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The Most Important Question in Storytelling: “Why?”

Question mark on white background with text: Character Motivations: Give Me a "Why?"

A common problem—even in traditionally published books—is Missing Motivations. A character’s goal can feel irrelevant if readers don’t understand why they have that goal. Or a character might seem stupid or unlikable if readers don’t know why they’re acting a certain way.

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January 26, 2017

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Character Arc Development: Is There a Best Approach?

Person's shadow on the beach with text: Developing a Character's Arc

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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August 18, 2016

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Character Development Is a Two-Edged Sword

Pen on a contract with text: The Promise of Character Development

As writers, we do everything we can to make readers invested in our characters in some way. An invested reader is a happy reader, right?
Well, maybe not. Let’s take a look at the other side of character development.

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May 26, 2016

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What’s the Difference between Plot and Story?

Man walking through a desert with text: How is Plot Different from Story?

When we first start off as writers, if someone asks us about our story, we might launch into an overview of our story’s plot. It’s easy to think the plot is what our story is about. But with few exceptions, story isn’t the same as plot.

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May 3, 2016

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Discovering Our Writing Processes

Light trails over black background with text: Any Process Can Get Us to "The End"

We’ve probably all seen us vs. them attitudes for many aspects of writing, implying that there’s only one right process. However, just because something works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for everyone, and in the end, there’s only one thing that matters.

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December 10, 2015

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Digging into Research: Consider the Source

Collection of historical documents with text: Getting It Right with Research

Last week, we talked about how we can add diversity to our stories in a respectful way, and no matter what kind of story we write, we’re probably going to need to research something. Whether we’re referring to an aspect of diversity, a setting, or a character’s job, we can’t know everything about everything.

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October 27, 2015

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