Story Plotting 101

Storytelling

Filling In Your Story’s Middle

A tiny person stands in the center of a magical book.

Writers often know where their stories start and end but draw a blank when it comes to all the stuff in between. And unfortunately, common plot structures like the hero’s journey aren’t as helpful as they seem. While they provide a rhythm of success and … read more »

Storytelling

How to Turn Your Concept Into a Story

Puzzle in progress

You have a flash of inspiration, but once you sit at your keyboard, that inspiration melts into a murky mess. You’re not sure where your story is going, only that it isn’t getting there. With each attempt at plotting, your excitement is whittled away. Finally … read more »

Writing

Outline a Short Story in Seven Steps

If you have lots of creative ideas and trouble organizing them, try using this framework to craft a short story. It isn’t the key to making every tale under the sun, but it should help you frame your central conflict, create a proactive character, and … read more »

Writing

Establishing and Satisfying Plot Threads

Do you know which hooks are motivating your readers to continue? Each hook creates an open plot thread; readers are pulled in because they want to see them conclude. If you mix up your subplots or don’t close each one properly, you’ll end up with a cranky audience. Read more »

Storytelling

Understanding Conflict & Tension

The words “conflict” and “tension” are casually thrown around in most discussions of storytelling, but they don’t mean exactly what they do in everyday speech. If you haven’t gotten a formal introduction to conflict and tension, here’s what you need to know. Read more »

Storytelling

Is It Plot?

New storytellers often have trouble telling the difference between “things happening” and “a story unfolding.” Without the ability to turn events into plots, there is no story, and audience will quickly become bored and spend their time elsewhere. Luckily, plots only need a few basic … read more »

Writing

Your Plot Is a Fractal

Have you ever wondered how to plot a series of novels instead of just one? Or how to structure a single event that takes only half a scene? If so, I have good news for you: you never have to be confused by scale again. … read more »

Writing

Tying Your Plot Together

You’ve finally finished the draft of your magnum opus. You’ve developed engaging characters and placed them in a vibrant setting. You’ve filled each scene with conflict, tension, and chocolate. But something’s wrong. The friends who’ve read it tell you that while each scene is entertaining, the … read more »