It took Joe Bunting five years, thousands of hours, and gallons of sweat and tears to learn how to take his so-so memoir and turn it into an objectively good book. Thankfully, he's distilling all he learned into this article for your enjoyment.
Foreshadowing allows you to plant clues, hint at what’s to come, build the tension, or even place a red herring in your reader’s path. You can use foreshadowing in a variety of ways. The resulting action can be immediate or delayed. You can use dialogue or narrative to set the scene, and you can foreshadow a symbolic event or an ethical dilemma. You can use direct or indirect foreshadowing, and it can even be true or false. Foreshadowing can feed the tension of a scene. Who doesn’t know the famous shower scene in the movie Psycho? Right before the character Marion Crane pulls up to the Bates Motel, her windshield wipers are slashing through the rain, foreshadowing what awaits her in the shower scene.
Antithesis is one of the most revered literary and rhetorical devices. However, few writers use antithesis because it can sound contrived and sanctimonious. Let's take a closer look at how to use it appropriately.
Learn the difference between surprise and suspense and how to use them in your story. In this article, writer Zara Altair breaks down when and where to use each.
An oxymoron is a figure of speech in which two words with contradictory meanings are placed side-by-side. Here's a list of 25 of our favorites.
Anaphora is the deliberate repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of a clause to achieve an artist effect. In this article, we break down what anaphora is and how to use it.
William Shakespeare loved using irony in his work. How can you do the same? In this post, we'll show you how irony works and how to use it.
Literary agents are the gatekeepers of the publishing world. Their verdict on a five-page submission can make or break an author’s dreams. It’s critical to ensure your submission catches an agent’s eye and doesn’t immediately get passed upon.
What are similes and how do they work? We'll show you in this article.
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_?
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.
Supporting characters are designed to move your story forward. Discover their relationship to story context and how that influences the way you write them.
What is allusion and how can it help your writing? We'll show you!
Know the difference between antagonist and villain. Read this article for tips on how to use them in your story to create obstacles for your protagonist and build tension for your reader.
How do you make anthropomorphism work in your writing? Author Kathy Edens takes a look at the best ways to make animals, books, teacups, and more come alive in your work.