Plot
4 Ways to Pull the Plot Back Out of Your Character’s Head

4 Ways to Pull the Plot Back Out of Your Character’s Head

As writers, we love exploring the internal struggles that shape our characters. During formative moments, emotional turmoil may need to take center stage, as with Thomas in Nadine Brandes’ Fawkes. Usually this scene happens near the story’s middle, when everything—including the protagonist—seems to be falling apart. Turning points deserve emphasis; otherwise the deep change in the character’s arc will seem artificial or glossed over.

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2 Tips for Tackling Writer’s Block When Stuck in the Dreaded Middle

2 Tips for Tackling Writer’s Block When Stuck in the Dreaded Middle

You’re sailing along in your work-in-progress, excited by the story you’re telling and the characters you’re creating. You’ve written tens of thousands of words, and your fingers itch to type “The End.” Then inspiration flutters away. Your tempo changes from allegretto to largo. You struggle to finish a paragraph and can’t get anywhere near your minimum daily quota of five pages, which you used to easily surpass.

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5 Ways to Infuse Tension into Stories of Any Genre

5 Ways to Infuse Tension into Stories of Any Genre

We’ve all had heart-pounding experiences alongside fictional characters. We held our breath when Ethan Hunt made a last-ditch attempt to stop an explosion in Mission Impossible, pored over Pride and Prejudice for hours to discover one family’s future, and perched on the edges of our seats when Thanos, Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man faced off in Avengers: Endgame. But why do these scenes capture us, and how can we replicate the effect in our own stories?

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How to Organize Ideas into a Coherent Story

How to Organize Ideas into a Coherent Story

A blank page unleashes an infinite amount of plots, scenes, and characters that beg us to outline their existence in ink. But, if we can’t channel our influx of ideas, the excitement of starting a new project will quickly dissipate. Instead, we’ll be overwhelmed and unable to tell any story at all. A surplus of inspiration can cripple a writer’s sanity as much as a shortage.

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How to Explain Technology and Magic in Speculative Fiction without Dragging the Story

How to Explain Technology and Magic in Speculative Fiction without Dragging the Story

One of the biggest challenges with writing speculative fiction is clarifying how your story’s magic and/or technology works. Once you’ve accomplished the monumental task of developing those systems, how do you educate readers without making them yawn? They don’t want you to pause the story to give a lesson on all the phenomena, yet they don’t like being confused (and prone to disbelief) either. (Aren’t readers exasperating?)

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