Category Archives: Conflict

How to Build Powerful Character Relationships

Character relationships are, in many ways, the glue that holds a story together. Almost every tale has at least one relationship at the heart of it, often more. Rarely can a character sustain a story on their own; they need … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Conflict, Emotion, Motivation, One Stop For Writers, Plotting, Show Don't Tell, Stereotypes, Story Structure, Subtext, Tension, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | Leave a comment

When ‘Situational’ Writing Works Better Than Plotting

Hi everyone! Help me welcome Brandon Cornett to the blog today, who is discussing a great plotting technique Stephen King uses for people who struggle with plotting. Please read on! Do you have a hard time plotting an entire novel … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Conflict, Experiments, Focus, Guest Post, Motivational, Pacing, Plotting, Writer's Block, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 25 Comments

Build a Bridge: From Story Beginning to Main Conflict

During one of my previous posts as a Resident Writing Coach, we talked about the importance of strong goals for helping our story move forward. But as we discussed in the comments of that post, our characters can start off … Continue reading

Posted in Action Scenes, Character Arc, Characters, Conflict, Openings, Pacing, Resident Writing Coach, Tension, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 9 Comments

Capturing an Unhappy Relationship: A Writer’s Roadmap

Relationships are a complicated beast, and if you write romance like me, then you’re wed (pun intended) to the HEA ending (happily ever after). But the reality is, we have a divorce rate of almost 1 in 2 marriages; so … Continue reading

Posted in Character Flaws, Characters, Conflict, Romance, Tension, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 15 Comments

Saving your Story from Predictability

I had the rare and luscious experience this weekend of cracking open a book and it being so awesome that I flew right through it. The Deceivers is about a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who’s tapped to attend … Continue reading

Posted in Cliches, Conflict, Motivation, NaNoWriMo Strategy & Support, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 5 Comments

Goal-Oriented Storytelling: Satisfaction

Welcome to the final post in this four-part series on ANTS. As I mentioned in my first post, ANTS is a goal-oriented framework for storytelling. It’s what you’re trying to achieve by making great characters, settings, and plots for your … Continue reading

Posted in Action Scenes, Character Arc, Characters, Conflict, Endings, Motivation, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Tension, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 6 Comments

Avoiding Change: What’s Stopping Our Characters?

Stories are about change. Our characters’ world is changing around them, or they’re changing internally—or both. Yet at the same time, we know change is hard. In our own lives, we struggle to change our habits or take steps to … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Wound, Characters, Conflict, Emotion, Middles, Motivation, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Tension, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 10 Comments

Goal-Oriented Storytelling: Tension

This is the third post in my four-part series on ANTS, my framework for understanding what a story needs to keep readers engaged. Previously, I’ve covered attachment and novelty. Now it’s time to look at the big reason why stories … Continue reading

Posted in Character Arc, Characters, Conflict, Emotion, High Stakes, Pacing, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Tension, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 5 Comments

Saggy Middle? Use Conflict to Nip and Tuck It

When I get a new story idea, I fly into the start of it with as much gusto as a kid in a candy store. I’m filled with the buzz of ‘newness’ and the anticipation of where the story might … Continue reading

Posted in Conflict, Editing Tips, Middles, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Villains, Writing Craft | 7 Comments

Story Structure in a Flash

Story structure can sometimes be difficult to wrap our minds around; there are so many different structures, all with different terminology and slightly different meanings. But today I’m going to hopefully simplify things by covering how I view story structure—in … Continue reading

Posted in Conflict, Endings, Openings, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Story Structure, Villains, Writing Craft | 7 Comments