Close

pacing

One Simple Trick to Avoid an Opening Page Infodump

No dumping sign with text: Warning: No Dumping on Page One

It’s hard to get our opening pages just right because we have to grab readers’ attention, introduce our characters and the story world, hint at a problem, etc. With everything we want to get across to the reader, we might dump too much information. How can we avoid info dumping or confusing readers at the beginning of our story?

July 4, 2017

Read More

How Can We Make Time Pass in Our Stories?

Writers Helping Writers: Deepen Your Craft with Resident Writing Coach Jami Gold

It’s time for another post as a Resident Writing Coach over at Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi’s Writers Helping Writers site, and this time we’re exploring 7 techniques we can use to keep our story moving while time passes for our characters.

Pin It

June 13, 2017

Read More

Writing Habits: We Can’t Fix What We Don’t See

Coffee mug on saucer with text: What Are Your Writing Habits?

Virtually every program to change our habits starts with the same step: recognizing our habits. We can’t fix what we don’t see, know, or understand. Let’s take a look at some of the things we can do to identify our writing craft habits…so we can then work to improve them.

Pin It

April 11, 2017

Read More

Story Structure: What Should We Do for Trilogies?

Three blue chairs against a wall with text: Making Trilogies Work

If we’ve thought of writing a trilogy, we might have struggled with questions about how we should structure our stories over three books. Or how we should break up the plot and character arcs. Today, let’s try to answer those questions!

Pin It

February 14, 2017

Read More

Strengthening Stakes: It’s Not about Going Big

High tension electrical wire with large spark: Are Bigger Stakes Better?

A story’s stakes are one element that keeps readers turning pages because they want to see if our characters succeed. At first glance, we might think bigger stakes are better for sucking in readers, but not every story lends themselves to huge stakes. Are “quieter” stories doomed to fail the “page-turner” test?

Pin It

September 27, 2016

Read More

Balancing Elements: How Can We Know the Right Amount?

Many rocks balanced on their ends with text: What's the Right Balance for Our Story?

I’ve offered several posts here about balancing various elements of our story, but there’s still room for debate because we have to find the right balance for our voice, genre, tone, and style—for our story. That means there is no perfect amount of backstory or description or emotion.

Pin It

September 15, 2016

Read More

Backstory: When Is It Necessary?

Man holding picture of the back of his head with text: When Should We Reveal Backstory?

We often think about the purpose of backstory in terms of “what do readers need to know?” But with that perspective, it’s too easy to include too much backstory. Instead, we might be better off if we think about backstory from the perspective of what the story needs.

Pin It

September 13, 2016

Read More