How to Craft Compelling Characters

The source and exact nature of the curious phenomena we refer to as characters remains something of a mystery, but the craft of characterization is not. Although it’s clearly a cause for celebration — or at least relief — when a character appears in the mind’s eye...

How to Amp Up Dialogue with Emotional Beats

Dialogue benefits from variety. A good way to maintain your reader’s interest is to insert a variety of beats into your dialogue. Beats are descriptions of physical action — minor or major — that fall between lines of speech. Try the following techniques to...

10 Ways to Start Your Story Better

The sentence you are currently reading has the potential to brand itself indelibly upon our cultural consciousness and to alter the course of Western Civilization. OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration. But what author doesn’t dream of crafting an opening line that will...

3 Secrets to Great Storytelling

As a novelist and writing instructor, I’ve noticed that three of the most vital aspects of story craft are left out of many writing books and workshops. Even bestselling novelists stumble over them. And if you master these simple principles for shaping great stories,...

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