Category Archives: Plotting Your Novel

plotting your novel

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Writing a Novel in Scenes

Simply stating the events that transpire throughout a manuscript does not a story make.  Substituting narrative summary for a scene is a common writing error.  This writing mistake is surprisingly easy to make. A vivid imagination can be both a blessing and curse. Have you ever filled out a scene in your mind only to field a slew of questions from critique partners who can’t picture it? Continue Reading>>

Set a Winning Story Tone

What would The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien be without an oppressive aura, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum sans its yearning pathos, and Charles Dicken’s Oliver Twist with no melancholy? A novel’s story tone can make or break it’s emotional appeal for readers. Given that most readers say they read for the way stories make them feel, it behooves an author to set a story tone that will inspire the right mood. Continue Reading>>

Story Tone and Mood — What Are They?

Every novel projects the opinions of its author while creating a certain atmosphere for readers. These elements are known as the story tone and mood. While both reinforce the main story theme, they are two different things. Their interrelated nature can make telling them apart confusing, but it’s not difficult once you understand them.  Knowing how to use story tone and mood is an important skill that contributes to a mastery of plot structure. Continue Reading>>

Does Being a Writer Hurt Your Relationships?

You look up from your computer after a productive writing session only to remember that you forgot to take your child to the dentist today. It’s also your sister’s birthday, and you meant to call her. You’ll have to deal with that later, because right now you have to scramble. Your spouse will be home any time, and it was your turn to make dinner. If only you’d remembered to thaw something, you wouldn’t have to run to the grocery store. Sound familiar? Continue Reading>>

Can’t Keep Up With Your Writing Life? Try This…

No matter what you do, you can’t seem to win. Focus on home and family and your writing doesn’t happen. Put time and energy into a writing project, and you could write absent notes to friends and family in the dust on your furniture. Working long hours to accomplish your writing goals, cook, clean, run errands, and serve your family is neither fun nor fair. There’s a better way, thankfully. Continue Reading>>

How to Manage Your Writing (Get Your Ducks in a Row)

Does trying to decide how long a book will take to write feel like shooting in the dark? Learning how to manage your writing time is vital, especially when you are dealing with traditional contracts (although it’s important for Indies, also), because how long you will need to write your book is the first question agents, editors, or potential box-set partners will want to ask you. How can you be expected to put a time frame on art? Continue Reading>>

Reactions to Conflict in Fiction

Conflict in Fiction, Making it Real Series, Part 5

Ever paint your main character into a corner? Yeah, me too. Since we are on the topic of conflict in fiction, let’s take a look at what psychologists know about how people react to conflict in real life. As we’ve done in the past several articles, we’ll apply conflict in psychology to fiction writing. I can’t promise you’ll never get stuck again, but arming yourself with information can’t hurt. Continue Reading>>