Category Archives: Conflict

The 8 Points of Progress

In a lecture series on Youtube, #1 New York Times best-selling author Brandon Sanderson talks about the three P’s of plot structure: Promise. Progress. Payoff.  Promises are particularly important in the beginning of the story, as they draw in the audience.  Progress keeps the … Continue reading

Posted in Action Scenes, Characters, Conflict, Endings, Middles, Motivation, Openings, Pacing, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Story Structure, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 9 Comments

Your Character’s Job May Be More Important than You Think!

Confession time: when I was a newer writer, I didn’t think much about my character’s occupation. In fact, if they needed one, I’d pretty much assign the first thing that came to mind. I didn’t think hard about their career because … Continue reading

Posted in Backstory, Character Arc, Character Hobbies, Character Traits, Characters, Conflict, Description, Motivation, Occupation Thesaurus Guide, Stereotypes, Tools and Resources, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 5 Comments

How Stakes Set up Expectations

Last time I coached on Writers Helping Writers, I talked about 6 Tricks to Layer on Stakes, in it, I explained how I like to think of stakes as potential consequences–what could happen if a certain condition is (or is … Continue reading

Posted in Action Scenes, Characters, Conflict, High Stakes, Motivation, Pacing, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Tension, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 6 Comments

Stuck in No-Man’s-Land: Your Novel’s Middle

If you have hit the point in your draft where you’re looking out at the vast landscape of your novel with no idea where to go next, congratulations…you’ve probably made it to Act 2. I know, I know, there’s an … Continue reading

Posted in Action Scenes, Backstory, Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Characters, Conflict, Fatal Flaw, Middles, Motivation, One Stop For Writers, Pacing, Plotting, Tension, Tools and Resources, Uncategorized, Writer's Block, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 1 Comment

Dropping Breadcrumbs: How to Show a Character’s Emotional Wound Through Behavior

Emotional wounds are transformative and have the power to re-shape a character in many negative ways, impacting their happiness, their self-worth, and causing mistrust and disillusionment to skew their worldview. This critical piece of backstory is key to understanding their … Continue reading

Posted in Action Scenes, Backstory, Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Wound, Characters, Conflict, Emotion, Emotional Wound Thesaurus, Fatal Flaw, Fear, One Stop For Writers, Tools and Resources, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Resources | 3 Comments

4 Ways to Fix a Boring Story

Is your story boring? Would you know or acknowledge it if it was? No one wants to admit that their story is slow, lackluster, or zzzzz. But hey, that’s what critique partners and editors are for. If recent feedback makes … Continue reading

Posted in Character Arc, Character Flaws, Characters, Conflict, Empathy, Guest Post, Pacing, Reader Feedback, Rejection, Writing Craft | 15 Comments

No Story Conflict? Explore Your Options

As a reader of Angela and Becca’s blog, chances are you’ve seen some of their many posts about the role of conflict in our story. In fact, as a Resident Writing Coach here, I’ve previously talked about how to make … Continue reading

Posted in Balance, Characters, Conflict, Endings, Experiments, Pacing, Plotting, Reading, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 12 Comments