Twist Your Reader

Ah, the twist! That wonderful, insidious construction that turns the world upside down and makes it a thousandfold more compelling in a heartbeat! But what is a twist and how can I write one? The human brain thrives on the unexpected. Surprises keep our gears oiled, our imagination and inventivity working and enriche our lives. …

Reincorporation Rocks!

Have you ever woken up in the middle of a draft to find it had gone totally squirrel berries, but you had no idea how, where or why? I mean, it was so promising at first, but then something went wrong and... w'da hell happened?! You had everything---a good setting, awesome characters, a killer plot …

Questions Rule

Everyone knows it's important to create fully rounded characters, and that you do that by asking the right questions. But which questions are the right ones, and how many questions are enough? A good question that helps you flesh out your characters, setting or plot, should be: 1. Daring (digging into uncomfortable areas) 2. Open …

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 …