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Chuck Wendig

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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Story Beginnings: Do You Have Context?

Lone footprint in the sand with text: What's the Context?

Story beginnings are difficult to get right. We have to introduce the characters, the story, the setting, the protagonist’s longing, and show an immediate obstacle that creates a near-term goal. At the same time, we have to avoid confusing readers, and for that, we need context.

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August 11, 2016

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Plot Obstacles & Character Agency

Stick figure in a maze with text: What Do Your Characters Choose?

Ashley asked a question in the comments last week that gets at the heart of strong, proactive characters. Even in literary fiction, characters are usually faced with making choices, and whatever triggers those choices is where we’ll find plot and character agency.

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May 17, 2016

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What Kind of Advice Works for You?

Drawing of happy and sad masks with text: What Advice Do You Need?

There’s no “one right way” in publishing. We can probably all think of ways that don’t work, but there are often several paths that do lead to success. The same applies to encouragement advice. We often see two kinds of encouragement in the writing world: pushy and sympathetic. Either way can work, depending on who we are at this moment in time.

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April 23, 2015

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How Do You Decide on Your Author Brand – Part Two

Girl with Shush Finger

Disclaimer: I love Maureen Johnson’s “I am not a brand” manifesto down to the last punctuation mark.  That’s not the approach to branding I’m talking about. An author’s brand isn’t about selling.  It’s about recognizing that what we say and how we act affects what others think of us.  It’s about then […]

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January 6, 2011

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Can Blogging Train Your Muse?

Hourglass Timer

Should authors blog?  We’ve all seen this question in some form or another.  Some wonder if agents expect it.  (Not yet but close.) Others want to know if it will help build that elusive platform.  (It can.) But I propose another reason to blog: training your muse. My regular readers […]

December 9, 2010

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