Posts in Drafting
How to Make The Most of a Writing Challenge

With National Novel Writing Month just six weeks away, it's time we had a chat about writing challenges. 

A writing challenge can take many forms. It can be a simple self-imposed goal or deadline. Or it can be a community-based event that encourages you to write daily or weekly short fiction, a 50,000-word novel in a month, or another goal entirely.

Whatever the intended output, writing challenges can present great opportunities to improve your writing skills and commitment to the craft. But writing challenges have a dark side that isn’t often discussed.

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How to Write Effective Flashback Scenes

Flashbacks are some of the most difficult scenes to write.

When effective, flashback scenes relay vital backstory that cuts straight to the emotional core of a narrative. They exist because they must, because there is no better way to reveal the information on which the story hinges. But like the infamous prologue, flashback scenes are all too easy to get wrong. 

An ineffective flashback will jar readers out of a story as quickly as a successful one will grip them by the heartstrings. How can you ensure your own flashbacks serve a powerful purpose within your stories? Let’s discuss…

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How Fiction Writers Can Improve The Quality of Their Prose

Most fiction writers come to the page with a passion for either language or storytelling.

My own strengths lie in the latter. I love mapping plots arcs, developing characters, and crafting fictional worlds. Yet for me, translating those story elements onto the page has always felt like pulling teeth. I simply don’t have a natural knack for prose, which is why I’ve spent the past several years working hard to improve the quality of my writing.

If you’d like to do the same, today’s article is for you. In this mega-guide, I’m sharing each specific element of prose you should consider at every step in the writing process, breaking down the overwhelm of learning to write wonderfully readable prose so you can work to level up your writing skills with confidence. Shall we begin?

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How To Structure Compelling Scenes

Every phenomenal story unfolds in a series of scenes. 

If each scene in a book is a link in a chain, one weak link can threaten the overall power of a story. By learning how to craft better, more compelling scenes — scenes that are irresistible in their interest and emotional pull — we learn how to craft better, more compelling stories. But what exactly makes for a spellbinding, well-structured scene?

To answer that question, we must first ask another...

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How to Beat Writer's Block

Writer’s block is a fancy-schmancy term for getting stuck. It is a misnomer, and it's time we take our power back and beat writer's block together.

Writers, being somewhat eccentric and moody, vulnerable to imaginary worlds and people that actually exist in their work, accidentally gave getting stuck power when they named it "writer's block." In the words of Mike Wazowski of Monsters Inc., "You're not supposed to name it. Once you name it, you start getting attached to it." Seriously, it's like naming the stray kitten you found on the street.

And getting stuck happens in all areas of life. People get stuck on how to decorate a room, how to build a storage unit, how to bake a cheese soufflé, what to do with that stray kitten on the street…

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Can a Drafting Cycle Help You Juggle Multiple Manuscripts?

Have a million amazing story ideas swimming around in that head of yours?

You may not be able to write them all at once, but you can speed up the process of bringing them to life. By utilizing a drafting cycle, you can juggle work on multiple projects without feeling overwhelmed, unfocused, or unproductive. This technique won’t be the right one for every writer, but if you often struggle to finish projects because others get in the way, it may be time to give a drafting cycle a try.

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Eleven Tips for Creating a Feel-Free Writing Routine

Building a consistent creative practice is key to achieving our writing goals.

But with all the chaos of life, establishing a writing routine is often far from easy. With a scarcity of time, energy, and motivation alike, it’s easy to guilt ourselves for skipping writing sessions or outputting uninspired work. But rather than give into creative blues, how can we build writing routines that leave us feeling free? Let’s break down my top tips in today’s article, writers!

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How to Balance “Show, Don’t Tell” in Your Writing

“Show, Don’t Tell” is far and away one of the most common pieces of writing advice. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most misunderstood.

This popular writing mantra claims to be the key to rich and immersive storytelling, but what does “Show, Don’t Tell” actually mean? Is it a technique you should truly pay mind as you work to improve your skills? And if so, how can you employ this popular piece of advice in a way that doesn’t feel contrived? Let’s discuss everything you need to know in today’s article, writers.

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My Top Tips for Balancing Stories with Multiple Points-of-View

Writing fiction from the perspectives of multiple characters can be a lot of fun.

