Sometimes plot and theme are confused as being basically the same thing. Other times, they’re viewed as so distinct they don’t even belong in the same discussion. So which is it? First questions first: is plot basically the same thing as theme? To some degree, the answer is yes. Or, at least, intuitive phrasing often […]
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Today’s guest post is by Beth Barany. No matter if you’re a plot-driven or character-driven writer, your characters need to feel real so that your readers can connect with and care about them. If you’re pressed for time or just want to get to the essentials, I recommend these three essential characters tips. By no […]
What’s the easiest way to find your story’s theme—and make it stick? Although any discussion of theme is multi-faceted, one of the best ways to approach this complex topic is through the realization that you can use theme to create character arc—and vice versa. When asked to explain what a particular story is about, some […]
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Today’s guest post is by Tara East. Our lives are busy and they’re just getting busier. We’re desperate for tips about time management, scheduling, prioritization, and optimization. We want life hacks and shortcuts. Technology has eliminated some of the tedious domestic tasks that consumed our time and zapped our energy, yet we’re still complaining about […]
Today’s guest post is by M. K. Rainey. It’s amazing to me how some writers can go their entire careers without ever having a solid community. In fact, I’d argue that’s impossible. Even the most Luddite and reclusive of authors have a community (obviously outside of social media), whether that’s family, friends, or loyal fans—if […]
Part 21 of The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel Stories live or die on their pacing. Great characters and concepts are the heartbeat of good fiction, but even the greatest can struggle to keep readers’ attention if the pacing is off. Pacing is a lot like tone. It varies depending on the type […]
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Time is running out to sign up for our Scene Mastery Boot Camp in Nevada City, CA. My co-instructor, Catharine Bramkamp, and I are putting on seven—yes, seven!—all over northern California. Over the last few years, we’ve been doing boot camps in South Lake Tahoe, CA, just for plotting. But last year we added a […]
There are words I think of as “infinite words.” These are words that express more, in their essence, than we can ever quite seem to explain. They’re the words of poetry. Indeed, many are complete poems all in a single word. For me, one of those words is “theme.” Theme is one of those endlessly […]
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Today’s guest post is by Beth Cadman. Before taking the plunge to write full-time, I often found myself imagining how wonderful it must be. To be able to manage my own time, to work wherever and whenever I wanted. To sit in coffee shops, looking fantastically artistic and observing the world passing by, while the […]
Once upon a time, Character fell in love with Plot. Right from the start, it was a stormy relationship. There was passion, there was romance, there were epic stakes. And conflict? Puh-lenty. Sometimes they were pretty sure they couldn’t live with each other a moment longer. Sometimes they tried to give each other up altogether. […]
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