character sheet
Posted in Characters

Character Sheet

A character sheet is an overview of all your character information. This help you remember all the little details. It…

point of view
Posted in Characters Narration Toolbox

Point of View

Fiction is usually written in first or third person point of view. First person point of view “I tasted blood.”…

affective writing
Posted in Home Narration Toolbox Prose

Affective Writing

That’s right. Affective, not effective, writing. This article is about how words make readers feel certain emotions. Sneak these words…

Posted in Editing & Revision Home Prose

Step 4 – Spellcheck

Check spelling, interpunction etc. Correct Apostrophe Use The apostrophe serves three functions: contraction, plural and possessives. Contraction It’s = it…

Posted in Editing & Revision Prose

Step 3 – Polish Prose

How do you polish prose? You smoothen readability by optimizing word choice, perfecting sentence structure and paragraph rhythms.

Posted in Editing & Revision

Step 2 – Cut

Cut the excess No. 1 cause of bad writing: Verbosity – Using more words than necessary while fewer and/or simpler…

Posted in Editing & Revision


Ask for feedback The most important things to fix before sending your work to an editor or publisher, is removing…

Posted in Editing & Revision

Step 1 – Rewrite

Rewrite: reworking elements of the story to make it more immediate and dramatic. For example: adding or cutting characters. Adding…

Posted in Narration Toolbox


Suspense = uncertainty of outcome to conflicts Swing the pendulum between hope and fear. Tension comes from uncertainty of outcomes….

Posted in Narration Toolbox


Conflict = Desire / Need + Obstacle Conflict = Fear VS Desire A strong conflict makes the reader feel real…

Posted in Narration Toolbox


Why should you foreshadow Not only does it create suspense and curiosity, it also allows the reader to participate in…

sensory description
Posted in Description Prose

Sensory Description

The basic human senses are: seeing, hearing, touch, smell and taste. However, don’t forget the many other senses we have,…

character description
Posted in Characters Description

Character Description & Emotion

Showing creates mental pictures, it is interactive and participatory because it forces the reader to deduce the facts for himself….

setup payoff
Posted in Plot

Setup and Payoff

Setup = A piece of information the reader will need to know in advance to full understand and believe the…

said alternatives
Posted in Description Home Prose

Alternatives for ‘said’

Whenever possible, use SAID. Whenever possible, make the dialogue do the work and provide enough context (e.g. with gestures) to…

Posted in Description Home Narration Toolbox Plot Prose


The pace should quicken when there is action and suspense, and slow down when there are moments of calm. Controlling…

Short Story
Posted in Home

Short Story Guide

800 words = moment in time 1300-2000 words = one concept explored 2000-3000 words = multiple plot lines, strong plot…

Opening scene
Posted in Scene Story Structure

The Opening Scene

The opening lets the reader know what’s going on, who is involved, what their relationships are and what the context…

Posted in Description Prose

Flashbacks and Memories

Flashbacks The flash-back golden rule: Memories are not for reminiscing. They serve to navigate the present! Use these to move…

Posted in Characters Home Plot Protagonist


Theme: the hero’s moral choice. Thematic questions are always the very next stop in the outline after figuring out the…