Posted in Home Plot

Plot (narrative)

Plot: The combinations of what happens and how these events are revealed to the audience. The order and arrangement create…

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…

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…

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…

Posted in Description Dialogue Home Prose

How to describe smiles and laughter

How to describe laughter Ha ha (sarcastic) Haha (polite) Ha. (unmeant bored) Ha! (exclamation) Hehe (immature, sly) Hahaha (genuine) Haha……

Posted in Home Scene Story Structure


Scenes are the specific stages by which your main characters motivations are enacted against opposition, internal or external (or both)….

Posted in Home Plot

Hero’s Journey

Act 1 Ordinary World Catch a glimpse of the hero’s daily life in the status quo world so the reader…

Show don't tell
Posted in Home Prose Story Structure

Show, don’t tell (and pace)

What is Showing Showing allows for immersion of the reader into the fictional dream. Showing is experiences with an illusion…

Posted in Home


Metaphors and Similes Metaphors beat similes. Similes go like “teeth like a wolf “. It paints a bit of a…

Posted in Home Prose


1 Word-Level Specificity vs vagueness Example:The animal moved through the place with the thing.The greying Dobermann ran through the moonlit…

Posted in Home

Solving the Floating Heads Dialogue Problem

A scene is not as engaging or dynamic when two (or more) characters do nothing but talk.

Posted in Home Writer & Readers

Curing Writer’s Block with Morning Pages

Unblocking with Morning Pages Morning pages are three pages, written by hand (!) about whatever comes up in your head….

Posted in Dialogue Home


Writing realistic dialogue is the sleight of hand magic of storytelling. Factual information wrapped in a false sense of reality,…

Posted in Agent Home Publishing Query Writer & Readers

AIDA Persuasive Writing

Persuasive writing techniques help you write better openings and improve your query letter.

Posted in Home Publishing Query

Query Letter (Template)

The query letter does three things. It introduces you, the writer. It introduces your manuscript. And third, it makes them…

Posted in Characters Home Protagonist

The Protagonist

The definition (meaning) of protagonist: The leading character or one of the major characters. The advocate or champion of a…

Posted in Home Writer & Readers

Writer’s Flow

Flow occurs when the writer is intensely concentrated and so completely involved in the process of creating something new that…