L.A. Kennedy

Beyond the story

Here are the principles of story structure that you need to apply to your writing in order to get the ending of your fiction right. Brian Klems There are more than a few writers and teachers out there, many of them orders of magnitude more famous than I am (not hard to do), who don’t …

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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. …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Whether discussing movies or books, most agents and editors are eager to find projects that are high concept. In this post, learn how to develop high-concept book ideas to find more success with your writing. Robert Lee Brewer Whether discussing movies or books, most agents and editors are eager to find projects that are high …

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Where do ideas for the best mystery novels come from? Use targeted questions to craft a premise that will hook your readers from the first page. Bestselling author Hallie Ephron shares how to develop a fascinating premise for your mystery novel. Hallie Ephron I used to think that I couldn’t write a mystery novel because I’m …

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by Amanda Patterson Many writers struggle with plotting. In this post, What Is A Plot?, we define a plot and tell you how to use it in a story. What Is A Plot? A plot is a series of events that make up a story. Plots have beginnings, middles, and endings. The first quarter of your …

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Midge Gillies and Tony Benn Viewpoint As you start to write your style will emerge. Before you begin you should have some idea of how much of you will appear in the book. If you’re writing a memoir nearly all of it may be written in the first person and yours may be the only …

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Linda Newbery, Michael Lawrence and Lauren Child The main characters in fiction for children and teenagers tend, not surprisingly, to be children and teenagers, though it’s not hard to find exceptions, such as Philip Pullman’s Once Upon a Time in the North. To write convincingly, whether in first- or third-person, you need to position yourself …

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