Articles about story arc

ProWritingAid and Fictionary, the editing bundle you do not want to miss.

by Lisa Lepki Sep 17, 2018

ProWritingAid and Fictionary, the editing bundle you do not want to miss.

Fictionary works seamlessly with the ProWritingAid Chrome extension. Not only can you use both to improve your work at the same time, but there's a special offer on the Fictionary and ProWritingAid bundle: get both for just $99 until September 22nd.

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How to Use the Three-Act Structure to Actually Finish Writing Your Novel

by Jessica Curry Aug 30, 2018

How to Use the Three-Act Structure to Actually Finish Writing Your Novel

The secret to the plotting success of countless famous stories lies in the three-act structure, which effectively breaks a story into a beginning, middle, and an end. But the three-act structure is so much more than that: it gives your writing a framework that directs you while still giving you ample room for creativity and new ideas. In this article, we examine how to use the three-act story structure.

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Clues, Evidence, and Red Herrings: Lead Your Reader Down the Mystery Path

by Zara Altair Aug 20, 2018

Clues, Evidence, and Red Herrings: Lead Your Reader Down the Mystery Path

Discover the difference between clues, evidence and red herrings. Then, scatter them throughout your mystery novel to lead the detective and your reader down the discovery path to solving the puzzle. There's nothing like a good "who-dun-it!"

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Is Your Novel Idea Worth a Book?

by Zara Altair Jul 17, 2018

Is Your Novel Idea Worth a Book?

Try these six story exercises to test your idea for a novel. Avoid wasting time on an idea that doesn’t work before making a commitment to an entire novel.

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Growing The Writing Cooperative

by Stella J. McKenna Jun 18, 2018

Growing The Writing Cooperative

“The Coop” is more than just a Medium publication — it’s a community. And it’s growing.

The motto of The Writing Cooperative is, “Helping each other write better”. This phrase ultimately guides all that we do.

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Time Saving Tips for New Novelists

by Zara Altair Jun 01, 2018

Time Saving Tips for New Novelists

Are you a new writer? Discover why planning speeds up your writing time, and check out these steps for planning your novel.

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Turn Your First Draft Into a Story Readers Love

by Kristina Stanley Jun 01, 2018

Turn Your First Draft Into a Story Readers Love

How do you create a story that your readers will love from your first draft? Your top three considerations should be character, plot, and setting.

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Fiction Archetypes that Sell Like Wildfire

by Jennifer Xue May 09, 2018

Fiction Archetypes that Sell Like Wildfire

Fiction writers don't start from scratch. They can utilize existing character and story archetypes, personality and emotional types, and the goals and the fears of each type. Combining them in a strong storyline is almost a guarantee for creating best-selling works.

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Writing Characters & Making Decisions: "What Kind of Story Are You Telling?"

by Kathy Edens Mar 28, 2018

Writing Characters & Making Decisions: "What Kind of Story Are You Telling?"

Let’s take a look at the four types of stories that Orson Scott Card says comprises every novel. He uses the acronym "MICE", which stands for milieu, idea, character, event.

Within this framework, Card argues something deeply contoversial: not all novels require in-depth characterization.

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Why You Should Learn to Tell a Good Story

by Kathy Edens Mar 12, 2018

Why You Should Learn to Tell a Good Story

Stories have been with us since the beginning of time. Before the written word, if you wanted to pass information to the next generation, you told a story. The same is true today. We’re all storytellers.

Storytelling is a skill anyone can learn and it’s one you need for both speaking and writing. Here’s how to hone your skills and captivate others’ attention.

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How to Write a Mind-Blowing Plot Twist Like Gone Girl

by Kathy Edens Mar 12, 2018

How to Write a Mind-Blowing Plot Twist Like Gone Girl

As an author, don’t you want to create the mind-blowing plot twist that leaves readers begging you to write more books? Maybe the kind that result in big movie deals…

Wait. If your writing is a means to an end, it’s doubtful your plot twist will make the big bang needed to get on the big screen. Because you can’t force a plot twist; readers will smell it a mile away.

