Throughline

Analysis

Five Stories With Anticlimactic Endings

Kvothe looking at a city far off in the distance.

The meaning of “anticlimactic” is refreshingly simple: the climax is a disappointment. We might call a story anticlimactic if the main villain is defeated too easily, if a major story arc just disappears without explanation, or if the throughline isn’t properly resolved. The story’s climax … read more »

Q&A

Where Should I Start My Story?

questions and answer talk bubbles

My main characters are part of secret government unit that goes after supernatural threats. Should I start the story with the new members in training? Or should I start with them being assigned to the unit and have flashbacks to show how they’ve become friends, etc.? Read more »

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. It is the single most important element of a story. When you tell someone what a story is “about,” you’re usually describing the throughline. Read more »

Podcast

131 – Throughlines

The Mythcreant Podcast

A throughline is the story’s core, the problem that opens in the beginning and concludes in the climax. Throughlines are essential for compelling stories, but many authors still struggle with them, so that’s what we’re talking about this week. We discuss why stories should open … 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 »