This style of storytelling has gained quite a bit of popularity in recent decades thanks to the rise of film and television, which often structures its stories to showcase many characters’ perspectives. But utilizing multiple points-of-view isn’t the simplest technique to master. 

I’ve received quite a few requests for tips on this topic in recent months, and being as I’ve dabbled in writing stories with multiple points-of-view myself, I decided it was high time to translate my experience into a few key tips to share with you all today. Shall we dive in?

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Asking Yourself These 5 Question Can Help You Write Better First Drafts

When I speak of writing amazing first drafts, I don’t mean to imply that you’ll ever write a first draft that isn’t in need of revision. That’s not at all how they’re meant to work.

You see, first drafts are famously shitty — all of them — and they're meant to be. They're called rough drafts for a reason after all. That's why I like to think of writing first drafts as a mining process. I dig deep into the dark caverns of my mind to dredge up the gems of a story that will later be cleaned, cut, refined, and set into something truly beautiful.

So what qualifies a first draft as amazing if you are, in actuality, getting your hands dirty as you write? And what in the world do you need to ask yourself if you want to write amazing first drafts of your own? Let's dig into today's article, writer!

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How to Frame Scenes Like a Filmmaker

Have you ever thought about writing fiction with filmmaking in mind?

This certainly isn’t a concept I originated. Rather, I recently rediscovered it after reading Diana Gabaldon’s I Give You My Body, her guide to writing intimate scenes, in which she discusses framing the scenes in her books as though she were shooting a film. 

Having taken a few communications classes in my day—all of which involved a good bit of camera work—the idea of framing scenes with filmmaking in mind is advice that I not only find interesting, but believe may be vastly helpful to many writers looking to improve their craft. Sound like something you’d enjoy? Let’s kick off today’s discussion!

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How to Write Chapters That Captivate Readers

So, chapters.

It occurred to me the other week that I’d yet to talk about them here on Well-Storied, despite the fact that I’ve been running this show for well over two years now. How could I have skipped something so crucial to the structure of a good novel?

I'll be honest. For a long time, I really didn't consider chapters to be all that important. Chapters give your novel structure, sure. But over the years, I've come to realize that that's not all they do...

Chapters also create a sense of pacing, of forward momentum, and---if you play your cards just right----a sense of page-turning urgency. Chapter breaks aren’t just places for readers to stick their bookmarks. They’re an opportunity for you, the author, to further captivate them!

So how can you make sure you’re writing captivating chapters in your own novel? Today, I’m going to break this topic down by answering five of your most popular chapter questions. Let’s go!

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How to Write Strong Opening Lines

Whether you’re writing the first line of your book or simply starting a new chapter, opening lines are tough. In the span of just a sentence or two, you must convince readers that your story is worth their time. Scary right? 

Opening lines are your bargaining chips, your siren songs, your bait. And if you don’t master them, you risk turning readers away. So how can we keep that from happening? By hooking them in of course! 

By “hooking” readers, we’re talking about captivating them so wholly in the span of just a few short lines that they won’t be able to put your book down.

It’s tricky business, but here’s a bit of good news: by analyzing popular opening lines from literature, you can get a much better feel of how to go about writing your own. So let's jump in!

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Should You Fast-Draft Your Novel?

Do you follow me on Facebook or Twitter?

If so, you likely saw my recents polls in which I asked if you prefer longer or shorter content on She's Novel or a combination of both. Your answer? Both!

This was super exciting for me because I've only ever done long, in-depth content here on the blog but I've been accumulating quite a few shorter post ideas I've wanted to write up. Starting with–DRUMROLL PLEASE–fast-drafting!

This topic was actually suggested to me by my friend Jenn from The Paper Scientist and I thought it was especially apt because I'm currently fast-drafting my latest WIP, The Eaves of Fall.

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How To Write In Deep Point-Of-View

Have you ever read a book in which you felt one with the point-of-view character?

From the very first page, the author dropped you in the protagonist's shoes, encouraging you to see their world and experience their journey through their eyes. It's novels like these that are often so easy to consume — and that consume you in return. And the technique that makes many of them tick? Writing in Deep Point-Of-View...

If you're looking to write an engaging genre-fiction novel that grips readers and doesn't let go, Deep POV may just be your secret weapon. But what exactly is this technique, and how can you utilize in your own writing? Let's break down everything you need to know in today's article, writer!

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