How To Get Readers To Rave About Your Scenes

How to Write Scenes Your Readers Will Rave About

Ever sit down at your computer, ready for the day’s writing session, only to wonder how to write scenes your readers will actually care about? There are a lot of considerations when it comes to how to write scenes. But really, there’s only one that matters to readers: Is it interesting? This is a totally obvious statement. […]

How to Create Awesome Scene Arcs That Surprise Readers

There is a secret to writing good scenes. And since scenes are the heart of story itself, it’s ultimately one of the most important secrets to writing good stories, period. You may be surprised to learn this secret is not scene structure (in the classic sense of goal / conflict / disaster / reaction / dilemma […]

3 Smart Tips for Structuring Powerful Scenes

It’s common wisdom that in structuring powerful scenes, we should open in media res—that is, while something is happening. And it’s generally best to bow out while things are still happening: close the dinner conversation with the last line of dialogue, not after everyone has fallen silent, gotten up from the table, washed the dishes, […]

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 39

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 40: Unnecessary Scenes

What is a story but scenes? Put one scene after another–and you have a story! Of course, it’s a little more complicated than that. Those scenes have to hang together in a way that makes sense. They have to create a contiguous arc. Every one of those scenes needs to be integral to that arc. If a […]

See How Easily You Can Track Your Character’s Emotional Arc in a Scene

See How Easily You Can Track Your Character’s Emotional Arc in a Scene

Most authors try to understand what a character is feeling at a particular moment: He’s angry here. He’s happy there. Many authors also consider how the character’s emotional arc changes over the course of the entire story: He begins insecure. He ends confident. But few think about how the character’s emotional arc develops over the course […]

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 37: Unnecessary Filler

“Brevity is the soul of wit.” However, creating that quality of brevity isn’t so much about writing short as it is about making every word count. As we continue to discuss the most common writing mistakes, we’d be remiss to leave out the all-too-prevalent faux pas of unnecessary filler or padding. The 4 Reasons Unnecessary Filler […]

Are Your Characters Talking Too Much?

Are Your Characters Talking Too Much?

Dialogue drives both narrative and character development. The key for creative writers is including just enough dialogue to meet those needs and no more. The last thing you want is to have your characters talking too much. Many novelists approach a scene by writing until they feel they have included sufficient dialogue to meet their […]

Why You Might Be Ruining Your Story's Best Scenes

Why You Might Be Ruining Your Story’s Best Scenes

This week’s video talks about why appropriate repercussions will always be the earmark of your story’s best scenes. Video Transcript: Stories are about stuff that happens. But even more, they’re about stuff that happens because other stuff happened. In short, they’re about repercussions. Every event in your story needs to create character reactions that are […]

How to Use Rewards and Punishments to Get Your Character to Change

How to Use Rewards and Punishments to Get Your Character to Change

How do you get your character to change? As simple as this question may seem, it’s also a super practical and important question that deserves an equally practical answer. At this point in our journey through character arcs, I hope you’re as stoked as I am about the potential of well-structured inner journeys for your […]

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 33: Telling Important Scenes, Instead of Showing

“Show, don’t tell” is arguably one of the most important principles of writing fiction. It’s the foundation of all of dramatic storytelling. “Telling” may get the bones of a scene across. But “showing” is what brings it to life. So it should come as no surprise that failing to show important scenes in your story […]