Posts tagged Prepare to Write
How to Utilize Motifs In Your Fiction

Motifs can serve several powerful purposes in storytelling.

Yet because motifs are often discussed in literary and academic circles, many genre-fiction writers fail to explore the potential of this powerful literary device — but literary devices aren’t for literary writers alone. Flashbacks, foreshadowing, mood, imagery, metaphor, and suspense are all literary devices that, among other examples, are commonly employed by genre and literary writers alike.

How, then, can all writers utilize motifs to strengthen the quality of their storytelling? Let’s dive deep into this topic today, writers!

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An Easy Outlining Method for Writers Who Don't Enjoy Planning

My personal journey as a writer has been a lonely and meandering one.

For as long as I can remember, a thousand fantastic worlds have lived in my head, the safe places I went when the real world was too painful or quiet to bear. About the time I began to understand myself as an individual, around eleven or twelve, I started writing down these worlds and the stories that took place in them. It was a carefully guarded secret, something that only happened when the mood struck.

As one might expect with such an organic and aimless writing practice, progress was slow. In retrospect, I realize that I was attempting to write about five stories under the guise of one. When I grew frustrated with the inconsistencies and difficulty in plot progression, I split this one story into three set at three different times within the same world, which, sadly, did nothing to clean up the confusion.

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Eight Things to Consider When Working In a New Creative Medium

In February of 2019, I began drafting my very first book on writing.

Called Build Your Best Writing Life, this book presents a roadmap to becoming the writer you long to be, breaking down how you can forge a healthy creative mindset and writing practice, harness tools for intentional growth, and map your way to the writing life you long to lead. As of writing this, I’m well into the drafting process and cannot wait to share the book with you later this year.

Being as I’ve been writing non-fiction here at Well-Storied for several years, I didn’t imagine that diving into my first full-length non-fiction project would be that big of a leap. Turns out, I was wrong. Oh, so terribly wrong… And that’s exactly why I want to share the hard lessons I’ve already learned about working in a new creative medium here with you today.

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How to Craft Static Character Arcs For Your Novel

A character arc follows the inner journey a character undergoes throughout a story.

In most cases, we think of character arcs as being transformative. A protagonist overcomes a fear or flaw in an effort to achieve their goal, or an anti-hero finds themselves falling victim to their darkest doubts and desires. But what about those arcs in which no transformation takes place? Is a character arc lacking in development if the character remains the person they are when their story began?

Not at all, writer — or, at least, not necessarily. When crafted with intention, this type of arc can tell a powerful inner story. Today on the blog, let’s take the time to break down the major beats that bring this static arc to life.

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How to Craft Negative Character Arcs For Your Novel

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I wrote an article on character arcs.

In that article, I explained the importance of developing character arcs in your stories, established the three arcs found in fiction, and broke down the eleven major beats that comprise the most popular of the three: positive change arcs. I also asked if you’d be interested in similar breakdowns of the remaining two styles, negative change arcs and flat arcs, and your answer was a resounding yes.

Despite this, I found myself caught up in other articles and topics and failed to circle back around — until now, that is. Today, I’m excited to delve into the dark descent of negative change arcs with you all, soon to be followed by an article on flat arcs as well. Have a character for whom a bittersweet or tragic ending is in order? This is the article for you, writer.

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Exploring Three Ways to Structure Your Book Series

I’ve always been drawn to book series, both as a reader and a writer.

Perhaps it’s the depth a series can achieve, allowing for rich and expansive storytelling, or simply because I long to spend more time with the characters I love. From a career standpoint, series also offer authors the opportunity to build upon their backlists with related works, encouraging book sales as readers return for more of what captivated them in book one.

Think you may like to write a book series of your own? It’s important to note that not all series are created equal. In fact, there are three distinct ways you can structure a book series, and understanding which structure is right for your stories and career goals is key to setting yourself up for series success. Today, let’s break down these structures together.

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Do You Know What Drives Your Story’s Narrative?

At the heart of every good story is an arc, a series of related events that compels the reader to engage with the narrative.

Sometimes, that arc is one of external thrills and escapades. Will they catch the killer? Will she break the curse? Other times, that arc is one of inner turmoil or transformation. Will his pride lead to eventual downfall? Will she find it in her heart to forgive? Certainly, both types of arcs can be present in a story. But ultimately, only one can serve as the driving force behind its narrative.

As writers, why is it important to understand which arc lies at the heart of our stories? Let’s examine the difference between plot-driven and character-driven narratives today on the blog.

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Should You Include a Prologue in Your Story?

Ah, the Great Prologue Debate. Should they or should they not have a place in fiction?

The necessity of prologues (or lack thereof) is a topic that’s frequently discussed in online writing circles, and today I’d like to add my two cents to the clamor. You see, I feel pretty strongly about the power of a prologue well written. It’s a story element I’ve enjoyed time and time again as a reader, and also one that I’ve worked to emulate in many of my own stories.

Why do I think that prologues have their place? And what defines a prologue as well-written in my eyes? Allow me to share my thoughts with you in today’s article, writers.

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My Top Tips for Utilizing Fictional Language in Your Stories

Let’s face it: Tolkien set the bar pretty high as far as constructed languages go. 

