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 »
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 »
Christopher Noël is a professional on the Reedsy marketplace who has been a freelance editor for twenty-five years. He is the author of seven books, including the memoir In the Unlikely Event of a Water Landing: A Geography of Grief, which he wrote following a life-changing disaster. the world so unsure, unknowable the world so unsure, ... read more »
For any novel to truly connect with readers, the author needs to pay close attention to character development. Even the most action-packed, plot-driven books need well-thought out characters.This article goes over the 5 main parts of developing characters your readers won’t forget, from the inside out.
Showing is designing narrative that welcomes readers in, embraces them, and engages them — all things that authors want to do. In this post, Jim Thomas, an editor with 20 years of experience gets into the nitty-gritty of the "show, don't tell" rule.