Tag Archives | Plot

Writing Conflict: How to Ruin (Fictional) Lives

Sometimes, terrible things happen to characters. It’s just a fact of fiction. But as authors, sometimes we want pull back before things get too awful for our sweet, precious characters. Sometimes we want to make things easy because we love them. My dear writer friends, that is not how our characters grow. Like mama birds shoving their chicks out of the nest to make them fly, we must make everything just awful so their true […]

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Inciting Incidents: A Breakdown

A few months ago, Kate Sullivan, a senior editor of YA and MG at Delacorte, tweeted the following question: Is there are “rule” for when people think the inciting incident or catalyst needs to happen in a novel, pg-count-wise? — Kate Sullivan (@katert0t) September 2, 2015 The whole thread is worth a read, and it definitely got me thinking about Inciting Incidents, and beginnings in general. When talking about plot and structure, a lot of […]

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Betareaders Rock: Meet the Readers Who Proofed This Gulf of Time and Stars, and Win a Copy of the Book!

Science fiction folks know. What they like and don’t like. Most particularly, they know what they love. All about what they love. I’ve been to conventions. Trust me. You can count me among them for I’m just as cautious about a “new” take on a beloved film or tv series. Hopeful, yes, because I want more. But cautious. Because, seriously. What if They mess it up? There’s no mysterious and plural They involved in my […]

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Outlining on Excel…(yes, that’s right, Excel)

Recently, I found myself doing something I never thought I’d ever do in a million years–outlining a book in Excel. You read that right–Excel. (Well, actually, I used Numbers and not Excel because I have iWork, but details, details… :P). This isn’t something I’d recommend for every book, but I’m currently revising a pretty hefty, unwieldy plot with multi-POV. It’s not A Song of Ice and Fire level or anything, but it’s complicated enough for a normal […]

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Want to Write Better Stories? Write About Change

If there’s one thing that’s constant in all stories, it’s change. No matter what genre, a character experiences a series of events and things are different by the end of the tale. The more character-focused the novel, the greater and more personal this change is likely to be, but it appears in even the most plot-centric books as well. A mystery starts off with a victim and ends up with a killer caught and justice […]

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