U is for Unreliable Narrators

I love unreliable narrators because they go hand-in-hand with surprise endings. No matter the genre, when a narrator is not telling the truth there is mystery in the story. 3 Tips for Writing Unreliable Narrators Track the truth. Whether the narrator is lying on purpose or not, you the writer need to keep track of …
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T is for Trello

Writing a book is not as labor intensive as, say, launching a space mission, but sometimes it feels like it is. I use Trello to keep my sanity in check. It helps me manage all my brainstorming, to do lists, blog posts, home repairs, work deadlines and even my kid’s schedules…all in one place. And …
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S is for Sins

In the predawn light we commit them. We are breathless from a looming deadline, or perhaps blinded to our mistakes by pride. We might try to hide them. We dress them in setting and disguise them with witty dialogue. We pray no one will notice our blunder. Yet the error remains, a viper coiled within …
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R is for Reversal

One of the many things I’m learning from writing this blog is that people have different definitions for writing terms. When Robin first wrote a post on reversals, I thought to myself, “Oh, I call those Turning Points!” Perhaps that’s the screenwriting term. But both mean the same thing – a moment where the story …
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Q is for Questions

Questions are what keep readers interested in a story. At every moment in your novel, the reader must want to know the answer to a question, otherwise there’s no reason to keep reading. There are three types of questions in every good story, and I’ll endeavour to give you some tips on how to make …
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P is for Pinch Points

If you’re a plotter, or if you read Heather’s O is for Outlines post, you know about tentpoles. These are crucial events in every story that give the plot a shape. Pinch points act like the secondary flanking poles on your tent. They prop up the story structure between the first plotpoint and the midpoint, …
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O is for Outlines

As a screenwriter, outlines are mandatory. Not so for authors. If you’re penning a novel, it seems as if you must choose between two camps – plotter (those who outline) or pantser (those who start writing a manuscript sans outline). But it doesn’t have to be one or the other, and I think the vast …
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