Throughline 101

Analysis

Five Novels With Strong Throughlines

A throughline is the core or central plot thread of your story, the problem introduced in the beginning and resolved in the climax. It’s what ties everything together and keeps the audience engaged. Novels without strong throughlines have a difficult time building tension or creating satisfaction, two … read more »
Analysis

Six Novels With Weak Throughlines

The Gentleman and Norrell from Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell A throughline is a story’s core, the problem that’s introduced at the beginning and resolved at the end. Sometimes throughlines are called “central plot threads” or a story’s “main arc.” But whatever we call it, it is the single most important element of a story. When … 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 »