Whether you’ve considered outlining an entire conlang (that’s world-building slang for “constructed language”) or are simply looking to use a few invented words to liven up your story world, knowing how best to approach the construction of a fictional language is daunting to say the least. 

Is the use of conlang really necessary? How much detail should you put into crafting your fictional language? And how in the world can you incorporate it in a way that feels natural and believable to readers? Let’s talk about all this and more in today’s article, writer!

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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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How to Decide Which Exciting Story Idea to Write Next

Have a hundred thrilling story ideas rumbling around in your brain?

Choosing which of those many ideas to write next can seem impossible — especially when you’re of unsure which idea best aligns with your aims and abilities as a writer — but have no fear! Today, we're going to cut through option overwhelm by discussing the tips and tricks that can provide clarity as you decide which exciting story idea to write next.

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Three Powerful Ways to Brainstorm New Story Ideas

Brainstorming new story ideas isn't always the easiest task in the world. Often, it seems the longer you work to devise the concept for your next great novel, the more impossible the struggle becomes. So, how can you overcome the overwhelm and begin generating narratives like the ultra-imaginative writer you long to be?

Today, I'm sharing three powerful brainstorming methods that make the process of digging up new story ideas seem less like a headache and more like the romp through your creative playground it ought to be. So let's go, writers. It's time to play!

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Finding the Novel Outlining Process that Works for You

There’s nothing more nebulous than trying to produce a decent outline for your novel.

With dozens of outlining methods to choose from, all of which seem to work well for some writers but not for others, defining the outlining process that works best for you and your stories can be more than a little intimidating. How much detail do you need to include? Is outlining really necessary? Isn't there a better way? 

Writers, it's time to cut through the chaos and get down to business. Let's find the outlining method that works best for each of us in today's breakdown!

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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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Outline Your Novel With the 3-Act Story Structure

Are you ready to take the overwhelm out of outlining your novel?

Transforming a new story idea or a shapeless first draft into a spectacular full-length book is more than a little difficult. There are endless elements at play: plot arcs, character arcs, stakes, themes, pacing... It's no wonder many writers struggle to give life to the stories in their heads. 

Fortunately, giving shape to your story doesn't have to be as difficult as it may seem. You can craft a strong blueprint for your novel with ease by making good use of a little tool called story structure.

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My Top 5 Tools to Get You Writing

Ultimately, it's the writing that makes the writer, but that doesn't mean you can't set yourself up for success.

Over the years, I've discovered that the best way to have great productivity and an easy-to-manage writing process is to set myself up with good, reliable writing tools. It may seem odd to some that I use more than just a Word document to get the job done, but I'm a firm believer in not settling.

If there are tools out there that can make my writing process simpler, faster, and more inspired, then I want them—and I'd encourage you to get them a shot as well. Today, I'm sharing my top 10 tools that will get you writing like the #writeboss you long to be. Shall we dive in?

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How to Create Strong Pacing For Your Story

Books are a bit like amusement park rides. 

They come in all shapes and sizes and even levels of thrill, with enough variation that there are few who don’t enjoy any sort of ride at all. But there is one element that all rides must have if they're to succeed: an expectation of pace.

Fast rides fly. Slow rides meander. But it’s rare that a ride will catapult between high and low speeds until the rider begs to be removed. Why? Well, the intense change in pacing would leave most riders bewildered—and likely a bit nauseated, too.

The same goes for stories that lack consistent pacing. So let's avoid bewildering, and perhaps even nauseating, our readers, shall we? Buckle up, writers. We’re about to go for a ride!

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How to Craft Strong Themes For Your Story (a #StorySocial recap)

Hello, friends! Time for another #StorySocial recap. Never heard of it?

#StorySocial is the weekly chat I host every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern on Twitter. Each week, dozens of writers get together for about an hour to chat about a fun writerly topic. This past Wednesday, we talked all about how to craft strong themes for our stories.

Did you miss out? Couldn't make it? No worries. I'm sharing a recap of this week's chat below. Check it out!

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Breaking Down The Four Main Types of External Conflict

Conflict drives narrative.

As humans, our curiosity piques when two forces oppose one another. “What is happening?”, we ask. Why are these two forces at odds? How will the conflict play out? Who will win? What would I do if I were in that situation?

These are the questions readers ask, more or less subconsciously, as they read. Which means they’re also exactly the kinds of questions writers should ask themselves when crafting plots for their stories.

In stories, as in life, there are two types of conflict: internal and external. Internal conflicts are the mental, emotional, or spiritual struggles a person faces—Character vs Self—which we’ll talk about on the blog soon!

Today, however, we’re going to focus on the second type of struggle: external conflict. Shall we dive into the breakdown? 

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Five Ways to Frame Your Story

You have a story idea, and you’re ready to write. But have you thought much about how you’ll frame your story?

Subjective storytelling is the framework most commonly found in modern literature, and it's perhaps the most obvious way writers think to tell their stories. With a subjective framework, writers utilize a limited point-of-view (i.e. the story is told solely via the main character's thoughts and experiences) to immerse readers in the main character’s journey.

But this style of storytelling isn’t the only way in which you can frame your story for success. What are your other options, and which is best for your novel? Let’s break down five alternative frameworks today!

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