Tighten Thy Subplots

Subplots are subordinate plots weaved into a story to enrich the reader's experience. Not to increase wordcount, or stick some personal vendetta into an otherwise unsuspecting story, and for crying out loud pleeease not to shoot the reader point-blank between the eyes with An Important Point you itch to make. Subplots exist only to make …

Outline Contest Winner!

Told you good things come to patient writers! After an incredible, busy week at the 27th Annual Antioch Writers Workshop, where Les has given a fiction writing seminar for a wide range of writers, he is now back and ready to give us the winner of the Five Sentence Outline contest. He's also taken the …

How to write a Kickass Outline and get Hooked

Last week I attended an online writing class on story beginnings with the awesome Les Edgerton, organized by StoneHouse University, a very successful indie publisher and training center for writers created by Aaron Patterson and K.C. Neal. It was great fun and very instructive, full of straightforward tips, great examples, and interesting tales from Les's considerable …

Opposition

When two equal and opposite forces collide, they crash into each other with the same intensity. It's in the books, Newton's third law of motion. Right there, see? This rule applies to car crashes, billiard balls, writer against computer, and it applies to fiction as well. The recipe for a spectacular story climax is simple: you …

Halftimes in Fiction

I've heard so many writers complain that they hate writing middles, and have a hard time keeping the tension up and the stakes high throughout the entire story. They talk about sagging middles, saddle seats, plot valleys, and so on. They're afraid to drop the tension in the middle. Scared of it. Terrified of the …