3 Reasons Why You Need the Novel Analysis Worksheet

Are your key scenes in order? Use the Worksheet to Ensure Your Key Scenes are There and in Order The worksheet sets out—in order—the key scenes that appear in most commercial stories—novels or screenplays. In the middle column, descriptions and examples are provided....

Building Your World in Your First Line

by Jonathan Ammon When we’re leaving a bookstore, my wife Tatiana and I like to play a game: we go through our bag of purchases, and we read aloud the first line from each of the new books. Whoever has the book with the agreed-upon best first line wins. Our game puts...

Narrative Summary—How? Why? When?

Art by Carl Mueller, 1940 In my head, it’s clear that, in fiction, dramatic events need to be shown in scene. A single point-of-view character wants something and strives against obstacles to get it—all shown in the real-time of the story. And mundane events need to...
Ways to Create Subtext

Ways to Create Subtext

“…but I know it when I see it—” Subtext can be hard to define, but it’s worth the effort. It makes room for the part of a scene the intelligent reader brings to the story. Of course, the expertise of the clever-and-confident author sparks the reader’s contribution....
How To Write the Emotion-Packed Scene

How To Write the Emotion-Packed Scene

Get Inside Your Character’s Head At the start of a story, I like to be very deep inside my character because I hope my readers will empathize with the character and come along for the story journey. I practice seeing through his eyes. Depending on how my character is...
Early Questions to Shape Your Story

Early Questions to Shape Your Story

Reading time: 3 minutes Blank pages are not scary (A mantra to chant while you shower.) The next time you’re faced with another beginning writing session, consider this strategy. Don’t lose a moment; show those naked passages who’s boss, and whip out your handy-dandy...

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