L.A. Kennedy

Beyond the story

Robert Lee Brewer A narrative arc (or story arc) is the general shape (or structure) of a story as a whole. While you might dig into the details when sketching an outline for your story, the narrative arc looks at everything from a distance. For instance, the narrative arc of George Orwell’s Animal Farm on …

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

Don’t discount the power of a schedule. James Clear Franz Kafka is considered one of the most creative and influential writers of the 20th century, but he actually spent most of his time working as a lawyer for the Workers Accident Insurance Institute. How did Kafka produce such fantastic creative works while holding down his …

Continue reading

You’ve probably heard steps one and two before, but the others might surprise you. Scott Young Writing matters. It matters for your career. Even if you’re not a journalist or J.K. Rowling, being able to communicate clearly will determine how people see you. Writing matters for your life. Futuristic visions from the early days of …

Continue reading

This common affliction is behind so much unclear and confusing writing in the world today. Inc. Glenn Leibowitz “Why is so much writing so hard to understand? Why must a typical reader struggle to follow an academic article, the fine print on a tax return, or the instructions for setting up a wireless home network?” …

Continue reading

Using examples from William Peter Blatty’s iconic horror novel The Exorcist, Dustin Grinnell explains how to craft truly frightening horror fiction by blending the believable and the unsettlingly extraordinary. Dustin Grinnell “Fantasy, abandoned by reason, produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts in the origin of marvels.” —Francisco de …

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

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 …

Continue reading

After exhausting himself with work, author Benjamin Myers was sent over a literal edge and into the River Derwent. He recalls his recovery and hunt for a cure. Benjamin Myers Last summer, in the midst of promotional chaos surrounding my new novel The Offing, I cancelled my own London book launch and instead drove to …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading