Does Your Novel Have a Theme with a Capital “T”?

Theme is like a truffle – it has to be there, just under the surface, but one must snort through much mud to unearth it. A most unpleasant process I’ve been stuck in for the last few months. So why do I keep at it? Won’t the theme of my book just magically appear once …
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What’s a B-Story? And Why That Love Triangle Doesn’t Cut It

Before I explain what a B-Story is and why it’s crucial, here’s a list of what it is not: Comic relief that is inconsequential to the main story. A side plot that has nothing to do with your hero. A tacked-on love story to appease those who say YA needs a love triangle. These are …
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Basic Story Beats of The Hunger Games (based on the “Save The Cat” beat sheet)

I picked HUNGER GAMES as the first novel to break down into the Basic Story Beats because I knew it had all the elements in chronological order. After all, I’d read the novel thrice and was familiar with the story. Though I was shocked to find that the Debate didn’t actually happen on the page, …
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Outlining – Method 1: Basic Story Beats

Just as there are many ways to write a novel, there are many ways to outline a novel. You can use all the methods, one of the methods, or none of the methods. The choice is yours! Go nuts with the freedom! Myself, I use all of the outlining methods I will explain in the …
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