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…]

A Writing Prompt to Spur Your Creativity

doorway

We all know writing every day helps you improve as a writer. But maybe you aren’t working on any project in particular right now, so here’s a picture to prompt your creativity for today’s writing.

  • How can you apply this picture to a verse of Scripture for a devotional?
  • What opportunity or obstacle would this doorway present to a protagonist, to an antagonist in your next fiction book?
  • How could you use this doorway as a lead-in for a personal experience article?

Now set a timer for 15 minutes, put on some music if you like, and then sit down at your laptop or take up paper and pencil and just start writing. Don’t stop until that timer dings.

Whatever genre you write, let your imagination skip, leap, and frolic through this doorway.

When you’re done, share the first sentence or two (or three) of your blurb in the comments so we can give each other feedback. I’ll share my first line later on today.

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