Search Results for: Learn 5 Ways to Take Risks With Your Writing

How to Decide Between Plain Prose and Beautiful Prose

How to Decide Between Plain Prose and Beautiful Prose

Truth is beauty. Beauty is truth. This is perhaps nowhere more evident than in art, which deliberately and consciously explores both. Words, in particular, are the explicit context in which humanity presents, investigates, and shares its truth. Perhaps more than any other art form, writing gives us a blatant venue for exploring the truth side […]

How to Write Your Characters' Actions with Clarity

How to Write Your Characters’ Actions with Clarity

Have you ever tried to watch an old film? Not a digitally remastered edition or a corrected copy, but a genuinely old film, silent and sepia-toned. Some frames are misplaced or backwards. Some aren’t there at all. You can follow the action well enough, filling in the gaps where they appear—but that doesn’t mean you […]

6 Bits of Common Writing Advice You're Misusing

6 Bits of Common Writing Advice You’re Misusing

Recently, I found myself reminiscing about some of the early books on writing advice that transformed and molded my understanding of storytelling and writing. They opened my eyes, honed my craft, and changed my life. I wouldn’t be the writer I am today without the solid writing advice I’ve received from the writers who have gone […]

How to identify The Most Important Part of Your Premise

How to Identify Your Story’s Premise–and Its Most Important Part

A high-concept premise can make or break your book—but not in the way you might think. It’s not enough just to come up with a cool idea for your book. You also have to make it work on every single page. Otherwise, no matter how cool it is, it quickly becomes the wrong premise. The key to […]

7 Questions You Have About Scenes vs. Chapters

7 Questions You Have About Scenes vs. Chapters

A chapter is a chapter and a scene is a scene. Or are they? What’s the differences between scenes vs. chapters? Are they ever the same thing? Must a chapter always be a complete scene? Or must a scene always be a chapter? What about scene breaks and chapter breaks? Is there a difference? These […]

Who Should You Be Writing For? Yourself or Your Readers?

Whom Should You Be Writing For? Yourself or Your Readers?

Whom should you be writing for? It’s a question all writers have to face sooner or later. Usually, we tend to think of the answer in terms of audiences: young adults, women 18-55, general adults, or super geeks of the sort to have read every back issue comic from the Silver Age. My simplest answer to this question […]

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 42: When Your Story Stakes Aren’t High Enough

There are two different ways you can blow your story stakes–and both of them have the ability to ruin your book. Before we dig into the pitfalls, let’s take a moment to consider just what story stakes are. What Are Story Stakes? Your character’s stake in your story is his personal investment in the conflict. It’s whatever he […]

3 Myths Holding You Back From Your Best Writing

3 Myths Holding You Back From Your Best Writing

The odds are, if you publish your best writing, you want people to read your work. Seems like a reasonable assumption. I mean, if we don’t care if anyone’s reading our work, then we should stick to personal journals hidden under our pillows. You can hide your work if you want to, and if you […]

How to Write a Negative Character Arc, Pt. 3: The Third Act

In a word, the negative character arc is about failure, and this becomes nowhere more clear than in the Third Act. If the positive change arc is about redeeming self and the flat arc is about saving others, then the negative character arc is about destroying self and probably others as well. The previous two […]

How to Write a Flat Character Arc, Pt. 3: The Third Act

The Third Act is where we find arguably the greatest similarities between the flat character arc and the positive change arc, since in both types of story the protagonist will have a full grasp on the Truth by this point. The primary difference, of course, is that the protagonist in a flat character arc will […]