So, what is a plot in fiction? Let's check your understanding with a pop quiz: which of the following is the best example of a plot? a. A boy finds a new family in a traveling circus run by orphans. b. An immigrant comes to the United States to start a new life. c. A ... read more »
The three act structure is perhaps the most common technique in the English-speaking world for plotting stories — widely used by screenwriters and novelists. It digs deep into the popular notion that a story must have a beginning, middle, and end, and goes even further, defining specific plot events that must take place at each ... read more »
These days, pen-and-paper proofreading (and the use of proofreading marks) is becoming increasingly rare. However, if you’re working with a proofreader and want the collaboration fulfills its top potential, it’s worth getting to know the meaning of the more common proofreading marks.
Are your eyes tired of staring at a blank Word document? Are you sick of crashing and burning every time you try and start a novel? Well, we have the not-so-secret key to success right here: it involves learning how to outline a book. Book outlines have saved the neck of many a bestselling writer ... read more »
The denouement is the “beginning of the end” — the final outcome of a novel. In this post, we talk about how to write a denouement that results in a satisfied sigh from your readers as they wistfully think of what might have happened next.
Ask any great novelist and they’ll likely tell you that good writing starts with good characters. But sharp character development is also one of the toughest hills to climb, especially if you’ve struggled to think through those tried-and-true questions that keep you up at night: Are my characters convincing? Do my characters have depth? How ... read more »
“If in Act I you have a pistol hanging on the wall, then it must fire in the last act.” It's a literary rule that authors, screenwriters, and storytellers everywhere know, but perhaps struggle to define. In this post, we’ll outline just what is “Chekhov’s Gun” and give you pointers on how to (and how not to) use it.
Let’s admit it upfront. “What is a motif and how do you use them?” is a much less sexy question to ask than, “What’s your book about?” But it’s just as necessary. If the theme of a book is its “heartbeat,” then motifs in literature are the vessels that keep the blood coursing through the ... read more »