Category Archives: Plotting

How To Avoid A Half-Baked Idea

Half-baked ideas are everywhere in the spec pile. But what does ‘half-baked’ mean? After all, whether a script reader, agent’s assistant or intern LIKES the idea behind a story is another matter. Let’s look to the dictionary to agree on … Continue reading

Posted in Character Arc, Focus, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Story Structure, Time Management, Writer's Attitude, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 9 Comments

This Happened…and Then This Happened: The Dangers of Anecdotal Writing

Does your story suffer from anecdotal writing? It’s an important question, because that’s what happens when we write this way: our stories suffer. Michelle Barker is here to explain what anecdotal writing is, how to identify it, and ways to … Continue reading

Posted in Endings, Guest Post, Pacing, Plotting, Revision and Editing, Story Structure, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 9 Comments

Might as Well Jump—into the Third Act

Have you ever been burned by your story? Often, authors get burned in the second act, and when it’s time to start the third act, the writing can feel like a relationship gone bad. By this point, it feels a bit … Continue reading

Posted in Middles, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Story Structure, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons, Writing Resources | 5 Comments

How Plotlines Add Dimension

When writing a novel, you need to use more than one plotline. In fact, most successful books need at least three. If they only have one or two, the story will feel flat, bloated, or repetitive, because the writer doesn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Action Scenes, Character Arc, Characters, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Story Structure, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 18 Comments

5 Methods for Writing A Novel

Let’s face it: the current state of events has thrown all of us into a tailspin. Some of us are juggling lots of new responsibilities while others are struggling to figure out what to do with our time. As hard … Continue reading

Posted in Endings, Guest Post, Plotting, Time Management, Writing Craft, Writing Time | 9 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

How a Career Can Reveal Your Character’s Deeper Layers

Did you know that before Becca became an author and writing coach, she was a teacher? It’s true. And if you know her, you’re probably thinking, I can see that. It makes sense. Why? Because when you think of a … Continue reading

Posted in Action Scenes, Backstory, Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Hobbies, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Conflict, Description, Diversity, Fatal Flaw, Fear, High Stakes, Motivation, Occupation Thesaurus, One Stop For Writers, Pacing, Plotting, Show Don't Tell, Story Structure, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Resources | 1 Comment

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 | 8 Comments

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 | 26 Comments

Improve Your Novel Writing: 11 Tips For Newbies

Writing a novel is flipping difficult. It often takes years to complete your first novel (and even more years after that to write a good one). You heard that right — writers’ first books are usually a hot mess. That … Continue reading

Posted in Critique Groups, Critiquing & Critiques, Grammar, Pacing, Plotting, Reader Feedback, Reading, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Story Structure, Uncategorized, Voice, Writing Craft | 16 Comments