Tag Archives | Plot

Writing Series: The Cliffhanger Dilemma

When it comes to series, people seem to either love or hate cliffhangers. I’ve always been in the camp that prefers a cliffhanger-free story. This doesn’t mean I expect all plot threads to be tied up in a neat bow by the final page, but I do expect the story’s main conflict to be resolved. Let’s quickly look at a graphic you’ve probably seen countless times before: The character starts out with some level of […]

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The Hero’s Journey

All writers are storytellers. Today’s bestselling authors share this with the creators of the ancient myths of human kind. In fact, the best stories seem to incorporate the principles of myth in ways that are dramatic, entertaining, and true to the human experience. Joseph Campbell was perhaps the most prominent “mythologist” of our time. In his book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell distilled the components of the myths of widely varied cultures from all over […]

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Conditioning Forces – Or, your character doesn’t live in a vacuum!

In the 1951 play, Bedtime Story, by Sean O’Casey, the protagonist is faced with the goal of getting a prostitute out of his apartment before his roommate comes home. The character’s goals are founded on the fact that he is a devout Roman Catholic, feels terribly guilty, and doesn’t want his indiscretion to be discovered. Getting the prostitute out of the house without being detected becomes the main character’s all encompassing goal. The prospect of […]

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The Point When Everything Changes

Recently, I was obsessing over critically watching the fabulous TV show, Sherlock, and in the episode called “The Hounds of Baskerville”, Sherlock says this to his client: And what happened when you went back to Dewer’s Hollow last night, Henry? You went there on the advice of your therapist, and now you’re consulting a detective. What did you see that changed everything? And that simple exchange set me to thinking. In a novel, there is […]

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Exposition Blindness

Exposition is one those things in writing with which I have a love/hate relationship. Mostly because while I’m writing, I’m tricked into thinking it’s sheer brilliance. And because I know all about those picky critique partners that will insist that half of it is unnecessary, I make sure that every single thing that I mention in my exposition is a genius epiphany to the discerning reader. So I start off my new WIP with a […]

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