Today’s Question: “How does one figure out which POVs to use and when? … How can I balance it out so that each character has their share of the novel without revealing too much or ruining the suspense?”
Kim wants to know if there’s an optimal number of characters to include in a novel. That’s a great question because we want to hit the balance between the claustrophobia of too few characters and the confusion of too many characters.
I’m a big fan of Michael Hauge’s approach to characters. His insights helped me figure out how to match a character’s internal journey to the external plot. This is often tricky, though, so let’s go deeper into how characters change.
“Raise the stakes throughout your story.” Advice like this is often given as though we all know what the phrase means. And on some level, we do know what it means: make the situation “worse.” But there are many ways to make a situation worse. As Serena Yung asked in a comment: “Would you define a […]
If we write our story well, every aspect of the story will contribute to the overall picture and create an impression for the reader. There aren’t any unimportant details in a well-written story. And that means the careers for our characters shouldn’t be an afterthought either.
Between questions on Facebook and some of my editing clients, I’ve had several conversations lately about story turning points: what they are, what they mean, and how to recognize them. As writers, we all need to understand turning points. If we plot or plan our story in advance, we need ideas for the turning points […]
Almost two years ago, I posted advice for how to find beta readers. In the time since then, many people have asked me where they can find beta readers. I’d love to be able to offer a mega-list of resources for finding beta readers, and maybe this post can be the first step. As I mentioned […]
Last time, we talked about our reading habits and whether the price of an ebook affects its ranking in our to-be-read pile. (If you haven’t answered the polls with your answers to that question yet, please check out that post.) Today we’ll continue the reading-habits theme with two other issues that relate to reader expectations. […]
It’s no secret that I’m a proud pantser (writing by the seat of my pants), and yet I’m a firm believer in story structure. My writing worksheets for story and scene construction make that latter point abundantly clear. But I haven’t discussed before why story structure is so important. Recently, a couple of situations reminded me […]