5 Questions About How to Balance Multiple POVs in Your Story

The opportunities and pitfalls offered by multiple POVs are both the joy and the bane of the writer’s life. On the one hand, using multiple points of view to tell a story seems like it makes the job so much easier. No limits—woohoo! But on the other hand, once you start trying to juggle multiple […]

writing large casts of characters

The 10 Rules of Writing Large Casts of Characters

Large casts of characters are the thing these days. Rowling, Martin, and Marvel—just to name a few newsworthy examples—victoriously (and sometimes not-so-victoriously) throw casts of hundreds at screen and paper. Understandably, writers rush to emulate—both because, on a head level, this seems like the obvious path to success, and because, on a heart level, we […]

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 55

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 55: Beginning Your Story Too Late

Story beginnings are fraught with important decisions. But perhaps none of those decisions is more important than the question of when to begin your story. Too early or too late—either one can prevent readers from engaging with the story and obsessively reading on to find out what happens. Perhaps the more common mistake is beginning your story […]

How To Transform Your Story With A Moment of Truth

How to Transform Your Story With a Moment of Truth

Part 4 of The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel “How can I fix the saggy middle of my story?” I love it when writers ask me that. Why? Because the answer is so incredibly juicy–and it all revolves around the Moment of Truth that needs to occur at every story’s Midpoint. The Second […]

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 15: The Climax

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 14: The Climax

In character arcs, as in plot, the Climax is the dot on the end of the exclamation point. The Climax is the reason for the story. This is where the author reveals what the journey the character just endured was really all about—and, in a positive change arc, why that journey has turned out to be […]

your character's arc in the third act

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 13: The Third Act

Character arcs in the Third Act are all about intensity. On the story’s exterior, the conflict is heating up. The protagonist is a runaway train thundering toward what has now become an inevitable confrontation with the antagonistic force. But, on the inside, he’s reeling. The Third Plot Point sucker punched him. Something horrible and unexpected came […]

your characters arc in the third plot point

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 12: The Third Plot Point

If you had pick the single most important moment in characters arcs, what would it be? The Third Plot Point, you say? Well, you’d be right. Now here’s the harder question: Why is it the most important moment? The Third Plot Point is the low moment in your story. A minute ago, at the end […]

Creating Stunning Character Arcs The Second Half of the Second Act

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 11: The Second Half of the Second Act

The Second Half of the Second Act is where you cue the hero music in character arcs. Thanks to that major personal revelation at the Midpoint, the protagonist now gets it. The puzzle pieces are falling into place. The light bulbs have flashed on. He sees what he has to do to win the conflict. […]

creating stunning character arcs the midpoint

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 10: The Midpoint

In a positive change character arc, your protagonist will have spent the First Half of the Second Act blundering around in foreign territory, making mistakes based on false assumptions, and getting his hand slapped for his every wrong move. But he’s also going to have been slowly—maybe even subconsciously—learning his lesson and figuring things out. […]

Your Character's Arc in the First Half of the Second Act

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 9: The First Half of the Second Act

In the structure of character arcs, the First Half of the Second Act is where your character ventures (or is thrust) into uncharted territory—and gets lost. He may not quite see it that way himself, but this is where he begins to discover that the old rules (the Lie He Believes) no longer apply. This […]