Plot

Storytelling

How to Create an Unhappy Ending

Throughout your story, your audience will cheer for your hero as she struggles against the villains. There will be many losses and gains, until it’s time for the final battle. You know your audience will leave satisfied if your hero knocks the bad guy out of the park. But what if you want her to fail? 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 »

Storytelling

Planning Character Arcs

If you like to plan your stories ahead, you’ve almost certainly sketched out your plot. But have you planned your character arcs? Every story needs a character arc for its protagonist, even if it’s simple or subtly conveyed. And while supporting characters don’t always need … read more »

Storytelling

Balancing Character Agency

It’s pointless to debate whether plot or characters are more important. They are both essential, and they work together to create the story. Unfortunately, they don’t always work well together. More than a few storytellers have planned their plot to the end, only realizing once … read more »

Writing

Three Ways to Plot With Index Cards

It can be tough to pull together the plot for a novel. There’s a lot that goes into it, and it’s hard to make sure that you have it all straight in your head before you start writing. Sometimes the only way to be sure … 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 »

Writing

The Keys to a Great Opening Scene

The beginning of your story can do many things, but one is more important than any other: capturing the reader’s interest. If they don’t keep reading, any other purpose – setting the tone, hinting at central themes, or whatever else – becomes pointless. As a … read more »