Reaching Resolution Revisited

To end our story we have to have some form of resolution. We’ve already discussed the different sorts of endings and how we can anything from complete closure to an ambiguous end or a cliff-hanger but we’ve still got to bring all these pesky plot threads together. If you struggle with this don’t worry, a […]

Getting From A to Oh Revisited

No plot would be complete without stumbling blocks. If stories didn’t have ‘oh’ moments they’d be a lot shorter and less satisfying. Readers like to see the characters struggle through challenges because it amplifies the achievement of winning, though it can be tempting to make things easier for them. These stumbling blocks are either built […]

Subbing Your Story Revisited

Most stories have at least one subplot that runs alongside the main plot. Some of these run the full length of the story, some are short little side routes. For example, in the Sherlock Holmes stories the main plot  is the case and the secondary plot is Holmes and Watson’s friendship and runs concurrent to […]

Where’s Your Tools? Revisited

So our main character has a problem, what are we going to do about it? Do they need some characters to help them? Do they need to get some tech or something to help them? Are they going to have to get somewhere to solve this problem? How? Each of these things that move a […]

What’s Your Problem? Revisited

At its most basic plot is the presentation of a problem that needs to be solved: the detective needs to catch the criminal, the lovers need to come together, the world needs to be saved. So when we’re beginning to plot a story we need to think, ‘What is the problem?’ then ‘How are we […]

Counting the Words

They say nothing lasts forever and that applies to books too. I won’t tell you that you can’t write long books, there are plenty out there, but your word count partly needs to be based on market research but largely on the question of how long you’re story needs to be. There’s some debate but […]

The Piece That Doesn’t Fit Revisited

Having considered the idea of moving chapters around we also need to consider that we might need to replace or remove chapters completely. The need to do this isn’t a sign of bad writing, just as not needing to add or remove chapters isn’t a sign of good writing. All it is about is making […]

Assembling the Jigsaw Revisited

Structure is important so you might wonder why I didn’t begin with this article, the way I see it first drafts are for getting the story down and editing is for hammering out structure. The problem is that when people begin a story thinking about structure and ‘hitting the right notes’ can block them and […]

Death to Excess Revisited

We’ve looked at trimming out unnecessary bits from our prose but what about those characters who just don’t seem to be pulling their weight? The honest answer is that they’re probably going to have to go too. We all hate doing it, especially if we love the characters, but too many unnecessary characters can be […]

Dropping Breadcrumbs Revisited

Readers like a chance to work things out for themselves and infer meaning. By favouring showing over telling we give the reader a chance to build their own story within ours. As with any aspect of storytelling we have to find a balance within our writing but nobody can tell you what that is, you […]