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plot-driven vs. character-driven

Protagonist Boot Camp: Characters Who Drive a Story

A theater's stage door with text: Is Our Protagonist Worthy of the Role?

We might sometimes wonder if our main character is worthy of the label protagonist or if our story would be better told through another character’s eyes. So let’s talk about how can ensure our main character deserves the role of protagonist.

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April 13, 2017

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Story Structure: What’s the Purpose…for Readers?

Metal cans connected with string with text: What Does Our Story Structure Say to Readers?

Ever wonder how many writing “rules” have a reason beyond “because I said so”? Story structure exists not just because it makes our story stronger, but also because the story beats help communicate with readers–and understanding how can help us write and revise our story.

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March 9, 2017

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How to Make Our Story Feel Meaningful

Three Sister mountain formation with text: Strengthening Our Story's Echoes

Story is different from plot, but sometimes we can have lots of plot ideas, and we might not be sure if—or how—we can pull those together into something that feels like a story. Let’s get some tips…

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January 12, 2017

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5 Ways to Discover & Develop Our Voice

Microphone against a blank wall with text: Strengthening Your Voice

Many people have tried to identify what goes into creating our voice, but it’s a hard thing to define. We often just know it when we see it. Voice is personal—not just for writers, but also for readers. Yet we can identify—and strengthen—the 5 elements that go into our voice.

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December 8, 2016

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Are You Ready for NaNoWriMo?

Open organizer with text: Getting Organized for Nano

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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October 25, 2016

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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?

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September 27, 2016

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