The 4 Most Important Elements in Fiction Writing

Space Shuttle launch. Essential elements of fiction writing.

All great fiction writing has more than 4 important elements; however, in my opinion, there are 4 that are the driving force behind your story.

Any avid reader can quickly identify when a book is going to be great or not. They may not be able to tell you the elements that are or aren’t there, but they’ve learned to recognize what a story needs for it to be a page turner.

Today’s post looks at those 4 foundational building blocks of fiction writing. [Read more…]

The Major Plot Events of a Novel and When They Occur

building blocks, an analogy of plot eventsThis month’s last post on plotting concerns the major plot events, or building blocks, of your story.

Most writers understand all fiction has a climatic scene, aka the climax. They also know it occurs very near the end of the story.

However, many writers miss several other plot events essential to their story. [Read more…]

How to Review Your Story Scenes for Conflict

horses jumping hurdles

Are the hurdles in your story growing harder?

As discussed in “6 Steps to Story Development,” a story needs conflict. In fact, without it you have no story. So let’s take a closer look and see how you can make sure you’re developing the conflict in your story.

James Scott Bell, in his book Conflict & Suspense, defines conflict this way: “a clash between at least two incompatible sides. One of those sides must be personal, that is, having the ability to exercise conscious will.”

At the heart of conflict are your character’s passion and goals. In review, here are 3 questions I posited in “Story Development”: [Read more…]

Who’s the big bad wolf in your story?

Big bad wolf chasing 3 little pigsWhat was the big bad wolf’s goal in the story of the 3 little pigs?

To have dinner. He needed to eat and the 3 pigs met the bill. The wolf was doing what came naturally to him.

There was nothing evil about eating the pigs, but of course to the pigs, who stood to lose their lives, the wolf was evil.

At the heart of every story is a protagonist with a goal. It doesn’t matter what the goal is, just that it is essential to the character and without reaching it he/she suffers great loss—physical death being the ultimate loss.

In the case of the wolf and the three pigs, each faced the same loss if they didn’t meet their goal—death.

What would the story have been like if the wolf told it? [Read more…]

Who’s Telling Your Story?

little girl looking through paper towel roll

Perspective makes a difference.

Should I write my novel in first person or third (or get totally wild and use second person)?

Am I limited to a single character, or can I use multiple point of view (POV) characters?

Who should my novel’s POV character be?

You want to write a story readers can’t put down, but how do you decide what point of view is the best for your particular story? In fact, how can you even begin to write without having decided this basic element of your story?

There are so many choices. How do you decide what’s best so you can increase your chances of writing a best-selling novel? [Read more…]

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