L.A. Kennedy

Beyond the story

Amanda Patterson The Romantic Sub-Plot The most common sub-plot is the love interest. As I said, a love interest does not have to be a romantic interest. It could be a friend, a pet, or a family member that your protagonist loves. Writers use love interests to support protagonists and to thwart them by threatening …

Continue reading

Alex Bloom, founder of the Script Reader Pro screenplay consultancy, explains how to bulletproof your story idea and logline using one simple template. Alex Bloom The number one reason why most story ideas, loglines (and consequently scripts) fail is simply because the stakes aren’t high enough. In other words, it’s not clear enough what the …

Continue reading

The Writer’s Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we’re starting this series to help identify them for other writers (along with strategies for avoiding the mistake). This week’s writing mistake writers make is oversimplifying your characters. Moriah Richard Everyone makes mistakes—even writers—but that’s okay because each mistake is a great …

Continue reading

Moriah Richard Everyone makes mistakes—even writers—but that’s okay because each mistake is a great learning opportunity. The Writer’s Digest team has witnessed many mistakes over the years, so we’re starting this series to help identify them early in the process. Note: The mistakes in this series aren’t focused on grammar rules, though we offer help …

Continue reading

In this article, author Jonelle Patrick shares her expertise on how to create settings that will bring your reader in and make your characters shine. Jonelle Patrick Creating a sense of place can be so much more than a painterly description of the sea, or the comforting smell of coffee in the kitchen. Places aren’t …

Continue reading

Powerfully portrayed settings seem to have a life of their own, but how is that effect achieved? Here are five keys to teach you how to make your setting a character in your story or novel that goes beyond invoking the five senses in description. Donald Maass In great fiction, the setting lives from the …

Continue reading

BY ELIZABETH SIMS How do the most successful authors of our time construct their stories? The Hero’s Adventure. So what is the Hero’s Adventure? You know it already, and you may even have elements of it in the story you’re working on. But I suspect you haven’t yet methodically and thoroughly appropriated it for yourself. …

Continue reading

Amanda Patterson Use these lists of 350 character traits to help you select the positive and negative traits you need for the characters in your stories. What Is A Character Trait? A trait is a distinguishing quality or characteristic, typically one belonging to a person. It can be a genetically determined characteristic. Traits are formed …

Continue reading

The entire course of a story or novel, like an avalanche, is largely defined within its first seconds. Jacob Appel offers 10 ways to launch yours in the right direction. Jacob M. Appel The sentence you are currently reading has the potential to brand itself indelibly upon our cultural consciousness and to alter the course …

Continue reading

An August 1989 Writer’s Digest articles encourages writers to say no to their characters—in other words, create compelling conflicts in their stories. Writers Digest Staff Writer’s Digest, August 1989 Say no to your fiction characters—put obstacles in their paths—or else editors and readers alike will say no to your stories. Hard-working Ted had a crush …

Continue reading