Do it authentically and you’ll create a feverish tension that keeps readers turning the pages to see how this new twist will play out next. Or you’ll end on a final piece of information that changes everything, resonating with readers long after the last page. Here’s how it works.

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The Best Sci-Fi Books of All Time

by Kathy Edens Jan 08, 2018

The Best Sci-Fi Books of All Time

We culled some of the biggest reader polls from Goodreads and National Public Radio’s Books. The following top 25 best Science Fiction books ever published were voted on by thousands of devoted science fiction readers.

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How Non-Chronological Writing Can Create Character Empathy

by Kathy Edens Dec 12, 2017

How Non-Chronological Writing Can Create Character Empathy

Shifting back and forth in time creates suspense. Your readers can unravel the past and understand the ramifications in the present a little at a time. It creates a tension that makes your books hard to put down.

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How to Write an Elizabeth Bennet Better Than the Original

by Kathy Edens Oct 25, 2017

How to Write an Elizabeth Bennet Better Than the Original

What do we love so much about Elizabeth Bennet? She's strong, and she's feisty. Just because she's expected to act a certain way doesn't mean she'll bend her convictions and change her behavior. She's real, right?

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Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo: Planners vs. Pants-ers

by Kathy Edens Oct 24, 2017

Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo: Planners vs. Pants-ers

I set out on a quest to find if this world has more planners or pants-ers. Alas, there is no definitive answer, at least on the internet. I did, however, determine that most writing instructors ask their students who is a planner and who is a pants-er. This informal poll-taking reports about 50/50.

So, whether you're a planner or a pants-er, you're in good company. How do we know? Here are some famous authors who plan and those who fly by the seat of their pants.

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Writing App Reviews: A Comparison of the Best

by Kathy Edens Oct 17, 2017

Writing App Reviews: A Comparison of the Best

Here at ProWritingAid, we're geekily interested in writing tech, almost obsessively. And in honor of the upcoming NaNoWriMo, we thought we'd do a roundup of the apps we've reviewed over the years. Links to our full reviews are throughout.

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Why You Should Create Your Own Genre

by Kathy Edens Oct 09, 2017

Why You Should Create Your Own Genre

Are you trying to fit into a genre or sub-genre because it's popular right now? That's like trying to fit into a political party when your philosophy is somewhere in the middle. It's hard to find the right fit in either party, right?

Maybe it's time you created your own sub-genre or genre. Look at what Bridget Jones's Diary did for chick lit. And what The Hunger Games did for YA dystopian. And I'm still not sure how to categorize Jodi Picoult's novels. If you look up the genres of her books, you'll find "Genre: Fiction + Literature; Sub-Genre: Literary or Contemporary." Huh? Nonetheless, she's created her own space on the best seller list.

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Plot of Gold 30-day Challenge

by ProWritingAid Sep 15, 2017

Plot of Gold 30-day Challenge

Are you ready to create a strong, thorough outline for your novel? Brilliant!

From September to November this year, ProWritingAid will be paying for its community to have FREE access for 30 days to Beemgee's world-class novel-outlining software.

Whether you are preparing for NaNoWriMo or just ready to finally write that book, this 30-day challenge is crucial for getting you to the finish line.

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When Symbolism Goes Too Far

by Kathy Edens Jun 19, 2017

When Symbolism Goes Too Far

Are we hard-wired to seek symbolism in everything from our literature to our everyday life? Spirituality is rife with symbolism, advertisers use symbols to sell their products, and we interpret a smile from someone as a symbol of friendship.

Symbolism in literature uses an object or a word to represent something abstract in your work. A person, an action, a place, a single word, or an object can have symbolic meaning. Symbolism, done well, allows you to hint at a certain mood or emotion instead of showing it.

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Why a Fully Realized Villain is as Important as Your Protagonist

by Kathy Edens May 12, 2017

Your antagonist can make the difference between a ho-hum novel and a break-out one.

A fully realized villain is someone who shows us parts of ourselves in his or her makeup. If you can connect in some human way with the antagonist, it's going to bring up all kinds of tension for readers.

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