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…]

To Plot a Story – Guest Post by Deborah Lyn Stanley

Deborah Lyn Stanley author artist editorToday’s guest post is from writer, artist, and editor Deborah Lyn Stanley. She is a retired project manager who now devotes her time to writing, art and care-giving mentally impaired seniors. She has published a collection of 24 artists’ interviews titled the Artists Interview Series. The series published as monthly articles for an online news network, can also be found on her web-blog: Deborah Lyn Stanley – Writers Blog. Her “How-To” articles have appeared in magazines. [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…]

The Book Outline—Dispelling the Myth

Outlining. It’s one of those touchy subjects among writers—should you outline your story or not?

But like my recent post “Are You Crippling Your Creativity?” there is a certain misconception about outlines many beginning writers have that I hope to dispel today.

Most of us grew up being taught the traditional outline. [Read more…]

6 Steps to Story Development

spinning platesWhen you get right down to it the major goal of the fiction writer is to keep the reader reading.

And like the performer who spins plates at the top of a stick, writers must spin several plates too—characters and character arc, plot and plot development, conflict, dialog, show vs. tell, and pacing. If we focus on only one aspect of story development and neglect the others, the story falls flat.

But that’s a lot to deal with. I certainly can’t get my brain wrapped around all those things at the same time as I write.

So what’s the answer?

Focus on one at a time, using these 6 steps. [Read more…]

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