Planning Your Story

Story planning tips and advice. Sample topics: using beat sheets, developing arcs, techniques for those who write by the seat of their pants, deciding on story ideas, etc.

Story Structure: What Should We Do for Trilogies?

February 14, 2017 Writing Stuff
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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!

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When & How Should Series End? — Guest: Kassandra Lamb

November 22, 2016 Writing Stuff
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We’ve probably all heard the advice to create book series for better sales. We don’t hear nearly as much about the other end of equation: ending a series. Kassandra Lamb is here today to share tips on when and how we should end a series.

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Are You Ready for NaNoWriMo?

October 25, 2016 Writing Stuff
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It’s almost time for NaNoWriMo, and if you’re anything like me, you might be freaking out a little as November nears. So here are several quick links to posts helping us plan, start, and get unstuck with our story.

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Writing a Series: How Much Do We Need to Plan Ahead?

October 18, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Authors who writes series often see more sales and success, but for writers who struggle to plan stories in advance, planning out a big series might be impossible. Let’s take a look at our options for planning series in advance.

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Character Arc Development: Is There a Best Approach?

August 18, 2016 Writing Stuff
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There are almost an infinite number of ways we can develop our story. As long as we end up with a finished book, our process works. And just like the variety found in the overall writing processes we might use, we have many options for how to come up with our protagonist’s arc as well.

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Stuck on Plot? Start at the End — Guest: Janice Hardy

August 9, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Today, Janice Hardy shares her tip for getting unstuck with our plot. Whether we’re plotters or pantsers, working backward from the end can help us figure out our story’s plot. Sometimes we need to shake up how we do things to get the creative juices flowing again, and working backward can be the key we need.

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Using Ebooks to Understand Story Structure

February 11, 2016 Writing Stuff
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If we’ve ever had a friend ramble or go off on tangents when describing a movie, we understand how story structure can help make stories more enjoyable. In other words, good story structure is an important element of good storytelling. Here’s how we can learn to analyze the structure of stories…

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Happy New Year! Let’s Talk (Story) Beginnings

December 31, 2015 Writing Stuff
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We’re almost to the new year, so let’s take those thoughts of new beginnings over to our stories. Most writers have probably struggled with a story’s opening, but if we start from the big picture and move to the specific, we might have an easier time finding the right beginning for our story.

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Ask Jami: Why Isn’t There One Right Way to Write?

December 15, 2015 Writing Stuff
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When we’re young, the world feels like it’s made up of wrong answers and right answers. Not surprisingly, writing is one of those areas of our life where “one right way” doesn’t apply, and there are several reasons why there’s no definitive “right” way to write a book.

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Writing Tools: Killer Resources for Drafting Our Story — Guest: Angela Ackerman

October 13, 2015 Writing Stuff
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I started visiting the original The Bookshelf Muse website by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi soon after they started it, and it’s been fantastic to see their vision grow. So I’m thrilled to welcome Angela here today, as she’s going to share writing-related goodies with us.

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