Articles about story planning
Are you ready for NaNoWriMo?
It’s the question most asked this time of year, right before National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) that takes over the month of November every year.
If this is your first time doing NaNoWriMo, don’t stress out too much about it. It’s a huge learning process where you’ll discover what’s most important for you to be able to produce content on a continual basis to move forward towards your end goal of 50,000 words in 30 days.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned over the years is that it’s not so much about the end result. What you have at the end of 30 days will in no shape or form be a novel ready to print. Depending on your genre, novels can be 80,000 words and up. Just understand: you won’t be finished with it on November 30th.Read More »
The filmmaking process is long and arduous. Yet each step helps shape and refine the film into a finished product. Here are the lessons all writers can glean from the world of filmmaking.Read More »
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.Read More »
Your character bible is the place you collect information about all the characters in your novel so you have easy access to details as you write. In this article, we examine how to create and use a character bible.Read More »
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!"Read More »
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.Read More »
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.Read More »
How to create a sleuth readers will love. Check this strategy to build your mystery protagonist from concept to detail.Read More »
Have you ever read a story where you wished the author would just hurry up and get on with it? That phenomenon is called story stagnation. Here we examine how to avoid it.Read More »
Characters in books give us insight into the human condition. We learn how people behave and what’s in human nature from our favorite characters in books and on the big screen.
Orson Scott Card says out of the multiple ways to get to know someone, the most powerful and the ones that make the strongest impression are:
- What your character does
- What his or her motives are
- What they’ve done in the past
Let’s look at these and a few other ways of getting to know your characters.Read More »
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.Read More »
New manager, Sir David Brailsford, changed Team Sky's destiny in 2010. His "aggregation of marginal gains" strategy delivered outstanding results for them, and it can work for you too!Read More »
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?Read More »
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.Read More »
Think of some of the great nemesis pairs in fiction: Harry Potter and Voldemort, Katniss Everdeen and President Snow, Professor Xavier and Magneto, Superman and Lex Luthor… But there's none better than Batman and The Joker.
The Joker is responsible for numerous tragedies in Batman's life like paralyzing Batgirl and murdering Robin. He's such a popular character that he's ranked 8th on the list of Greatest Comic Book Characters of All Time. One reason he's the perfect nemesis is The Joker is the complete and utter opposite of Batman: he's savage, violent, unpredictable, and will do anything because he has no respect for human life. As Michael Caine said in Dark Knight, The Joker "just wants to see the world burn."Read More »
Everyone at ProWritingAid loves tech that helps us write better, faster, easier, etc. It's one reasons we get up every morning. When we stumbled across Beemgee and their amazing writing tool, we asked Kathy Edens to check it out for us.
Let's take a closer look at the Beemgee novel outlining and storytelling tool to see how it can help you develop compelling characters and an engaging plot.Read More »
An allegory is a story that evokes two separate meanings. The first meaning is the story's surface, like characters and plot, the stuff that goes into every story. But at a much deeper level, an allegory has a symbolic, heavy meaning.
What allegories come to mind? Maybe The Lord of the Flies; The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Moby Dick; or Pilgrim's Progress?Read More »
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- How to Use the Three-Act Structure to Actually Finish Writing Your Novel
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