Story Premise: What it is and how to develop it

In last week’s “To Plot a Story,” guest Deborah Lyn Stanley stated, “A one-sentence premise is essential to a strong story.”

Many writers may not understand what a premise is or how to arrive at that one-sentence, so let’s take a look at it today.

Premise. Little boy meets alien.In almost all of my books on the craft, discussion of premise is missing, or perhaps they use different terminology. So is it any wonder when I ask writers what is the premise of their book, they answer with a blank stare. [Read more…]

Plotting: Finding a system that works for you

Plotting know where you're headedIn recent months I’ve been stymied by my work in progress (WIP). Would I call it writer’s block? No. I was struggling to write because I simply didn’t know where the story was going.

You see, I decided to take a short story I wrote for a college class a few years back and develop it into a novella. That meant I had to expand on the plot of the story, and I hadn’t taken the time to do that before I started writing.

If you have no plot, you have no story.

For that reason, I’ve decided [Read more…]

16+ Free Online Resources for Doing Research for your Novel

doberman doing research on a laptopSo, your work in progress takes place in the 1800s … or maybe it’s a contemporary story, but one that is set in a region of the country you’re unfamiliar with. You know you’ve got a lot of research to do to make your story accurate and credible, but where do you begin? [Read more…]

What do football and fiction have in common?

football field

What do football and fiction have in common?

The first thing we as writers must accomplish with our story is to hook our reader. But if we merely hook them, the reader can get away. So we must also then compel them to read on to the middle and then right through to the end of our story.

We spur our reader to the middle of our story by creating a compelling lead character with whom our readers bond. Next, [Read more…]

6 Tasks to Accomplish with Act 1 of Your Novel – Part 1

bend in the roadAs writers we know we have to hook our reader at the onset — no matter what it is we’re writing.

But as novelists, the opening act of our story needs to accomplish six tasks to keep our readers interested and wanting to know what’s just around the bend. For the next several Tuesday Writing Tip posts, that’s what I’ll be discussing. Included with this series is the opportunity to win James Scott Bell’s book Plot & Structure. You’ll find the giveaway details at the end of this post.

You may know what those 6 things are already without even realizing it. You’ve gleaned them from your own reading most likely, but, like me, may not be consciously aware of them. What’s #1? [Read more…]

Snag a Publisher!

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Get Published!

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