Category Archives: Openings

Opening Scenes: 3 Critical Elements

One of the most common questions I get as an editor is, “Am I starting my novel in the right place?” Let’s discuss how you can craft an opening that subtly shows you are, in fact, starting in the right … Continue reading

Posted in Openings, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 8 Comments

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

Introducing Unique Story Elements without Confusing Readers

Story openings can be difficult as authors struggle to introduce the protagonist, show them in their everyday world, hint at what’s missing, and begin the vital process of building empathy. And all of this has to be done in a … Continue reading

Posted in Openings, Show Don't Tell, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 5 Comments

Yesterday: Looking Back at the First Act

“Yesterday.” A beautiful, beautiful song that easily applies to our writing process. Confused? Go with me for a minute. It doesn’t matter if we’re a pantser, a plotter, a plotser, a puzzler, or some other mash-up of a writing process … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Motivation, Motivational, Openings, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Story Structure, Theme, Writing Craft | 2 Comments

Character Introductions: Making the Right Impression

Many aspects of writing can be hard to get right, especially in our first draft. For just two examples: With our story beginning, we might struggle to find a good balance between a throat-clearing boring scene (before getting to the … Continue reading

Posted in Backstory, Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Characters, Conflict, Description, Emotion, Motivation, Openings, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, worldbuilding, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 12 Comments

Why All Writers Need A Structural Toolbox

What Is A Structural Toolbox? Put simply, a structural toolbox is the foundation work all writers need to put in to ensure they … understand how structure works can apply structural techniques to their writing Think of it as a … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Middles, Openings, Resident Writing Coach, Story Structure, Theme, Tools and Resources, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons, Writing Resources | 14 Comments

Storytelling Decisions: What’s the Right Pace for Your Story?

As we learn to write, we often hear about the need to create a strong pace in our story. Many seem to think that a strong pace requires a fast pace. However, that’s not what’s meant by strong. So what … Continue reading

Posted in Action Scenes, Backstory, Characters, Conflict, Description, Endings, Middles, Openings, Pacing, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Story Structure, Tension, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 13 Comments