy way to affect the pacing of your […]

Creating a Functional Writing Space

In order for you to disappear into the worlds of your imagination, you must carve out a functional writing space in the real world that allows you the right elements for slipping into your creative zone. Those elements vary from writer to writer. You might prefer peace and quiet. You might like the bustle of a corner […]

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What if You Love Your Characters TOO Much?

Just like good parents, writers are often certain their stories and characters are the cutest little thing that ever breathed. You may not carry pictures around in your wallet or brag when your baby takes his first steps before the neighbor’s kid does. But you still want everyone to understand how brilliant/brave/beautiful (you fill in […]

Improve Yourself, Improve Your Writing

In a market as competitive as the writing world, we’re all striving to be the best writers we can be. But would you be surprised if I told you the only way to improve your writing is to be a better person? Remember all those admirable self-improvement goals that always end up on your resolution list? […]

One Example of Why Less Is More When Writing Description

In trying to make scenes come to life for readers, you may be tempted to begin writing description after tantalizing description—all the vivid metaphors and similes you can think of. If one vibrant image is good, then two should definitely double your money, right? Ironically, just the opposite is true. As fellow fantasy author Jane Lebak once […]