Outlines: The Roadmap of Your Story (Plotober 2018)

Dear Plotters, It is the last week of Plotober.  With only a few days left in the month - and only a few days left before the great first-draft frenzy that is NaNoWriMo - I thought we should touch on something that can be immensely helpful as a guide during the writing process: the story … Continue reading Outlines: The Roadmap of Your Story (Plotober 2018)

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The 2+1 Sensory Method: The Easy Way to Add Sensory Detail to Story Scenes

The 2 + 1 Sensory Method: An Easy Way to Bring Your Story World to Life Using Sensory Details

Dear Plotters, On Monday, we kicked off the discussion of setting with a look at the macro view: What is the world where your character lives?  What is it like?  Now let's go deeper and look at the micro: the details that will bring your world to life. Today, I want to share with you … Continue reading The 2+1 Sensory Method: The Easy Way to Add Sensory Detail to Story Scenes

Setting the Stage: Building the World Where Your Characters Live | Plotober

"Don't worry, kid. I know this city like the back of my hand."

Dear Plotters, So far in this year's Plotober series we've mostly discussed character development and story design.  Having a firm foundation based on understanding your characters is important - and as I have said before, I am a firmly in the character-driven plot camp.  And equally important is the world they live in, the world … Continue reading Setting the Stage: Building the World Where Your Characters Live | Plotober

Desire and Fear, Part 2: On Fear | Two Powerful Motivational Forces | Plotober

Desire and Fear are two powerful motivational forces. Use them to drive your character along and to see what they're made of.

Today's essay was co-written by Cloud. Dear Plotters, Welcome back to the second part of the Motivational Forces series.  On Monday we discussed Desire, the motivation of Want.  Today we're flipping the coin to look at the antithesis of Desire: Fear. Remember Cloud's observation from the last post? Need some instant drama? Give your character … Continue reading Desire and Fear, Part 2: On Fear | Two Powerful Motivational Forces | Plotober

Desire and Fear, Part 1: On Desire | Two Powerful Motivational Forces to Harness In Your Stories | Plotober

Desire and Fear are two powerful motivational forces. Use them to drive your character along and to see what they're made of.

Today's essay was co-written by Cloud. Dear Plotters, Today I am going to start out with two quotes.  I want you to read them and think about them for a moment before reading the rest of this post.  Ready? Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water. - Kurt … Continue reading Desire and Fear, Part 1: On Desire | Two Powerful Motivational Forces to Harness In Your Stories | Plotober

Character Sketches: Simple Ways to Get to Know Your Characters Inside & Out | Plotober 2018

Dear Plotters, Now that we've talked in-depth about finding the story we want to tell, using emotional impact, and working in hidden twists, let's switch gears and talk about characters. Ooh, characters.  This is my favorite part of plotting.  To be precise, I can't separate characters from plot; one does not exist without the other.  … Continue reading Character Sketches: Simple Ways to Get to Know Your Characters Inside & Out | Plotober 2018

The Hidden Twist | Finding Your Story Compass | Plotober 2018

The secret door, the hidden passage: unexpected (yet twists keep your story interesting.

Dear Plotters, Welcome back!  I hope you all had a great weekend! Today we're finishing up our first Plotober mini-series, Finding Your Story Compass, with the third and final technique: The Hidden Twist.  This technique is pretty widely used in the writing world, and with good reason: A compelling twist keeps the story interesting and … Continue reading The Hidden Twist | Finding Your Story Compass | Plotober 2018